Post # 1
Mr. Hedgie and I are starting to look for houses. We are at the uber beginning stages. The think we know we will need is a realtor. We have never done any of this before so we know we can’t do it on our own but we are so lost as to how we go about finding a good one. Help? Where do we even begin???
Post # 3
IMO in this day and age of the internet, I really dont think the realtor does a lot anymore to help the house search. (My realtor friend would kill me if he heard me say that hahaha). Basically, just about every listing is searchable without one, as is all recent sales. The only thing I think they are really helpful for is if they have a lot of connections and have a one up on a property that might be coming on the market that isnt listed yet, and to let you into properties you want to see. The only recommendation I have would be not to pick one that does real estate on the side.
Post # 4
I would just start looking through realtor.com for one that gives you a good feeling. I don’t think there is anything too scientific about it. We went with the one that gave us the most attention and was able to answer our questions. You can talk to a few as long as you don’t sign an agreement with one.
I don’t think there is a harm getting one when you are a buyer since you don’t pay. It was easier for me to look through her listings instead of millions on Zillow. Plus it was nice to have someone at the end to negotiate and make sure the paperwork was right. She also kept in touch with the lender to see how things were going.
Post # 5
@pinkshoes: And we plan on doing some of that but as far as the process or actally getting the house… we are about as lost as we can get. And my parents aren’t all too happy about us looking for a house. They would rather we live in a duplex for a few years like they did. And his parents… well… they just give s headaches by explaining things to death in the most confusing ways. So, we are stuck with a realtor for this house…
Post # 6
We found one online. He was great and very helpful, especially because we were moving to an area that was new to both of us. However, like a PP mentioned, he really didn’t do much until it got to the part of making an offer. Until that point, we researched everything and actually picked the houses we wanted to see in person. He just set up the times.
We actually “fired” our first realtor. The mortgage broker recomended her, which should have been a red flag. She kept trying to make us increase our budget and email us houses that were $50K-$100K higher than our max. She sucked.
Post # 7
The best way to find a realtor is through referal and word of mouth. I would start asking friends and coworkers who they have had a good experience with. You want someone attentive and responsive and also someone who is familiar with your area. This person will be guiding you through potentially the biggest purchase of your life, so you want to make sure they have a proven track record with people you trust.
Post # 8
We asked some of our new-homeowner friends to get a reccommendation. We ended up being pretty good friends with our agent, and he really helped us get through the process without any hiccups. The first thing he said was to get pre-approved for a mortgage so if we wanted to make an offer on a property we could do it immediately- which ended up helping us so much (the house we bought already had a bid on it but they were waiting for pre-approval, so we got the house since we already had it!)
Post # 9
Fiance and I actually realized a realtor would be more helpful than just searching for homes by ourselves. We put the realtor to work weeding through the growing list of homes we found online. Fiance and I both work full-time so why not let the realtor do the work for us and just let us know when something that meets our requirements pops up.
We contacted a few realtors in our town and even met with one. Then we attended a few open houses a few weekends ago and there was a realtor at one that was filling in for her co-worker. She was honest and really helpful so we actually decided to use her as our realtor. So my advice is to attend a few open houses and see if you like the realtor there.
Post # 10
I recommend asking your friends, word of mouth is always a great way. My Fiance and I found our realtor after a friend recommended him. We couldn’t have been happier with our experience.
Post # 10
@Mrs Hedgehog: The process is actually really simple, and the realtor doesnt play a big part in the “real deal” to me. Once you find a home you like, they will draw up the offer and present it to the sellers, then come back to you with acceptance or counter offer. They’ll help also in digging up comprables to help with a fair price, and any specifics regarding the offer – if appliances stay or go, lighting fixture, anythign you want to make part of the agreement. Once the offer is accepted, you’ll have your time for inspections and what not. The next big step is the purchase and sales agreeement – this usually comes with a big chunk of money, basically enough to say you’re not backing out. I think 5% is what we did. After that, realtor is pretty much out of it, and it’s up to the lawyer’s to draw up all the paper work and work with you to close out the deal.
Post # 11
We’ve been using redfin.com to search for houses and go look at them. Their website is great, it makes it so easy to search for homes by various criteria. And you can use their agents to buy the house, too. The only reason I can think of for getting a normal agent instead of using redfin is the possiblity that an agent might know of houses about to go on the market before they actually do. But we actually talked to a realtor who said he would send us info on houses before they went on the market, but every single one he sent to us, I had already looked at on redfin the same day (so obviously they were already on MLS).
Post # 12
In the beginning we went and looked at a dozen houses or so and just used whoever the listing agent was. We got a pretty good feel for who we did and did not like working with, and then just chose our favorite. He was great, I could text him and say I wanted to look at these 4 houses and he would get us in to see all of them that night, lol. Our realtor actually got us a better deal on our house by negotiating with the seller’s realtor when the sellers didn’t want to budge, so a good one really is worth finding IMO.
Post # 13
We got ours threw a family friend who had just bought a second home. She was super helpful she was like family she gave us great advice and tried to help us figure out a better idea of what we wanted. She also helped us with change lenders when the first one was unresponsive. She was amazing. The best part is she put us in her system so that whenever a place within our price range in the areas we wanted got put on the MLS or was changed we got an email. That was awesome because that’s how we got our house the night it got drastically reduced we found it were looking at it the next day, had an offer in that night and had the bank accepting it the next morning. Also lots of the online listings are not always accurate because we would find some on their send her the info, she would call and it would already be under contract and online it would still be saying that it wasn’t. So just try and find someone you like and if you start working with someone who you don’t like then get rid of them. That’s what we had to do with our first realtor, he refused to show us short sells thing is that most of what was available in our price range were short sells so we decided to get rid of him and then we found the one ended up using and she showed us everything and anything we wanted.
Post # 14
everything you want to see is on redfin. Personally in my experience, once you end up finding your lender or broker for your loan, (which is the first step) finding a realtor after that is easy. Once they know youre qualified they will line up and the broker usually has trusted realtors he works with. Then its just about seeing which your most comfortable with.
Post # 15
We did ours by ourselves as well. But we were comfortable enough to tackle the process, specifically the negotiating portion.
That being said friends, family, co-workers are all good resources.
Another great way to meet realtors is going to open houses and setting up viewings.