When buying your first property there are some things you can do to set yourself up for success.
– there are free first time buyer seminars you can attend
– you can meet with a lender at no or low cost to you
– subscribe to a lot of websites and articles to learn terminology and the buying process
Once you have some of the key elements in mind – type of home, location, preapproval and some time, you can align yourself with a Realtor. You can seek Realtors out through personal referrals, touring open houses or stopping by a local office. Searching online is also useful. Many will detail services offered online with information on areas of expertise. Our company host Minnesota Lofts and Condos
So much information is public about real estate so you may wonder, do I need a Realtor. This depends…I think you may ask yourself this question any time you are considering paying for a service that perhaps you can with time and resources do on your own. As a buyer there is little cost to you for using a Realtor since most compensation is provided by the seller as advertised in the MLS. Most brokers will charge an admin fee to a buyer that is typically a few hundred dollars and only applied if the transaction closes. Some instances lend themselves to a fixed fee arranged or retainer fee which is all laid out in writing and reviewed so no fee should be a surprise.
A Realtor will review the agency disclosure and a representation agreement with a buyer that details out service expectations. There are both exclusive and non-exclusive contracts that are common legal docs used in the industry.
The key steps above can occur very quickly – within a day or two if desired. The advantage of doing desktop research may save you lots of time in the long run. Driving by homes or using google maps may help you focus in your search. So this part of doing your homework may take longer.
One advantage of working with a Realtor is that they know the market and can help you find the property that best fits your criteria. The market is dynamic, and a licensed Realtor tracks the market and provides insights to buyers along the way. Realtors also know the legal process well on how to make an offer once you find the property. A key aspect of presenting an offer ie negotiating on your behalf.
Happy property hunting.