You may think that you don’t need a real estate agent and that using one will add to the cost of buying your new home.
The fact is, a real estate agent’s fees are generally paid by the seller of the house. So as a buyer, you can get the services of a professional real estate agent without paying directly for it. Confirm this in any paperwork or contracts that a real estate agent may provide because policies vary greatly by state and company. Be sure to ask about fees when interviewing agents.
Most of these agents can work with buyers and sellers, but they often specialize in working with one or the other. Make sure the agent you choose has experience working with buyers and no down payment transactions.
Be careful if you are talking to a real estate agent and they don’t seem to recognize terms like “Down Payment Assistance Program.”
Start making a list of potential real estate agents to interview with references from your lender, friends, and family.
A lender recommendation is great because you get the services of people who have worked together in the past and are already familiar with each other’s systems. This can help prevent last minute surprises or obstacles.
Questions to ask while interviewing an agent:
Explain your fees.
Do you know of any financing programs without a down payment?
Have you been involved with no-down-payment buyers in the past?
Would you mind providing sample contracts for me to review?
Does the contract clearly state who will pay your fees?
How long have you been a real estate agent?
Do you work primarily with buyers or sellers?
I am looking for a house in the ______ areas. How familiar are you with those areas?
What specific steps would you take to help me find the home I am looking for?
You should also try to get an idea of these factors while talking to the agent.
– Does this person have good negotiation skills?
– Do you think this agent is trying to understand your situation in order to adequately represent you to sellers?
– How much knowledge does the agent have about the mortgage markets?