Buying Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent
Can I use an agent for a new home?
Yes, however buyers should be aware of the inherent differences in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents.
Builders commonly require that an outside real estate agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed. When buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves, builders can refuse to pay any commission to the buyers real estate agent regardless of how helpful the buyers agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.
How do I find a real estate agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview at least three agents to give yourself a choice. A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area.
What about a buyer's agent?
In many states, it's now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers.
How do you find a good agent?
If you are a buyer, you don't usually pay for your agent's services (in the form of a commission, or percentage of the sales price of the home). All agents in a transaction usually are paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. But in Texas, it's legal for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. The best choice isn't always the agent with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent's marketing plan and how well you think you can work with the individual.