Step 7: WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT AND SEARCHING FOR A HOMEBecause of the amount of information available through the Internet, you now have the ability to learn more about the home buying process than ever before. If you choose to, you can manage your efforts to find the right home for you that you can afford. But, it is easy to get overwhelmed or distracted by the sheer volume of information that is available. How do you make sure your home buying efforts are efficient? Also, how do you know if you can trust that the information and advice you are receiving is accurate?
Benefits of Working With a Licensed Arizona Real Estate Agent
- Knowledge – Your agent will be very knowledgeable about the local real estate market, the home buying process, searching for homes and negotiating the right price for your new home. They can help save you money and avoid pitfalls.
- Confidence – The home buying process can be tedious and overwhelming. You want to know that you’re taking the right steps and making the right choices. You don’t know what you don’t know. But, you don’t have to go at it alone. Be confident. An experienced Arizona real estate agent will guide and assist you as you find and buy your home.
- Peace of Mind – Working with an experienced Arizona real estate agent who is on your side to represent you and your interests with the highest standard of care will make the entire home buying process more enjoyable and worthwhile in the end.
- Avoid Wasting Time – An Arizona real estate agent will keep you focused on homes that meet your specifications, in neighborhoods that are desirable to you and that are in your price range.
- It’s Free for You – As a first time home buyer, you should know that you don’t have to pay your real estate agent to represent you. Even though your agent represents you, he or she will be paid by the seller of the home once you buy it.
What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?A good real estate agent is your partner in the home buying process. You’ll want to work with an agent that you like and trust. Your agent will represent you, the buyer, and he or she works for you to help you buy the right house at the lowest price. Buying a home should be a great experience. When you are a client, a real estate agent is supposed to protect and promote your interests above all others. Some of the variety of services that an agent will perform for you include:
- Answer your questions and provide guidance
- Educate you about the local real estate market
- Review your list of desired home features and analyze your needs and wants to compile a list of potential homes. This will make your home search more efficient by narrowing down your choices based on your preferences
- Let you know when a new listing that might interest you comes on the market.
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and provide information on neighborhoods, schools, real estate tax rates, and public services available in each neighborhood.
- Make arrangements to show you homes that meet your requirements.
- Work with other real estate agents to negotiate a fair price on your behalf and get your offer accepted by the seller.
- Assist you in the selection of a title company, home inspector, and any other service providers you may require during the home buying process.
- Coordinate the many activities that must be handled during a real estate transaction.
- Be proactive in solving any problems that may arise in the home buying process.
- Check paperwork and deadlines.
Searching for a HomeLooking at homes for sale can be exciting when you hope that one of them might soon be yours. But looking at homes that don’t fit your list of desired home features can cause your excitement to dwindle and lead to house-hunting burnout. To avoid this, your home searching efforts have to be effective. Start with the home search basics. As you can guess, it all starts with location. You can search broad or narrow depending on what you’re looking for. A local search means that you are drilling down to a specific part of town or a specific property feature. Refer to your list of desired home features so that you can continue to narrow your search. Filter your search so that it only includes homes in the price range for which you have been pre-approved. Conducting the search yourself is certainly manageable, but professional insight and experienced search structure be very helpful. Further, an Arizona real estate agent has a variety of home search tools that they can provide you that make it easy to conduct your home search across your different devices.
Top Home Search Tools That Your Arizona Real Estate Agent Can Provide You
- Internet Data Exchange (IDX) – That’s the official name of the system that provides the free home search that is located on your local agent’s website and is how you have access to see all of the listings of homes for sale on the internet. Using the IDX, your Arizona real estate agent can boost your searching power by setting up a customized search with all of the items that rank high on your list of desired home features.
- Client Portals – Another official name … a client portal is the system that your agent will use customize your home search and send you automatic updates any time there is important activity in the market that meets your specified needs. For example, you’ll receive emails with all of the new home that meets your search criteria goes up for sale. You just click on the links and view the newly listed properties.
- Mobile Real Estate Search Application – A powerful geo-based real estate search app on your smart phone give you the power to see what home are for sale anywhere you are.
A mobile real estate search app bridges the gap between the online and offline home search.When you physically find yourself in a neighborhood that you like, you just have to open the GPS-based app and it will recognize where you are and show you all of the homes that are for sale around you. You can search using the map or by address. It is easy to use and provides you with an efficient search experience. If you are driving and a home for sale catches your eye, you can pull over and use the app to find out the sales price, features and view all of the photos that are listed.
Viewing HomesWhen looking at homes with your agent, be sure to take notes, take pictures (or video) and ask as many questions as you can think of. Common questions people ask their agents are:
- The price of the home
- How long the home has been for sale
- How motivated is the seller
- How low are the sellers willing to go
- The age of the home
- Any renovations that have been done
- How old is the plumbing?
- How old is the carpeting and flooring?
- How old are the windows?
- Any other issues with the home
- How much are the property taxes
- How much are the HOA dues
- What school boundaries are the home located in
- Prices of other homes in the area that are comparable to the one you are looking into buying
Narrowing Down Your ChoicesAfter a viewing homes that fit what you are looking for, you can eliminate homes that you don’t like and reassess how you have ranked the features on your list of needs and wants. After a round or two of viewings, you should be close to finding a home that you will want to buy. Once you have found a home that you like, your agent can draft and submit a purchase offer to the owner’s agent on your behalf.
Previous Step: GET PRE-APPROVED TO BUY A HOME
Next Step: MAKING A OFFER ON A HOUSE
Legal Disclaimer This home buyer series is intended to provide general information regarding the process of how to buy a house in Arizona. It is not intended to provide buyers with legal, accounting or financial advice. You are advised to seek the services of a skilled professional this those fields. Additionally, this home buyer series does not set forth all qualification criteria for any of the loans described herein; all interested persons must successfully meet qualification criteria and complete the application process to obtain such loans.
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