This is the next article in my series discussing information which first time Dayton, Ohio home buyers need to know about the real estate process. My previous article explained how a potential buyer may acquire a pre approval letter, and why such a letter is an important step before seriously viewing homes. In this article, I will discuss how a buyer can find a real estate agent to advocate on their behalf, and questions to consider asking your agent before hiring them.
A Dayton area real estate agent should take the time to understand your particular situation
In the pre internet days, potential buyers had to go into a real estate office, sift through books and books of listings, and heavily rely on their real estate agent to ‘find’ them houses to view. In today’s internet savvy climate, many potential buyers are doing their own research on websites such as Zillow and Realtor.com, and may have specific properties in mind that they are interested in viewing. Some buyers may view their real estate agent as the person they have to call in order to get inside the property they are interested in. However, showing houses is a very small part of what a real estate agent does; your real estate agent should take the time to understand your personal goals and objectives related to a home purchase, and help you make a sound financial decision. Your real estate agent will also ensure that your contract is drawn up correctly, will make recommendations to help protect your investment, can help you troubleshoot issues that come up during the buying process, and will give you determine what kind of offer to make on your dream home. Your agent should be able to help you consider issues such as the quality of the neighborhood, future property taxes, the strengths of the school district, the level of growth and development in the community you are considering, and any other issues that might be specific to your personal priorities.
Given the financial stakes, it is reasonable that a buyer wants to make sure that they hire someone “good.” However, with more than two thousand agents working in the Dayton area, it may be overwhelming to know where to start, or who to call. First, understand that real estate agents are independent contractors who work under a specific brokerage firm. This means that each individual real estate agent essentially is in business for themselves, and gives their broker a piece of each commission they earn. Different brokerages may provide their agents varying levels of support, training, and supervision.
There are many ways to find an agent. Many agents advertise on sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, and Hot Pads. Each individual brokerage in your area will usually have agent profiles on their homepage that buyers may browse. In this case, agents will have their direct contact information available, and buyers may contact them directly. Another option is to call brokerages in your area directly and ask for an agent to contact you. Finally, many agents rely on word of mouth recommendations, as well as advertise with mailers, ads in papers, pens, etc.
Dayton area home buyers should contact multiple candidates when they are selecting a real estate agent
Because purchasing a home is such a big transaction, it may be advisable to contact two or three agents and hire the person you feel the most comfortable with. Qualities that are important is someone who is timely in returning phone calls, someone who is organized, and someone who shows an interest in learning your needs. When you speak with an agent, this is your opportunity to ask them questions or get any concerns addressed. Your agent is someone you could potentially be spending a significant amount of time with, so it is vital that the person you choose to work with is someone you feel comfortable talking to.
Once you find an agent to move forward with, your agent will likely put together a list of homes for you to view and set up showing times. Your agent may also give you access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) so that you can view homes listed in the area that meet your list of criteria. Remember, your agent is paid a commission out of the sale of the home you purchase, and does not get paid until you find a home that is satisfactory to you.
Contact me today to speak with a Dayton realtor. I also service Beavercreek, Centerville, Cincinnati, Clayton, Englewood, Oakwood, Fairborn, Harrison Township, Huber Heights, Kettering, Miami Township, Miamisburg, Riverside, Springboro, Trotwood, Vandalia, Washington Township, West Carrollton, and Xenia.