When I bought my first house on my own as a single Mom, a three family property on the West End of Providence, I didn’t actually understand why it was a major mistake to work through the agent who was representing the Seller. In fact, it wasn’t until five years later as a licensed Realtor when I decided to sell that property, that I realized I had made several costly mistakes:
☹️ At the time that I purchased the property it was not a strong seller’s market and I should have been able to negotiate a better price. But since I did not work with an agent who was representing me there was no one suggesting a better price. We did not even try–that would have been working against the Seller’s interest.
☹️ There were items that came up during the inspection that the seller should have addressed or offered a credit. Again, I had leverage as a Buyer–with no back up buyers in place–but did not understand that since I did not have my own agent there wasn’t anyone to educate me and advocate for me. When I became the seller there were several inspection items that I had to deal with.
☹️ I didn’t look at any other properties and there were other properties that were available at that time that likely would have been a better investment. This property didn’t have parking, the units were very small, and the rent and future equity potential were therefore limited. I understood that the math worked (the rental income of 2 units covered the property expenses) but I did not consider–because I was not educated–other factors. No one helped me to weigh the pros and cons.
☹️ The lender that I worked with was terrible. I did not have access to industry pro’s that had been vetted because I did not have my own agent.
What do you look for if you decide that you want to make sure that you want an agent to represent your interests? I’ve broken it down into what I would consider the most important. Think of these as the headings for questions you use to interview agents–and you should not have to dig for these questions, any agent worth interviewing is going to be able to quickly and easily provide you with this information: WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO ASK!
And I think that’s a key to look for—-if the agent knows how to articulate their unique value by addressing these questions BEFORE you even have to ask, you can bet that they will also anticipate the questions that you have along the buying process and have the systems in place to support your journey.