By Thomas Ervin
Thomas Ervin is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist.
(Reprinted with permission from Author)
If you are planning on purchasing a home, you will be faced with many decisions. Should you try to sell your existing home before buying the next one? What area would best suit your needs? What price range can you afford? Which home would be the best choice from an investment perspective? When do you know that you have seen enough homes in order to make an informed selection?
Before addressing these questions, however, you have another decision that should be made before those listed above. Which Realtor shall I choose to help me get the help and answers I need? Real estate transactions are becoming more complicated. Because of this, it is in your best interest to work with a professional when making a buying decision of this magnitude.
Some buyers like to leave their name with three or four salespeople. Although it may seem to be to the buyer's advantage to have a number of people to work with, it is usually a very ineffective approach. The basic assumption is that a committee of agents can produce more results than working exclusively with one Realtor. Like most committee assignments, results are often discouraging.
You need the total commitment of one person who knows and understands your particular situation. My advice is to find a Realtor whom you feel will get the results you need. Tell this person that you will work with him or her exclusively as long as you see the effort required to get the job done. In this way, you will have a dedicated agent who will take on the personal responsibility of handling all the details of your home purchase.
You see, Realtors are paid on a straight commission basis. They don't receive a salary. They are not on an expense account. They are paid only after they sell something. This is why working with more than one agent is not a good idea. None of the Realtors know if it will be financially worthwhile to spend much of their time with you because they know that you may buy through another agent. So, you don't get the total dedication you need by playing the field. If a Realtor knows that you will be loyal to him or her, you have provided all the motivation that is necessary. Your Realtor can enthusiastically go to work knowing that all the effort will be rewarded.
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