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Tips for Choosing an Agent

May 3, 2012

Tips for Choosing an Agent

The first-time home buyer tips below will help you find the right real estate agent. First-time buyers in 2012 should have professional help. The real estate world has changed dramatically over the last few years. Home prices have declined in most parts of the country, and many of the mortgage rules have changed as well. An experienced agent can help you navigate the process from start to finish.

Tips for choosing an agent:

Make sure you get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you try to find an agent. We mentioned this in the last section of home buyer tips. Real estate agents are hesitant to work with first-time buyers who have not been pre-approved by a lender yet. That doesn’t mean they won’t talk to you — it just means they probably won’t spend a lot of time helping you. These tips are presented in a certain order for a good reason.

Find an agent that specializes in helping first-time home buyers. Some agents prefer to work with sellers only, because it’s less work for them. The buyer’s agent typically does a lot more legwork. They have to drive their clients around, look at lots of different houses, write up the offer, etc. You want to find an agent who is not only willing to help first-time buyers, but one who specializes in it.
Find an agent that focuses on your target area. By this, I am referring to the particular neighborhoods or parts of town that you are leaning toward. This will take some of the research burden off of you. The agent will be very familiar with local schools, neighborhoods and other factors that are important to you. The agent will also be better equipped to locate a neighborhood or subdivision that matches your lifestyle. Some agents will list their areas of focus on their websites.

Consider using an exclusive buyer agent (EBA). This is a real estate agent who works with home buyers exclusively. In some cases, an agent might work with sellers and buyers at the same time. This can create a conflict of interest. When using an EBA, you know that the agent truly has your best interests at heart.

You can find an exclusive buyer agent in your area by visiting their organization’s website. Just visit and do a search for your city.

Find an agent that publishes a real estate blog. There are two reasons for this. First, you can get a feel for the agent’s knowledge and expertise. You’ll also be able to research the local housing market. Many agents offer first-time home buyer tips and advice from their blogs, as well. This information will likely be tailored to your local housing market. It also shows you that the agent is tech-savvy and up to speed on current developments.

Get referrals from family, friends or coworkers. This is arguably the best way to find a real estate agent in your area. The obvious benefit is that the recommendation comes from someone you know and trust. Do you use Facebook? If so, you can post a note about your home-buying plans. You’ll be surprised at how many people want to help you. This is a great way to find a good agent.

This is the first in a two-part series. Be sure to read part two for dozens of additional tips for first-time home buyers. In the second part of this tutorial, you’ll learn some helpful tips for house hunting, making an offer, mortgage underwriting and closing.


Read more:


First, complete a loan application on our website
-Go to
-Click on Apply Now at the top
-Scroll to the middle of the page and Click on 3. Full Application

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