How To Do an Effective Property Search.
Before you begin to a real estate search you should seek out and hire a real estate agent.
Pick your own professionals and avoid recommendations from other Realtors. This advice comes from CAARE. This is a consumer advocacy group for Real Estate. Choose an agent who comes recommended by a friend or acquaintance that has done business with the agent in the past.
- If this is your first home, or you are new to the area, hire a good real estate attorney before you begin your property search. Ask them about any possible conflicts. If they normally get referrals from Realtors, represent Realtors, or sell title insurance find another one. A good real estate attorney can be instrumental in protecting you throughout the process IF you cannot find a referral for a good buyer's agent.
- I recommend a variety of search engines for property searches. For example, the top home sale websites in the U.S. are Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow.com and MSN Real Estate. I like these sites because they have access to For Sale by Owner Properties. My site also has a very good search engine that can be trusted to show you all homes for sale. If you are a first time home buyer, I would avoid FSBO’s because they can be complicated and dangerous. Many agents will not show you FSBO’s anyway because the agents may not be oferred compensation, (I will, just because your satisfaction is my main concern). Again, for a complete property search, a combination of search engines will be keep you from missing a house that you may truly want to see.
- Search engines that show Realtor listings are properties in which the seller owes a commission to the listing Realtor. That commission is usually split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. If there is no buyer’s agent, or if there is a dispute as to who showed the buyer the home first, the seller’s agent will typically earn the whole commission. If you are a first time home buyer or a do it yourself buyer, it is very important that you are very careful about how you set up appointments during your property search. If you just deal with the seller’s agent, and do not have your own agent, you may lose your right to representation during the sales process. This is because there is a legal agreement in place where the seller’s agent solely represents the seller, not the buyer. If this occurs I suggest you hire a Real Estate attorney immediately.
- The easiest way to avoid the problems identified above is to hire your own Realtor or attorney. It is simply a fact that the real estate industry is highly protected and holds a high level of anti-competitive behavior that at times can seem harmful to consumers. In reality, the laws are in place to protect consumers. An effective search for real estate should include a professional who can protect you and guide you through the process. NEVER go to an open house or contact the firm listing the house. If you do, you will likely lose your right to hire your own agent and ensure that the listing broker gets paid a double commission.