There are many advantages to using a real estate agent when searching for a home to purchase. First, the seller is the party who pays the agent’s commission, not the buyer. A percentage of the commission, usually half, goes to the listing agent (the agent who put the house on the market on the seller’s behalf), and the remaining commission goes to the buyer’s agent (the agent that represents you, the buyer). Typical commissions range from 5-7%.
Agents can also help you with such tasks as determining how much home you can afford, recommending lenders to pre-qualify you for a mortgage loan and accessing the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which lists all homes in your desired area currently for sale. The agent can help narrow your search using this service by eliminating those homes that do not have the “must-have features” on your wish list. A real estate agent can answer questions about the current market and interest rates, negotiate on your behalf when you’re ready to make an offer and lead you through the entire process, ensuring all necessary steps are completed. These might include setting up a home inspection, securing the right mortgage loan, completing a title search and more.
When searching for a home, you really have nothing to lose in recruiting an agent’s help. To find a real estate agent near you, you might seek referrals from friends and neighbors, search the yellow pages or online, check with your local chamber of commerce or search for advertisements in the community sponsored real estate property periodicals.