When Will Things Happen?
As part of your initial meeting, your real estate agent should do something to make sure you are financially capable of buying a house and what price range you should be looking in.† This may include qualifying you on his or her own, having you request a preliminary credit report or getting pre-approved, having you meet with a loan officer or any combination of these.† This is an important step.† Just about everybody is wrong to a certain degree in what they think their home purchasing capabilities are.†† You will only be wasting your time (and everybody elseís) by looking at homes that are not in your price range.† Also, if it turns out you are not yet ready to purchase a home, you will be setting yourself up for a major disappointment.
You will also probably have some paperwork to fill out.† READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY.† Some documents are required by law, so if the agent tells you something needs to be signed, theyíre probably right.† Not everything is a contract.† However, some of the documents placed in front of you will be contracts, and itís in your best interest to know what you are agreeing to before you sign it.† This is another reason to meet an agent at their office, instead of a house, the first time you meet them.
The agent will find houses that meet your needs and price range, plus you might also have run across some houses that you want to see.† Then youíll start looking.† Look through houses somewhat thoroughly if you think the house is a possibility.† If you want to completely scrutinize houses when you have your selection narrowed down, you can always schedule a second appointment.
Donít go out looking without your agent!† Depending on how or if you are being represented, there can be anywhere from a few to numerous reasons why this is a bad idea.† If you have a contract to be represented, this can get you involved in a lawsuit, and even cost you thousands of dollars in extra commission how of your pocket.† This can be true even if your agent tells you itís OK to look around.† There are, unfortunately, agents out there that will let you do all the work, and then show up when their commission is getting close.† If they agreed to represent you, let them do it.
©2002 Douglas R. Barry