Home Buying 101: How to Choose a Realtor

Buying a new home can be a wonderful journey. There's the thrill of the hunt when you're looking for a perfect place, the excitement of exploring houses on the market and the joy of getting the keys and walking into your new home for the first time.

Yet this process can also induce stress if you're worried about hiring the wrong Realtor or paying too much. To help make your experience a positive and successful one, here's a short lesson in home buying 101.

What you need to know before finding an agent

Before beginning your agent search, it's a smart idea to start with some simple steps before buying a house. First, determine how much you can afford, both in terms of monthly payment (including all insurance) and overall purchase price.

You'll also need to pre-qualify for a home loan with a lender, and KeyPoint is one of the most trusted sources of mortgages. We can walk you through the process carefully and make sure you get the best possible rate.

Finally, you'll need to determine what sort of property you want. Turnkey? A fixer-upper? Remember, no house is perfect.

Finding the right partner

Real estate agents, brokers and Realtors...it can get kind of confusing, right? In fact, many people don't even realize that there are differences between Realtors, agents and brokers and assume the terms are interchangeable.

While all three are professionals who can help you buy or sell a property, there are distinctions. If you pass an exam and hold a real estate license, you're a real estate agent. Agents who take additional training and pass a broker's exam are then called real estate brokers. Realtors, on the other hand, are licensed agents who belong to the National Association of Realtors and agree to abide by that group's code of ethics and practices.

Typically, brokers have more experience and education than agents and are better suited for more complex deals. Newer agents, on the other hand, may not have the experience necessary to handle such transactions. Agents who carry the Realtor designation have the backing of the largest trade group in the industry, which some buyers may find reassuring.

Where to find a partner

Agents, brokers and Realtors tend to advertise heavily, so finding potential candidates should be a breeze. It's important to find the right person, however, so consider using referrals and online reviews to help identify the best candidate.

You may also wish to interview with prospective real estate partners, to make sure the chemistry is right.

In conclusion

Finding a great agent or broker is an important part of a successful home buying process. KeyPoint can help you find your dream home by making the mortgage process customer friendly and fast.

Please contact us for more information about how we can serve your mortgage needs.