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Whether you are a first time buyer or this will be your third home buy, below is a great deal of helpful information that will keep you informed during the home buying process. By knowing what you’re up against, will greatly reduce your stress level throughout the Seven Processes of Buying Property.

When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, “we don’t have the information that we have about other service professionals,” says Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, in Washington, D.C.

However, there are several things you can do to pull back the veil of uncertainty to accurately assess a real estate agent’s performance history or potential for success when it comes to your home or business, as a buyer or a seller. “Would you pick up the phone book to choose from the yellow pages a brain surgeon? Of course you wouldn’t, you would make your selection from a list of qualified professionals recommended by others who know of their reputation and success.

Shelley O’Hara, author of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying & Selling a Home,’ says, “When you announce your desire to purchase a house, you may be surprised at the number of real estate people who want to represent you. Agents come out of the woodwork. You won’t have to worry too much about finding an agent — you do need to worry about finding a good one.”

Buying a house is the most important financial transaction most people will make in a lifetime, and the most important thing when either buying or selling a home is to select the right real estate agent for you. Funny though how many people usually go about it backwards. They read a newspaper or get one of the home magazines in the supermarkets, and they call about a home they see advertised. They should first select the real estate agent — one who will understand what they need and can navigate the system for them.

“Advertising is designed to make the brokers’ and agents’ phones ring. Typically no one buys the house they called for, but from that point on, they’re ‘joined at the hip’ with a real estate agent they don’t know anything about — whether they are good, bad or indifferent or new to the business. They need to find an agent before they find house.”

You must make inquiries before you sign with an agent or broker, as commissions can be pretty substantial, and a reason real estate agents will often try to sell you anything and don’t listen to what you’re saying. They’ll tell you every house is the best house they’ve ever seen, every room is the prettiest, your kids are going to love it, and your dog will have lots of friends to bark with. They’ll tell you anything you want to hear!

So, remembering that this will be one of the most valuable possessions, it is of the utmost importance you find an agent you can trust. A real estate agent that is capable of maintaining the highest fiduciary duty standards you can entrust anyone with — trust and confidence.  And they should be an agent responsible enough to disclose all the material facts of any transaction — everything they know about the property — be it good or bad. If your agent knows that the basement floods with three inches of water every time it rains, they are obligated to disclose that fact to you.”

“When it comes to choosing real estate agents, we don’t always know who you would be comfortable with, it’s not like finding an other service professionals from the yellow pages,” says Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, in Washington, D.C. “so do your homework and ask a lot of questions; especially from other satisfied buyers.”

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