Circa 2008, some realtors and mortgage lenders were putting people into homes with nothing more than a driver’s license. Approvals were based on income levels rather than credit. New realtors flooded the market to cash in on the money that was rolling in. As a result, lots of people had a hard time paying their mortgages, the housing bubble burst, and the economy crashed.
Realtors and mortgage lenders got a bad rap, since they were blamed for bringing about the recession. This is unfortunate, because finding a realtor that you can trust is the most important step in the home buying process.
The Importance of Finding a Realtor
Luckily, the market turned around and the mortgage industry has cracked down on predatory lending practices. Foreclosures and short sales are now at a historical low.
And the realtors that lasted through that difficult time have a lot of experience in a variety of different markets, looking out for their clients’ best interest (on both the seller’s and buyer’s side).
Why Not the Home Inspector?
You probably didn’t expect a home inspector to give the credit to someone else. But it’s true! Realtors are the most important person that you will deal with when buying or selling a home.
As much as home inspectors know about houses, even they can’t tell you whether a house they’re inspecting is worth buying or not. Their only job is to tell you the current condition of the house. They don’t know your budget, your contract, your motivations, or any of the comps in the area. Your realtor will know all of this, including whether a particular house could be a good buy for you.
If you have any concerns that arise after a home inspection, speak with your realtor to see how the problems relate to the sale. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Trust Is Key
The only caveat with this view is that the realtor has to be trustworthy and reliable. Not all realtors are created equal.
When looking for a realtor, find one who works full-time. Another job will only take their time and attention away from you. They should be available to meet with you in-person without having to work around their full-time work schedule (or call you using FaceTime).
If you have any indication that they’re not working for you, it’s time to get a new realtor. A home is a huge purchase and you should feel comfortable every step of the way. Finding a realtor that you trust and feel comfortable with is worth getting out of your contract or agreement for. Ask your local realtor association, friends and family, or the Better Business Bureau for recommendations.
As important as it is to get a thorough home inspection, the most important person in your real estate transaction is your realtor.
Don’t go it alone or rely on the other party’s agent. Get your own realtor to represent you and your interests. Their job is to get to know you and your family so that you are as happy as possible with the process. Your realtor doesn’t just assist with finding homes and negotiations, they can recommend service providers, give advice, and walk you through the entire process so that you are left feeling comfortable, relaxed, and happy.