While anyone can technically purchase a house themselves without the aid of a real estate agent, the home-buying process is complex and unfamiliar to many people. If you're about to purchase a home or want to, here's how a real estate agent can help you throughout the process.
Finding a Suitable House
First, a real estate agent will help you select potential homes to look at. The agent will meet with you to discuss what you're looking for in a house, and then they'll scour the local listings for houses that meet your criteria. For the homes that are potentially suitable, they'll schedule showings.
Depending on your situation, you might spend an afternoon looking at houses or several months checking out potential places. With each house that you see, you and the real estate agent will learn a little more about what you want in a house. This helps in your search for the perfect home.
Showing a House
A house showing is different from an open house, which is where you look at the house with other people around and talk with the seller's agent. A house showing is a private affair, where only you and your own real estate agent check out the house together.
Your real estate agent will guide you through a showing, making sure that you see all of the relevant features of a home. They'll also frequently point out things that someone who isn't in the real estate industry would miss on a walkthrough.
Navigating the Details
Once you find a house that you like, the actual process of buying that home involves multiple steps. You'll make an initial offer, and you'll likely want home insurance, a mortgage, and a home inspection before closing. All of these require talking with a separate professional, and that list doesn't include any contractors who might be hired.
While you can research these professionals all on your own, a real estate agent will have contacts and be able to recommend people in the area. Using their referrals could save you a lot of time since you don't need to research recommendations.
Negotiating the Sale Price
After your initial offer, there's typically a period of negotiation that involves counteroffers and other items. A real estate agent will walk you through each step of the negotiation process, ensuring that you meet all deadlines and managing the negotiations to get you the best possible price.
For more information, reach out to a real estate agent in an area you like.