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5. Find Realtor Representation

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A. Choose a REALTOR®

Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Since NAR members must subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, you can be confident that your will be treated fairly and with respect. To learn more visit, "Why Use a REALTOR®?"

B. Choose a REALTOR® who is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)

A REALTOR® with the ABR designation has taken Accredited Buyer's Representative training, specialized education offered by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC). In addition to knowing the dynamics of the local market, REALTORS® with the ABR designation will help you make informed decisions throughout the entire home buying process.

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C. Choose a REALTOR® who is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Just 5% of all REALTORS® in the United States can call themselves Certified Residential Specialists. You benefit from a Certified Residential Specialist's extensive sales experience and hours of advanced training in negotiation, mortgage finance and real estate technology. A CRS offers you experience and training that translates into skilled service thereby increasing your chances for a successful and hassle free home purchase.

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D. Choose to be Represented

Most likely, the seller of the property you buy will be represented by a listing agent who is hired to negotiate the best possible price, terms and conditions for the seller. Do you really want to enter into one of the largest if not the largest financial transaction you'll make without professional representation? A buyer representative can provide you with the expertise you need though the entire transaction. A buyer representative is an advocate for you the buyer. A buyer representative owes full fiduciary (legal) duties, including loyalty and confidentiality to you their buyer-client. They are responsible for protecting your best interests.

Helping you locate the right home and providing sources of accurate information on neighborhoods, schools and communities is only part of what a buyer representative does. Once a home is found on which you want to make an offer, your buyer agent can help you ascertain whether the asking price is anywhere close to what similar homes have sold for recently. It does no good to negotiate $10,000 off the price of a home if that's all it was worth to begin with. This is one of the biggest risks buyers make when going it alone and dealing directly with a listing agent or seller of a property for sale by owner.

Your buyer representative will know how to structure an offer so that sufficient contingencies are included which provide for a thorough inspection of the home, property and all its systems. Knowing the market and possibly the seller's motivation your buyer representative can advise you on what concessions you may want to ask for during the negotiations. Your buyer representative will keep all information confidential that could possibly weaken your bargaining position. Your buyer representative will ensure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed so that your home purchase sails smoothly to closing.

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E. Make a Mutual Commitment to Work Together

When a seller hires a real estate agent to sell their home they sign a listing agreement. The seller becomes that real estate company's client. Likewise, you should have a Buyer Representation Agreement with your REALTOR® and become that real estate company's client. When you do your agent will be compelled to bend over backwards for you responding to your loyalty demonstrated by your commitment to him/her and the home buying process.The commission the seller pays their real estate company is normally a percentage of the sales price and is split so that a portion, usually half, goes to the real estate company who is procuring cause for the sale. This is normally how a buyer representative is compensated.

Prior to viewing any properties, you and your buyer's representative should go over all required consumer disclosures required by the local real estate board and sign a written buyer representation agreement that includes the real estate company's obligations, your obligations, length of the agreement and terms of compensation.

Congratulations, You Have Graduated to the Next Step >>

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10 Steps to Buying a Home