Working with a real estate agent can have true advantages if you do just that—work with them. They are there to help you, but will get disgruntled if you mistreat them, or do not follow their advice. They are trained in their field and (most) of them know what they are talking about. Here are a few things you should keep in mind. Watch: Renting vs. Buying.
Real estate agents are paid in commission. If realtor does not close on the deal, they do not get paid. They are not servants, and as such, you should not expect them to work for you, only for you to sign with someone else. Do not ask them to drive you around the city looking for a house that you know you can’t afford, or don’t plan on buying “for the fun of it.”
Be respectful. Know that you are likely not their only client, and they they cannot always drop everything. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important; it just means that they must also be fair and reliable to their other clients. Do not make an appointment with an agent to see a house, and not show up. They will not be happy. And you do not want an unhappy realtor.
Decide if you want to work directly with listing agents, or if you want to hire your own agent. If you are interviewing a few different ages, be honest and let them know you are shopping around. Realtors generally all know and talk to each other. and you do not want to be dishonest from the start. Check out this article Should I Buy a House Now or Wait.
If you expect your agent to pick you up at your front door and drive you to look at homes, tell them. Some may prefer that you meet in their office and look up properties online. Communicate on how you would like to go about the process. Communication should also be discussed regarding contact methods. Do they prefer to e-mail, text, or call? This should be discussed in the beginning.
Do not feel silly for asking your agent to explain a form to you. As for explanations of any terms or agreements that you don’t understand. However, agents are not lawyers and sometimes will not be able to answer all of these questions. It does not mean they are a bad realtor, it just means that they did not go to law school. However, they should be honest and let you know if they don’t understand some terms of the contract either. If you have questions regarding real estate law, contact a real estate attorney.
If you aren’t ready to buy, don’t hire a real estate agent. Be honest to any realtors you call for general questions, and let them know that you are only house shopping, and that you don’t intend to purchase a house anytime soon. No one wants to waste their time, and you shouldn’t expect them to do so.