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Proceed With Caution

Posted on June 20, 2013 by Ray Williams (NMLS #216267).

Are you looking for a house?  Do you have a Real Estate Agent/Realtor? Before you call the agent on a for sale sign you just drove by or go into an “open house” you saw, I highly suggest you arm yourself with a reliable Realtor before discussing or making an offer with the existing listing agent on the property. Why?

Well, to make it simple, if you don’t it could cost you money!  When choosing to work with a Realtor on purchasing a property it DOES NOT cost you money.  I think there might be confusion or just uncertainty on this, but as the buyer you do not pay your Realtor, the seller does.  The purchase/listing price already includes the commission for both agents.  Great! Right? In knowing this now “why WOUNLDN’T you hire a Realtor to help you?”  Really?

Here is just one example of how not having an agent can cost you money. There were some changes made to the real estate purchase contract back in January that pertains to the title fees. Under this section it states who is responsible for choosing the title company.  If the “buyer” box is checked for choosing the title company. That means the buyer is not only choosing the title company but also is responsible for paying the seller’s portion of the owner’s policy/title insurance fees.  The usual “rule of thumb” in a contract is that seller selects the title company (while yes, the buyer has the right to, but will cost money to do so, now).  I previously posted “Buyers Beware” regarding this issue, please make sure to check it out.  Please note there are title fees as a buyer you are responsible for BUT the sellers portion of the owner’s title insurance policy that you want to watch for.  This is where an experienced agent working for you would help you.

Something else to keep in mind. Is that if you don’t have an agent and you decide to call on a sign and start talking to the listing agent, remember this agent has been hired by the seller. In essence they have been working for the seller and working on behalf of the seller’s best interest.  Now they can change and work on behalf of both parties (buyer and seller), as a transaction broker.  The agent is required to have an unbiased relationship.  In this case, you will need to do your homework and make sure when putting in an offer and writing the purchase contract that you are double checking for any errors and/or fees that you may be responsible for before signing the contract. You may want to also get yourself familiar with a purchase contract OR as suggested hire an agent to help guide you through the process.

Again, I highly recommend you hire an experienced Realtor who will work on your behalf and has your best interest at heart. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more.  And remember GET PRE-APPROVEDbefore putting in any offer on a home!!  Right now the market is dynamic and houses are not sitting around, and an offer submitted without a pre-approval letter will be filed in the round file.  Click here for secure online loan application to get started!

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~Until next time,
Ray Williams

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