If you are thinking of buying a home in the Richmond Virginia area, you may be asking yourself why you would need to work with a Buyer Agent! After all, Realtors are no longer the gatekeepers of the homes that are listed for sale! There are lots and lots of websites out there that you can go to to find out about homes for sale! And, if you call the listing agent directly, they will be more than willing to show you the house and even help you write an offer on the house, if it is the right one for you!
But for many first time home buyers, the Realtor they choose to help them with their purchase should not be the person that opened the door to the house & toured them through it! Online websites like Zillow and Trulia, among others, may not always have the correct information on it! Having a good Buyer Agent on your side will help make the process a smooth one for you, and will help make sure that you get the right house for you at the right price!
So how will a good Buyer's Agent help with your home purchase?
A Good Buyers Agent Will Help You Sort Through Financing Options!
Today, there are a lot of lenders out there, and there are a lot of different loan options! You have government loans (VA, FHA, VHDA), you have renovation loans (FHA 203K, Fannie Mae, VA Reno Loan), you have grant programs and down payment assistance programs, you have conventional mortgages - some with minimum downs as low as 3% but with no Mortgage Insurance, some with 5% down but paying mortgage insurance - and so on, and so on! And not all lenders offer the same programs! Not all lenders have the same criteria - some have minimum credit scores as low as 560, some have credit score minimums as high as 650! So if you are thinking of buying your first home, how do you know what lender you should contact for your loan? A good Buyer Agent who works with first time home buyers will be able to help you sort through the financing options out there, explain them to you, and then recommend several lenders to talk to!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Help You Find The Right Property!
On any given day, the amount of homes that are available for sale in the Richmond area is very limited! Which means if a home comes on the market that is right for you, it may be gone before you even know about it! A good Buyers Agent will know what you are looking for and will be able to alert you as soon as a home comes on the market!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Offer Suggestions!
If you are just calling different agents and working with several agents at the same time, no one agent gets to know you and what you are looking for in a home! If you are working with one agent, however, that agent has gotten to know you and gotten to know what you do - and don't - like in a home! They have gotten to know your family situation! They have gotten to see those things that you really didn't like in some houses! This helps a good Buyer Agent know you much better! So when a home comes on the market that may not quite fit what you are looking for, but could possibly work for you, then they will be able to bring it to your attention! A good Buyers Agent will sort through the active listings to make suggestions that may work with the buyer's needs - even if it doesn't look quite like it does on paper!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Educate You About The Market!
Just because the market is tight and there are not a lot of homes for sale, that doesn't mean that you will want to overpay for a home! A good Buyers Agent is going to be able to know what the market conditions are! They will educate you on the market in the area & neighborhood you are looking in (after all, real estate is local, even within the Richmond area) to make sure that you are comfortable with what you may have to pay to get the house you want to buy!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Help You Determine Your Offer!
Going hand in hand with educating you about the market is working with you to determine how you will structure your offer! They will run you a Market Analysis to let you know just what other comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for! And they will know, based on your financing & talking to your lender, if you need the seller to pay closing costs for you! Knowing these things will help to make sure that you have a good offer to get the house you want to buy!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Be Your Negotiating Partner!
Once you have written your offer, it may be necessary to negotiate the offer! This could happen if you made a less than full asking price offer, or it could happen if you are in a multiple offer situation! A good Buyers Agent will help you determine how to negotiate your offer in the strongest way!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Be Your Adviser During The Home Buying Process!
As you move through the home buying process, there will be plenty of questions! A good Buyer Agent will be able to help make the process smoother by answering your questions and advising you on everything from the lender to the house you are looking at (pointing out pros & cons), recommending home inspection companies, recommending settlement agents - and just making sure they are looking out for your interests! A good Buyers Agent will become your trusted partner!
A Good Buyers Agent Will Get You To Closing!
There are a lot of moving pieces in a real estate transaction! You have the lender, you have an appraisal, you have inspections, you have a real estate settlement agent, you have the listing agent, you have the seller! A good Buyer Agent is going to follow up on all these moving pieces to make sure that you are able to close on the house with a minimum of stress! They will make sure that you are on track to meet any deadlines in the contract that need to be met - when to make full loan application & lock in the interest rate, when the appraisal should be ordered, should you order a survey, when inspections need to be completed by, when the title is searched, when to do a final walk through, etc! And they will be there at closing to make sure that the settlement process is smooth and any questions are answered! And, finally, they will be there after closing to refer you to recommended contractors and any other questions you may have after closing!
A good Buyers Agent is an invaluable part of your home buying process! When you are looking for a home, make sure you add a Buyer Agent you are comfortable with to your team! It will save time, money and stress!
Thinking of buying a home? Have a question about the real estate market in Richmond? Feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help!