Using a Real Estate Agent to Find Your Home
Most people are familiar with real estate agents from selling houses, acting in their role as a broker. However, many people don’t know that you can also get a real estate agent to scout around for you among houses that they aren’t selling themselves. You usually don’t have to pay them a fee - they take a cut of the commission from the sale of the house. This arrangement is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, you have an expert person looking on your behalf for local housing. Second, because they aren’t trying to sell you one of the houses they represent (if they offer, you should probably decline unless you really like the house), the agent will be acting solely on your behalf. They’ll want to move you into a home, but they won’t have any incentive to push a bad house that they are getting a premium commission for. You should always try to be at least a little informed yourself - you may not know everything about the area, but once the agent recommends a place to live, you should check things out on your own. Don’t rely on their word unless you absolutely trust them - it’s very easy to go check things like crime statistics, etc. and you shouldn’t get caught in a bad area simply because you didn’t want to do the work. If you have friends in the area, ask them to scout for you or for their own recommendations. You’ll get a better house than by just relying on somebody else - combine your own hard work with the knowledge and expertise of an agent.
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