When buying a home for the first time, it is incredibly important to have professional help. Buying a home is a complicated process, and you’ll need to have someone with experience on your side to make the home buying process smoother.
A qualified real estate agent is a must for first-time homebuyers. As with many of the technical aspects of homebuying, though, first-time buyers may experience confusion when searching for the right real estate agent. But what is a real estate agent, exactly? What is their job, and what can they do for you? Is it necessary to hire a realtor? What’s the difference between a realtor and a real estate agent?
A real estate agent, simply put, is a licensed professional who assists both buyers and sellers of real property. A good real estate agent can assist you with the home buying process in many ways. It should be noted that there is a difference between the buyer’s agent and the agent who lists the home you buy. When you hire a buyer’s agent, they will work with you and for your best interests. The listing agent is working to sell the property they represent.
When looking for a real estate agent, look for one who specializes in both your price range and neighborhood. Your agent previews likely properties on your behalf to save you time, so having someone who is familiar with working within your price range and neighborhood is beneficial. Skilled real estate agents possess skill and experience in negotiating, and will help you stay focused and calm. They will also be familiar with the required paperwork and the processes that come with purchasing a home and will help make sure you close on time.
Real estate agents qualify for their positions based on the requirements of the state they work in. The State of Oregon currently requires an additional 150 hours of education on top of a high school diploma or GED, a minimum age of 18, registration with the Oregon Real Estate Agency, and the passing of a state licensing exam. Realtors are agents who are also members of the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. NAR has a code of ethics that its members are expected to uphold and makes additional education available to its members (though it does not require it).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
There are a few things you want to focus on when you decide to look for a real estate agent to represent you as a buyer. First-time homebuyers will want to look for the following qualities in a real estate agent:
A Full-Time Professional
While there are many people who act as a real estate agent on the side of what they do full-time, it is preferable to have someone who is more dedicated. A full-time professional with some years in the business will be more knowledgeable and capable.
Consistent and Dependable
You don’t want to be represented by an agent who has jumped between many different local firms. Look for someone who is steady, someone whose career would lend itself to experience.
Well-Linked and Respected
Reputation can often speak for itself. It doesn’t hurt to ask for recommendations or a list of clients from your potential candidates. Look online for reviews from their previous clients and check to make sure they have no complaints with your state Real Estate Division. An agent who has good professional relationships with other local agents can use that to your advantage. Remember, an agent who is licensed through a good firm and who has a good standing in the community is more likely to give you the help you need.
Stonebridge Mortgage Group Offers Guidance On All Mortgage Matters
Still looking for help with buying your first home? Stonebridge Mortgage Group offers experienced loan officer and mortgage broker services in Gresham. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through every step of the home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage, assist with real estate loans, and provide mortgage solutions — both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. If you’re ready to buy your first home or commercial space, we’re ready to help you get there.
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