Buying your first home is one of the most important investment and personal decisions of your life. It's also one of the most complex transactions you may ever undertake.
Your first step involves deciding how you will approach your home search. Who will you work with throughout this process — and how will you work with them? Ask yourself, "Do I want a RE/MAX agent working with me or for me?" There is a difference!
As a buyer, you have a choice in representation. Most buyers today choose to have a RE/MAX agent represent their interests in a real estate transaction. This is also known as Agency Representation (or fiduciary representation), which simply means that the RE/MAX agent you hire is legally bound to represent your interests. This involves the highest standard of care and extreme loyalty to you, the "client." Some agents will work with you as a "customer," which carries a different level of responsibility. Most real estate professionals require a client relationship because it allows them to provide the full range of services that buyers need and deserve. Your RE/MAX agent will discuss representation with you and will request your commitment in writing for this level of service.
As a first-time homebuyer, it's important that you find someone you feel completely comfortable with, who you can trust, and who listens to you and respects your views. They have the market knowledge and expertise, but at the end of the day, it's your home and your investment, so you must be able to work well with your agent. Experienced, professional RE/MAX agents understand and excel at this.
Like in so many professions, reputation and word-of-mouth are crucial. Indeed, for RE/MAX agents, client and agent referrals account for about 70% of business. As you begin your search for your RE/MAX agent, talk to family, friends, and colleagues who have gone through the home buying process to see if they can recommend anyone. Homeowners who've had a positive experience with a RE/MAX agent are only too happy to share this with you, much like they would a doctor, dentist, or auto mechanic. You can also use the Internet, or visit a local RE/MAX office.
As a first-time homebuyer, look for an agent who is experienced in your market, but not so busy that they can't give you due attention. RE/MAX agents that carry the ABR® designation (Accredited Buyer Representative) are skilled in understanding and responding to the specific needs of buyers. Consider looking for an agent with an ABR® designation before you look for a home and you'll be served, not sold. Your interests become their interests, and you'll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer representation services. RE/MAX agents who have an ABR® designation also have established track records, with proven experience in representing the concerns of homebuyers. To find a local ABR® buyers representative visit REBAC.net.