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  • Writer's pictureGretchen Schmidt

How to Find the Very Best Buyer’s Broker



Buying a Home 101 Series

This step-by-step series will take you through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s broker to settlement day, and even to maintaining your home after you’re all moved in. Every first-time buyer will find this information-packed series easy to follow and understand. Make sure to tune in for the next few weeks!


The first item on the agenda when you’re looking to buy a home is to choose a real estate broker that is the best person to represent you, and also someone that can help you through every single one of the many steps in buying a home. 


You will be spending a lot of time with this person, so make sure it’s someone that’s right for you and your specific home buying needs and goals.


Keep these 10 factors in mind when you start considering brokers. You wan to find someone who is:


1. Recommended by friends, family, and co-workers. They’ll give you honest, unfiltered feedback on what they went through and if they’d go with the same broker again (a key sign!). After you get your tribe’s feedback, first check out a broker’s website to see if they are still active and also passionate about working with buyers like you.


Some brokers focus on a particular price range (such as a high-end market) or neighborhoods, so even a great broker for your friend may not work for you because of your different needs and budget.


Remember, you don’t have to go with the first broker you meet.  Just like when you choose a doctor or other important advisors in your life, you want to check around first and see if this is the best choice for you and your goals.


2. Specializes in the type of home, area and/or the type of buyer that corresponds to your goals. It’s better to narrow down your search to real estate brokers whose expertise matches your criteria. If you need to buy and sell at the same time, look for an agent who knows all the options and strategies to make that as easy as possible. If you haven’t bought a home in years (or ever), then those brokers who can provide more guidance (lots more hand-holding!) and education might be best for you.


If you want to use RSU or stock options for your down payment, does your broker know lenders who understand those assets? Whatever it is you are looking to buy, just make sure your broker is experienced in that particular segment of the market.


3. Makes you comfortable. Your gut will tell you if this is someone you can work with for a period of time, and if you will feel at ease when asking any questions or expressing your concerns. You’re going to have a working relationship with this person and it will be stressful and exhausting at times.


Go with someone who can reduce such tension, has a sense of humor at times, and doesn’t scare you even if buying a home is a scary endeavor for you. Think of your real estate broker as your buying coach (and sometimes therapist and sometimes cheerleader and all the other things you might need along the way!).


4. Takes the time to listen to you in order to help you realize your needs and wants. You should never be forced or feel like you’re forced into anything at any time! A good broker has the skills to help you realize what you need and want by asking you questions and listening to your answers. Questions ranging from, “Do you want to walk or bike to work?” to “Do you want a large yard or green space nearby?” will help you uncover your wants and needs.


This process can take time but it’s an important step before you even start visiting homes. A broker who has your best interests at heart will know that you’re not looking for just a house or a condo but a place you will call home.  And most importantly, focuses on finding the right home for YOU and no one else.


5. Respects your time AND your timetable. Your broker knows you’re busy so it’s important they are organized and efficient when it comes to house hunting. They’ll ask you what days and times work best with your schedule.


Even more importantly, your broker shouldn’t rush you if you’re not ready to buy (especially if you think you want more time to explore a neighborhood, etc.) or just get cold feet (that’s okay!). But a good broker also knows when you’re ready for that nudge forward if the market dictates quicker decision making.


6. Communicates clearly and regularly. Make sure your broker is easily reached via cell phone, text, or email; and gets back to you in a timely manner. And, on the flip side, that the broker keeps in touch with you on a regular basis with updates on listings and other information on your home search.


A good broker will communicate and guide you step-by-step along the way when buying a home, from getting a mortgage to the final closing. Having explanations upfront on what’s expected next will help decrease any anxiety and stress since you’ll be informed and prepared. Find out a broker’s communication style from start to finish in the home buying process.


7. Negotiates well and has your back at all times. Buying a home is a business transaction and your friendly broker also needs to have negotiation skills that will benefit you and your offer. The entire transaction should ultimately be a win-win for both the buyers and sellers (you never want to play dirty!) but a good broker knows when to be assertive in order to get the deal done.


Find out more about your broker’s past experiences and tactics at the negotiating table, especially when dealing with multiple offers.


8. Knows the local market inside and out. Go with a broker who really knows the local market in terms of inventory and pricing, the vibe of different neighborhoods, and just stays on top of listings so you can jump in before the crowd. Some brokers are more attuned to what’s going on and this can be a big plus when homes are selling fast.


Also your broker should have a network of other reliable professionals, such as mortgage lender, home inspector, title company, etc., that you may need along the way. Your broker should be suggesting them to you, and not you to them.


9. Looks at real estate as a financial tool that can empower your life. This will be one of the biggest purchases of your life. Your broker should give you the time and information you need to make the right decision. You are buying not only a home, but creating economic stability and security. Owning a home will change your life for the better and create generational wealth that can fund a new business, education or home improvements. Your broker should want you to dream big, but still help you find ways to stay on budget.


10. Never says good-bye. Your broker shouldn’t view this one purchase as the end of your relationship but just the beginning — expect them to be there for you over the long-term and ready to work with you when it’s time to sell and move on. They should be someone you trust to turn to with any of your homeownership concerns – a real estate resource for life!


I would love to become your broker!  Like anything in life, it’s best to talk to a few different brokers to make sure it’s the best fit for both of you.  I just hope I can be one of the brokers you talk to when you are ready. 


Simply email me gretchen@metropolist.com ideally 3-6 months before you want to be in your new home so we have plenty of time to get you ready and find the perfect home for your budget.  We’ll sit down together, get to know what you are looking for in more detail, talk the steps involved in buying a home and see if you qualify for any first time homebuyer programs to make your first home as affordable as possible.


Stay tuned for next week’s article in my Buying a Home 101 series. You’ll learn how to narrow down your needs and desires so your house hunting list is realistic and attainable, and will point you to a home you will love. 

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