What happens when you outgrow your apartment? Generally, I would say you go find a bigger one, but sometimes it means you need to buy a home. For my family we decided to journey into the realm of home buying.
The first thing we did was hop on Zillow and a bunch of other sites looking for homes in the areas thought were perfect for our future family. Once we started narrowing down some of the gritty details on the type of home we wanted things started to get serious. We found a home with what looked like an open concept floor plan, loaded with windows and came with a fence. It had a finished kitchen and looked perfect. We set our sites to visit it on the weekend and we checked the next morning and it was off the market. To our growing sadness this happened many times.
Finally, we decided to call up the listing realtor as soon as we saw a good home. They asked a bunch of questions to which my significant other answered them all right away. The questions were more like when are we moving and why. They then asked some more questions that I was really irked me. Turns out it irked me enough to start looking into the whole realtor and listing agent deal.
As it turns out all the questions were to discover what type of buyers my significant other and I were and our timeline. The more I researched realtors I found out that they actually represent the seller. This annoyed me to no end because my partner had told them our max budget and minimum. The realtor knew our timeline on when we had to be in and out of the home due our lease being up. Then it turned out the realtor could use all of this information against us in negotiating. It all made me want to punt a football as hard as I could, because its not fair to be dealing with a salesman who is pretending to work for you.
Luckily, the house sold the morning we were going to visit the home and the realtor dropped us like a bad habit. This made me very happy as I told my partner there was another way to buy a home. There is an agent that works for the buyer and not the seller. It is called a Buyer’s Agent and we were getting one.
My research led me to find that a Buyer’s Agent has duties to the buyer and none to the seller and they negotiate fairly on your behalf. Well, you need to find a good negotiating buyer’s agent, but to me even a bad one working for me is better than a sellers agent working against me. I researched that the Buyer’s Agent splits the commission fee with the Listing Agent and the seller pays for it all anyway. Why would one not simply use a Buyer’s Agent? We got a Buyer’s Agent and did have to sign a contract that we would only have him represent us. But he represented us and I have never felt more in control in an environment that is meant to leave buyers powerless.