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10 Things I Wish My Realtor Would Have Told Me

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Home ownership is something that many people dream of. If you’ve ever rented a place, you know how frustrating it can be to keep dumping your money into a place that’ll never be yours and how stifling it can feel not to be able to decorate or design the way you really want to. Plus, there’s something about being able to say that you bought your house that gives people an extra sense of pride. However, the process of buying a house can often be difficult and confusing. As a result, most people hire realtors to help them through all of the various stages. Unfortunately though, hiring a realtor doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be as informed as you’d like. But as they say, ‘hindsight is 20/20’ and sometimes you have to go through an experience before you can get the answers you really want. Here are 10 things I wish my realtor would have told me.

Ask lots of questions

This may seem like a no brainer, because most people are taught to ask questions when they feel confused. However, when it comes to buying a home, some may be reluctant to ask questions because they don’t want to seem clueless. With that being said, many people rely heavily on their realtors to be able to give them the results and answers they’re looking for. But even the best and most honest realtors can only do so much without knowing all of your questions. Keep in mind that a house is likely the biggest and most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, so if there’s ever a time to be well-informed it’s probably now.

Don’t get your hopes up

Of course buying a house can be very exciting time, but it’s also full of ups and downs. When looking at potential new houses, you’re probably going to fall in love with a few, but it’s important to keep in mind that nothing is set in stone until the deal has closed. Some realtors have a habit of pumping their clients up only to be let down when there’s a problem or the deal doesn’t fall through.

The open house is more for your realtor than for you

You’ve probably been to plenty of open houses before, and if you’ve ever held one, you probably just assumed that having the event would be a great way to get potential buyers in to see the property. However, one thing realtors won’t tell you is that the open house is likely to bring potential buyers for you, and is more likely to bring potential new clients for your realtor. So while open houses can be beneficial, they can also be a long shot, and that’s something to keep in mind when planning how often you’re going to hold them.

It doesn’t benefit the realtor to negotiate a lower price

When buying a house, most people have a budget with a fairly decent range. Obviously, most people would like to stay at the lower end of that range, and will try to do so whenever possible. But it’s important to remember that your realtor makes commission based off of the sale price of the home, so the more you spend – the more they make.

Really consider the neighborhood

This may seem obvious, because most people wouldn’t dare move into a neighborhood they didn’t like. However, sometimes it can be a little more complicated. Sometimes, neighborhoods can be much different at night than they are during the day. If you’ve never owned a house before, you may not even know the type of things you should ask or look for in a neighborhood, and this is where your realtor can really help you. Also, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the neighbors. The only thing worse than living in an apartment underneath someone who ‘s always stomping around is living in a house next to someone you really can’t stand.

Re realistic

Everybody has a dream house, but sometimes that house isn’t always within the price range. It’s nice to be told what you can honestly expect from the budget your working with, and it’s also nice to know when you’re being a little unreasonable. While most realtors will be more than happy to let you know, some are more content with letting you live on fantasy island – which could hurt you in the long run.

Do your research on the realtor

All realtors were not created equal, and you want to make sure that you’re dealing with the best possible person you can find. Before you hire a realtor to help you through the process, it’s a good idea to do research and find out their track record. Knowing who you’re dealing with beforehand can help you avoid some serious problems.

Pay attention to detail

When you see a house you like, you may be so excited that you stop paying attention to the little things. However, no matter how much you like a place, you definitely want to go over it with a fine tooth comb. It’s better to know everything you can beforehand, so that you can make an informed decision, than it is so buy now and deal with the consequences later.

You don’t actually need a realtor

There’s a good chance no realtor will eve tell you thins – but you don’t actually need a realtor. Although the whole ordeal may seem intimidating, both buying and selling homes are things you can do on your own.If you chose not to go through a realtor, you will not have to pay commission or any of the other fees associated with hiring someone. As long as you’re willing to put in the extra work, you may find that this is the best solution.

Maybe you’re not ready

Your realtor obviously wants to make the sale, so telling you that you may not be ready to buy a home clearly isn’t in their best interest. However, it may be in yours. Not only is buying a house expensive, but so is maintaining one. It’s important to keep in mind all of the potential costs  of home ownership extend well beyond the initial purchase. If you know you’re not prepared to deal with certain aspects, it might be wise to save a little more money.

 (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Written by Camille Moore

Camille has a master's degree from Saint Joseph University's Writing Studies program. Her writing has been published on several websites, and she enjoys writing articles and short stories in her spare time. You can follow Camille on Twitter @CamealAshley.