Finding A Buyer’s Agent

04.10.2004 · Posted in Real Estate & Home Ownership

With the closing of our Austin house 99.99% complete, today we started the next phase of Pacific northwest home ownership by meeting with a buyer’s agent.

We started the process by searching Google for “Seattle Buyers Agent”. This led us to the Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Search who, in turn, put us intouch with our guy here in the city. We’re not sure how this relationship works, but it seems that there are some marketing agreements in place with all parties. It felt a little odd when it was explained, but any strangeness we felt was more than out-weighed by the benefits of using a buyer’s agent in the first place.
Before our meeting, I spent a some time looking at various web sites trying to figure out what kind of questions we should be asking. RealLiving.com has a great list of questions that we used to get started. I’ll include the list of questions we used here:

  1. In the role of buyer’s agent, how will you help use narrow our choices?
  2. Our situtation is fairly unique (isn’t everyone’s?) — what advice can you offer specifically for us?
  3. When did you last buy a house? Where you at all frustrated with the process? Do you remember those lessions with your cusotmers?
  4. What happens when something comes up and you are not available? How long before you return our calls? Does the rest of your team work on your behalf?
  5. How is your company and/or personal service distinguished from other, comparible companies?
  6. If we find a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) property, can you still represent us?

I’m wondering if these questions are comprehensive enough? Are we asking the right things? The wrong things? Being too paranoid? Add your comments below.
–Joe Caropepe

2 Responses to “Finding A Buyer’s Agent”

  1. Jonderson says:

    Hey. We used a buyers agent to get this house (our first) and it was a sweet deal all the way around. She looked for houses for us for a year, after which time we still had not found what we were looking for. A few months after we had stopped looking we got a phone call from her saying she had seen a house that made her think of us and wanted to know if we wanted to come look at it. (We bought it.) All that time she was willing to bring us as many houses as we could stand to look at, was willing to work with our schedules, and basically bent over backwards for a whole year with nothing to show for it. In the end I think her cut was 7%, taxable of course, which in my estimation makes her grossly underpaid for all the work she did. I really don’t think I would buy a house any other way.
    Ask all the questions you can think of, even if they seem trivial. Ask about issues specific to the region that you need to watch out for when buying a house. Is there moisture damage? Are protective treatments in place? There may be laws or codes which apply to you as a buyer that you are not aware of…ask if they are professionally associated with any home inspection services. If they are, don’t use the ones that they are associated with, use an independent one as long as they are reputable. Along that line, do pay the $500 for a real top-notch detailed home inspection on any house you are serious about. It is worth every cent. We used Home Pro, Inc. and will certainly use them again. We have been here 6 years, and I can’t think of a thing that they missed in their inspection. No surprises when buying a house is a good thing. You can use their website http://www.home-pro.com to find an inspector in your area.

  2. Todd Middlebrook says:

    Joe, how did the house closing go? Are you Texas free?