Palmer Harned, Realtor®
Palmer Harned
703 868 9983 703 868 9983

Q&A with a Real Estate Agent

If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s House Hunters, you know an agent will show you houses and submit an offer. But what else can and should you expect once you find an agent? A lot! Read on to find out:

What should I look for when selecting an agent?

Someone who is trustworthy, knowledgeable and confident. Your agent will be facilitating the biggest purchase you’ve made to date and you will be spending a lot of time with them. Is the agent comfortable talking about the buying process the local market? Do they listen and let you ask questions, and are they able to answer them? Sometimes, it just comes down to a “feeling” as to whether or not you have a good rapport and will be able to communicate with them.

What happens when I meet with you?

Typically, we will meet in my office to discuss your scenario. I will ask if you have met with a lender, your price range, your timeline for moving, your desired area, your must-haves and deal breakers in a home, etc. I will go over what the housing market looks like in your desired area, and may show you some listings online. I will also set you up with an email alert based on your search criteria that sends you new listings each day. We will probably set a time to go look at homes as well. If you eventually decide to move forward with me, you will sign the buyer-broker agreement, which allows me to represent you in the transaction.

Why do I have to sign an agreement with you?

The buyer-broker agreement allows me to represent you and your interests. The listing agent must have a signed agreement with the seller in order to list the home, so if the buyer doesn’t sign an agreement with their agent, then the only party who is legally represented is the seller, which puts the buyer at an obvious disadvantage.

If I decide I no longer want to work with you, what do I do?

Hopefully this never happens! If it does, all you need to do is submit something in writing (an email is fine) and the agreement is terminated.

What do you do for me?

When searching for homes, I educate you on the local market, research comparable properties, and point out things you may need to know in the community or in the home. When submitting an offer, I analyze current prices, advise you on how to structure your offer, review the contract with you, and negotiate on your behalf. Once under contract, I arrange and attend the home inspection, negotiate home inspection items on your behalf, communicate with the lender and title company, monitor contingency deadlines, make sure all the documents are in place for closing, review the HUD-1 statement, do your final walk through, and schedule and attend closing. After closing, I am still on call for anything you may need! 

How and when do you get paid?

The seller pays the commission fee to the listing broker. The listing broker then pays the agreed upon percentage to my broker. This does not happen until the home closes and the funds are disbursed.

Do you see my financial information?

All I need to see is the pre-approval letter from your lender, which just states the amount you have been pre-approved for and the percentage you plan to put down.

How much notice do I need to give you to see a house?

24-hours notice is the most courteous and helpful and some houses require that much time. In a crunch, a few hours notice is usually fine.

How many houses can we see at once?

I typically recommend seeing no more than 4-6 homes at the same time. After that, you get tired and they all start to blur together. You want to be able to distinctly remember something about each home which is harder to do the more you see.

What times and days of the week can we look at houses?

Any day! Typically, 10am-6pm are standard showing times.

Do I schedule the showings?

No, you will let me know which homes you would like to see and I schedule the appointments with the other agent.

If I have a question about a house, do I call you or the other agent?

Give me a call. I am your go-to for any and all questions!


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