1. When should I buy?No one can ever predict a real estate market. So when one can afford to buy a home, and they expect to live in the same area for two or more years, then why would they pass the opportunity to save on their income taxes, build their long-term equity, and enjoy the pride of home ownership? Buy when you have the need and can afford to buy.

2. How much should I offer?Depending on whether it’s a Buyer’s market or a Seller’s market will dictate the price you should offer on a home. In this current market, where inventory is still quite low, if a home is priced right for its condition, Buyers may still need to be prepared to offer as high as 20%, or more, over asking if the home shows well, is located in prime location, and has multiple offers. Your Buyer’s agent should be able to guide you based on the current market activity.

3. How do I find a trusted buyer’s agent?Usually a referral from a trusted friend, relative or associate is key. But remember to interview the agent and ask about their experience, their knowledge of the area, and some references before making the decision to work with them. Also, consider formally hiring them by signing a Buyer Broker agreement where all the terms of your relationship is clearly stated on paper so all of your expectations are met.

4. Why do some agents offer to share their commission?The old adage “you get what you pay for” is true, especially in real estate. The irony is that Buyers do not pay their agent’s commission; the Seller pays the sales commission. So why would a Buyer’s agent “pay a buyer” to work with him or her? Sales is part science, part art. Only through years of experience, hard work and dedication can a sales person learn the art of expertly negotiating for his or her clients. If you didn’t trust a doctor who discounts their fees to get you as a patient, why would you trust your biggest financial purchase to someone who discounts their earnings?
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