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Rissa, are you still reading this? Or are were you just a made-up account by someone who wanted to answer the question without appearing to be promoting themselves?If you are here, what did you decide?
In searching for an agent with a proven track record in the areas that are most important to you (perhaps having expertise in a certain neighborhood, a strong emphasis on customer service, being detail oriented, aggressive, & personable, etc,) it may be helpful to go by recommendation of someone you know. Often times you can get a good feeling about an agent by their profile on various websites such as zillow.com. Before signing an agency agreement with that agent, be sure that you are comfortable committing to that agent, and find out if there is some sort of protection in getting out of that agreement if they are not doing their job. With Coldwell Banker, buyers and sellers receive a Services Guarantee that allows them to be released from the agency agreement if the agent is not doing their job. While I am not licensed in Pasadena, I can help you find an agent there who is right for you. Let me know if I can help.
Two thumbs up for Connie's comment about having an agent who will educate you.Rissa, just a couple more comments.
1) If you do decide to go with an agent you should know that their fee is negotiable. Do NOT just accept their standard commission rate.
2) Agents will tell you that having a buyer's agent is "free" for you, but this is not true. There are many threads and articles on this, but the bottom line is that is will cost you in the end. Many times the agent is worth the cost, but do not believe the hype that it is free.
3) Do your homework. Know what houses are going for, and what lending rates are averaging and learn about as much as possible in the buying process. Then it is easy to compare what your agent is telling you with what other sources (who are not making money off of you) are saying.
I have sold/bought homes with and without agents and every time I came out ahead financially without the agent. However, there were times when the agent made the process much easier (and once made it much more difficult).
In the end it is your choice. Just go in eyes wide open.
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