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When do you start working with a Realtor?

Hello,
My husband and I will be starting our home buying process/pre-approval the beginning of August (we will have all of our down payment by then/its being gifted/inheiritance). When should we start talking/working with a Realtor? I don't want to start too soon, but as soon as August 1st hits and the loan process has started we will be ready to get going. We already know the area, and everything we are looking for in a home. Thanks!
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July 02 2013 - US
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Answers (12)

It is never to early to start working with an agent. That being said, picking an agent that you work well with and that works well with you is important. An agent referral from family or friends is a good place to start. But don't just blindly work with an agent that is referred to you. Having an agent that is very familiar with the area you are interested in purchasing in will be a tremendous asset to you as you go through the process. If you are not referred to or don't know an agent that is familiar with the area you are interested in, one way to find out is call agents with listings in the  area and ask them about another listing in the area? Their response will tell you a lot about how familiar they are with the area.

Once you have selected the agent that you are comfortable working with and who knows the area you are interested in, the agent will be able to walk you through the process and you will be on your way to home ownership.

Best of luck to you.
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July 02 2013
Never to soon to start working with an agent.  I have had clients that have set me loose a year before they were ready.  An agent can help early on in the process to refine areas and communities for you and the like.  You take the risk that the market will change during that time, but that is the case in any market and for anything.
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July 02 2013
More than anything, do your own due diligence of where and what type of property you are looking for.

The more specific you are with what you want can better determine whether or not a real estate agent will be suited for that area etc...

Must-haves
Absolutely-not
live-with or without

Be reasonable with your requests....

Gotta have the "Good, fast or cheap... pick two...." mentality
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July 02 2013
You seem very organized and ready to go! That is awesome. You start working with a real estate agent as early as you want. That doesn't mean that you have to start going out to look at homes right away but the better an agent knows you, the better they will be able to serve you. This person will help you make the biggest purchase of your life possibly so you definitely want to make sure that you are comfortable with that person as well.  I would love to have a conversation with you and see if I fit the bill. Congratulations on this very important decision and time in your life!!
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July 02 2013
Congratulations! The first step is interviewing local agents to find one you feel most comfortable with. Your realtor can then set up a search on the MLS that meets your criteria. You can start to make a list of homes that your would like to see and a more specific list of likes/dislikes you see in these homes.The list will help your realtor narrow down your search even more and also help get to know you better. Then you can set up a time to go view the homes in person.
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July 02 2013
That is awesome news. It would be best to reach out to a realtor to learn more about the home buying process and current market conditions. This way you know what to expect and how to make the best educated decision possible. Zillow is a good source or ask friends/family in order to find a good realtor. I recommend doing this when you get preapproved by your lender of choice this way you can interview them and get a feel of who you feel comfortable working with.
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July 02 2013
Congratulations on getting a head start, and pre-approval out of the way.  The next step, is to interview your local agents and from the pool of candidates, find one that is the most compatible or works best with your needs.  Some buyers like to have a very responsive agent that is 24/7, and respond within 5 mins.  Other buyers, would like to take the lead and dictate which houses they want to see at their own pace because they already know what they want.  Since you have another month, that should be enough time for you and your husband to interview and hire an agent should you need one.  Happy house hunting! =)
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July 02 2013
Pick an agent and meet with him/her to discuss what features in a home are really important to you, including area, price range etc. your agent can set up a MLS custom search that is specific to  your requirements. Remember really good deals go fast, at least that's currently the case here, your agent can make sure you are ready to submit an offer once you find the property you want, you will need a pre approval letter from a mortgage company to submit with any offer you make. Most offers to purchase a home are for 30 days give or take a few days. It definitely is not too early to get started, make sure your ready, get a list of properties currently available to at least drive by now and see if you would like to pursue them further.
Good Luck With Your Home Search
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July 02 2013

You should work with a realtor as soon as you are comfortable.  You can see what is available on the market.  The benefit to you is that your we can keep an eye out for a great deal for you.  You only have another month so it would not hurt to get a head start.

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July 02 2013
Profile picture for SteadyState
What wetdawgs said but I would add:
This will (most likely) be your largest purchase in $ terms so proceed with caution and positive energy.

1. Please become knowledgeable about what your buyers agent can and cannot do for you
2. Learn about home values in your areas and what you are willing to pay
3. Please also understand the nuances about sellers (listing) agent and buyers agent and how they can work together to make the sale happen
4. Learn about the compensation structure of agents and brokers
5. Learn about financing your home and PMI, insurance needs, and costs of owing a home
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July 02 2013
You can start working with agent when your ready, but talking to an agent sooner then later, might help make the process a little smoother for when the time is right. They may be able to provide you with some helpful insight on the home buying process, and help you get squared away with a lender that will be the best fit for you. They can also set you up on a home search that will alert you when homes come on the market. This is important because, there is a lack of inventory in most areas and this will help you stay on top of what is going on in the area(s) of interest. Good luck and happy home hunting!
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July 02 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
It is not too soon to start interviewing agents.   What do you want in a buyer's agent?     Don't hesitate to phone up a number an.d interview them rigorously
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July 02 2013
 
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