CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Buying a house is one of the most important decisions we will ever make in our lives.
In today’s Protecting Your Money segment, Andy Liscano offers some tips on choosing a trustworthy realtor.
Educate Yourself on the entire buy/sell process. Ask yourself...can I qualify for a loan?
Be up front, be honest with yourself. What’s your financial situation? How much debt do you have? What’s your credit score? How much house can you realistically afford?
Remember, your mortgage payment will include home insurance, property taxes, and possibly a Home Owners Association fee.
Get references and referrals from family, friends, neighbors
Once you have answered all questions about the home buying or selling process, start asking people you know and trust who’ve gone through the process for recommendations and referrals on agents they trust.
Katie Galan, with the Better Business Bureau, offers tip number three.
“Make sure the agent you choose is licensed with the Texas Real Estate Commission. You can go to trec.texas.gov. You can find what realtors are licensed in your area. You can find out if there are any complaints or anything like that against them.”
How many listings does the agent have?
How successful is the agent you’re thinking of going with? How many listings do they have?
Is it someone who has a proven track record of honesty and professionalism with other clients?
“Ask them how many transactions they’ve had in the last year. Ask them what percentage they’re going to take.
Typically, that’s going to be five to seven percent what they’re going to take off the selling price of the house,“ said Galan.
How does agent plan to generate interest in your property?
Tip number five applies to home sellers. How does the agent want to stage your home to prospective buyers?
How much will they ask you to invest in minor repairs or upgrades to increase interest? Most importantly, make sure everyone involved thoroughly explains everything they ask you to sign.
Read it through carefully. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed into this major decision.