Working with a Realtor
Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
An Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation represents best-in-class buyer services. When you look for an ABR® before you look for a home, you’ll be served, not sold. A buyer’s agent is someone who represents only the buyer’s interests in the negotiations and has special education and experience to better understand home buyers particular needs. Plus, a Realtor® who has an ABR® designation also has an established track record, with proven experience in representing the concerns of homebuyers.

Real estate agency relationships, like all business relationships, can be formed in a number of ways. In order to help talk through your options, here are several questions to ask your buyer’s representative:
  1. Do you represent buyers, sellers or both?
  2. What services are provided to (or excluded from) me, based on my status as a buyer-customer or buyer-client?
  3. When does representation begin? When does it conclude?
  4. If I’m not ready to commit to your normal term, can you offer me a one-day buyer agency agreement or a 24-hour opt-out clause?
  5. How is dual agency addressed in your firm?

Once you’ve formalized an agency relationship, typically by signing an agreement with a buyer’s representative, you can expect him or her to:
  • Understand your specific needs and wants and locate appropriate properties.
  • Assist you in determining how much you can afford (prequalify your mortgage).
  • Preview and/or accompany you in viewing properties.
  • Research properties, to identify any problems or issues you should consider.
  • Advise you in formulating your offer.
  • Help you develop your negotiation strategy.
  • Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (such as inspectors, attorneys and lenders) for other related services that may be needed.
  • Keep track of all the details throughout the entire transaction – to closing and beyond.

A buyer’s rep who has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Realtor® designation has made an extra effort to raise the bar, with additional training and experience in serving you, the homebuyer. If you work with an ABR®, you can feel more confident that you’ll receive the highest level of buyer-representation services.

Agent’s Role
In addition to helping find you a home, an agent serves as the “manager” of a larger team and is responsible for coordinating other team players at the appropriate time in the process. These other team players include the mortgage company, inspectors, the title company, insurance company and possibly an attorney.

Your agent should be able to perform the following as part of his service to you:
  • Be knowledgeable about and be able to explain the property tax system in Texas.
  • Provide assistance in creating a budget that will ultimately set the home price.
  • Explain deed restrictions, homeowner’s associations and zoning.
  • Be knowledgeable of Texas exemptions and community property laws.
  • Guide you on purchasing a new home or a resale home.
  • Ensure you view neighborhood and homes within your price range.
  • Be able to negotiate not only home purchase price but financing, terms and date of possession.
  • Be able to properly communicate requirements and explain the contract and other required documents.
  • Be able to attend all inspections.
  • Be able to monitor, follow up and expedite paperwork among all parties involved.

Buying Tips from Real Estate Professionals

Increase your chances of getting your dream house instead of losing it to another buyer, with these easy steps.
  1. Get prequalified for a mortgage with a San Antonio mortgage broker. With that in hand, you’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and make your offer more desirable to the seller.
  2. Via phone and e-mail, stay in close contact with your real estate agent to learn first about new listings that come on the market. As soon as a new home comes on the market, be prepared to go see it.
  3. Do your own homework. Keep your eyes peeled at Internet sites, newspaper ads, and drive by the San Antonio neighborhoods you’re interested in. You could find a brand-new ‘for sale’ sign before anyone else.
  4. It’s important to be ready to make a decision once the right property presents itself.
  5. Recognize that your bid should be competitive. Don’t start out offering the absolutely highest price you can afford, but don’t go too low and get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.
  6. Contingencies should be kept to a minimum. Examples such as needing to sell your current San Antonio home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly.
  7. Don’t get caught up emotionally in the property. Don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.

Before You Start Looking at Houses
All the steps above will help you prepare for the mortgage loan applications. At the same time, you need to be thinking of the kind of home you want. Start by identifying preferred and ideal locations based on your needs, social activities, job location and lifestyle preference. If you’re new to the area, get familiar by driving around some of the neighborhoods at different times of the day. Once targeted locations are identified, then it is important to define living needs within the house and the “style” of the buyer.

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