These days, every home search starts with an internet search, which in turn, leads buyers out into a neighborhood to take a first hand look. There you and your partner stand, peeking in through the windows, and walking about the yard. Near or on the For Sale sign is a little tube, filled with flyers containing information about the home.
You look over the information, finding it has the space you and your partner will need, along with all the amenities; and, of course, the seller’s agent’s name and number. So, you give him or her a ring, asking a few questions about the property, all of which he or she is happy to answer. Then, you agree to schedule a time to see the house. Conveniently, the listing agent says they can help you purchase the home directly, saving you time and possibly money.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Expect
That scenario is called “dual representation” and it’s one you would be wise to avoid. What you might expect is the agent will help you get a discount on the property because he or she won’t have to share their commission with another agent.
“With all the tools and advice available today ranging from books and magazines to online advice like this lesson – it would be possible for you to buy your home almost completely without the aid of real estate professionals. That’s not necessarily recommended. The housing market, like politics, is basically local, and each state, city, and even neighborhood has a thicket of local laws or customs that you need to understand. For that, it helps to have a team of professionals to guide you.” —CNN Money
While this sounds reasonable, it’s likely not to turn out that way. It’s more likely that the agent will treat it as the deal is done and won’t take you and your partner’s best interest at heart. You shouldn’t expect a break on the asking price because it isn’t up to the seller’s agent, it’s up to the seller. Better to have your own agent who will actually work for you and your partner.
Finding the Right Real Estate Buyer’s Agent
Buying a home is the single largest investment a same sex couple will likely make their whole lives and having a professional that’s been through the purchase process many times is necessary for your time, wallet, and sanity. Here’s what you need to know:
- Ask for the names of recent clients. Good agents will have no problem giving you and your partner a list of names of satisfied clients. Contact each one and ask about their experience.
- Ask if you’ll be shown all available properties, or just “in-house” listings. This is a trick some agents play, showing only in-house listings for their own benefit.
- Ask about their background…and listen carefully. If they answer honestly, you’ll know it. If you hear a sales pitch, you’re likely in for trouble.
- Ask about their services. Inquire about what advice and services they will provide. A good agent will do all that he can to help you find the right home and negotiate the sale.
If you are looking for a home in the Orlando area for you and your partner, then feel free to give me a call. I’ve helped many LGBT couples find the right property for their lifestyle and their budget. I understand how difficult it can be to move to the city from out of state or even from just one block to the next. With my help, you’ll get the best advice and someone who’s experienced at negotiating real estate purchases.