As a first time buyer there are some things you may not have known about the home buying process.....
You Don’t Pay The Agent’s Commission as the Buyer
So many first time buyers wonder about who pays the fee of their agent?” For some, the thought of having to shell out extra cash when they are already doing all they can to save for their down payment is enough to make them walk away from the entire process before they get going. Many buyers are surprised to find out that the answer is actually no. Buyers do not pay their agent. Instead it's the agent that earns their commission from the seller side of the transaction.*
Need help finding an agent? Take a look here.
Focus on Your Monthly Mortgage Payment, Not the Sale Price
Get pre-approved from a mortgage professional before you go shopping. A common mistake that people often make is focusing on the total price of the home they can afford instead of the monthly payment they will make. You may get approved for a $450,000 home, but you may not actually feel comfortable paying that amount. Think of the amount your mortgage advisor suggests you can afford as a range. There is a high end and a low end and it is your job to figure out your comfort level with your monthly payment. Work with your advisor to understand how your down payment amount, credit, and the current mortgage rate affect your monthly payment.
Real Estate Agents are Not Retail Employees
If you find an agent you think you're compatible with realize they are independent contractors working in the shadow of a broker who runs an office full of agents. Coldwell Banker agents work for the same company but buying from one agent is not the same thing as buying from another Coldwell Banker agent. Agents are independent and buyer's agents are paid by the seller. The person who writes your offer should be the person you think you're working with.
Coldwell Banker is Not a Bank
Colbert Coldwell and Benjamin Banker partnered up in 1906 in the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake helping people piece their lives back together. They parlayed that partnership into the worlds largest and longest established real estate company in the world. It's probably the most professional too as CB agents are held to some of the highest standards in the industry. You can expect to be treated fairly, professionally and made to feel welcome and comfortable with your first and subsequent purchases.
Make the Jump!
From agonizing over the down payment to finding the “perfect” home there are many moments in the first time buying process that are going to make you feel nervous. Know that it is natural and that similar to having a baby, there is never really a 100% perfect time. You are always going to wish you had more money in the bank, hope that the home had a backyard that was just a little bigger, or that you were just a little more sure what direction your life will be taking in the next 5-10 years. If you feel comfortable with the payment, love the location and “bones” of the house and will feel proud to make this house a home, then take the leap and don’t look back. Most first time home buyers will tell you it's one of the best decisions they've ever made.
*As with anything exceptions may apply. One example where this may change is a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). To be certain of what the payment structure will be, speak with your agent as soon you begin working to discuss payment/commission.
Partially reposted from Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog.