By: Stella Katsipoutis
I won’t lie to you: As my husband, George, and I continued our search for our first home, there were days when our real estate agent was like a mom to us. Sure, that might sound a little creepy, considering she was a total stranger. But the truth is we relied on her for everything.
As if we were her own children, she got to know our hopes and dreams, and she went out of her way to help us make them a reality. Almost every weekend, she put her own personal life on hold to chauffeur us around town and show us the latest listings. For months, we had endless daily conversations by phone or email. I knew I could frantically text her with my questions (I sure had a lot of them) and she’d respond with great advice within minutes. She even consoled and encouraged me when I threw my “We’re never going to find a house!” tantrums. (Believe me; I had plenty of those too.)
In hindsight, I think I might have been a high-maintenance client. Okay, I was. But, truth be told, good real estate agents are usually more than happy to hold your hand, so to speak, and guide you through the mental, physical and emotional whirlwind of purchasing a home—especially if you’re a first-time buyer. They understand this is one of the most expensive and meaningful purchases of your life, and they know they play a key role in its success. They are fully invested in finding what you want, at the price you want. You inevitably form this strange-but-wonderful bond with them because, even though you barely know them, your agent essentially holds your future in their hands. Needless to say, trust is an absolute must.
Now, finding that amazing real estate agent is a process in and of itself—a process that is just as important as finding the right house. Without their expertise and power of negotiation, you might as well kiss that dream home goodbye. So once we had our preapproval letter in hand, George and I started our interview process. We spent hours speaking to different agents, trying to find the one who had our best interests at heart. Once we finally found our “mama bear” agent and witnessed how much she did for us, we learned firsthand how essential it is to have a great agent on your side. So how do you find your perfect partner in crime? Here are some tips we picked up along the way:
Stay tuned; the next installment of the “My First Home” series is coming soon. Until then, comment below and tell us about your best … or worst … experiences with a real estate agent!
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