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Working with Real Estate Agents – What to Expect?

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By : Jon Swire    99 or more times read
Are you ready to invest in income property but not sure what level of service to expect from your real estate agent?

Investing in income property can be a stressful experience, but remember, your real estate agent is there to help you every step of the way. As a Buyer, your agent will be compensated by the Seller at the close of escrow. What this means is that while she works for you, she’ll be paid by the Seller for her services. Fees typically average 2-2.5% of the purchase price, so on a $500,000 purchase, your agent will earn between $10,000-$12,500. Some of this money will go to her brokerage firm and to cover costs, but remember that your agent is being well paid for her job. So take advantage of her services to the fullest to ensure the smoothest and most enjoyable experience.

So, what should you expect from your agent? First, once your agent has your search parameters, she will set you up to receive daily updates from your local MLS or other services. This will allow you to see all the new listings that come on the market in your price and criteria range. Most clients like to drive properties on their own, and only bring their agent with them once they’ve identified a property they’re interested in. However, don’t be afraid to ask your agent to spend more time with you at first to help you figure out what works and doesn’t work for you. And, if you’re unsure of the exact geographic location you’d like to settle in, ask your agent to drive you around to show you more about the local neighborhoods, schools, and amenities. This is a great way for you to familiarize yourself with the area and available options.

Once you’ve found a property, your agent will be the one preparing the contracts and negotiating them on your behalf. Ask her to explain everything to you and make sure you understand what you’re signing. She’ll also walk you through the property inspection and all disclosures you’ll have to sign as well as help you with the loan process. If you don’t already have a mortgage broker, ask your agent for a couple of referrals she’s successfully worked with in the past.

Buying an income property can be a long process, taking 45-60 days or more, depending on how quickly your search goes. Once you’ve found the property, be prepared for an intensive 2-3 week process while you do your property inspection and work with your lender. If at any point during the process you feel uncomfortable, take a step back. Remember, making an investment can be challenging, but it should also be fun and as exciting as you’re on your way to securing your financial future.
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