House-hunting? Six Questions to Help You Find an Accredited Buyer’s Representative

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If you are thinking of buying a home there are lots of factors to consider. Local market conditions, the economy and new mortgage regulations are affecting many people’s ability to enter the buyer’s market.

First, I would suggest that you seek out an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR). Agents with the ABR certification have proven experience working specifically with buyers. In order to receive the certification, they must complete specialized training that helps them understand a buyer’s perspective and how to protect and promote their buyer-clients’ interests. Any agent can “sell” you a house, but an ABR certified agent is really there to serve you and guide you through the buying process.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask as you interview your ABR agent:

Services provided. Ask the agent to explain how they will assist you through each stage of the buying process. They should always provide you with a written buyer representation agreement that details any obligations you have to each other.
References. Ask your agent for contact information for at least 3 past buyer-clients who can tell you about their experience working with the agent.
Knowledge. Find out what areas of specialized knowledge your prospective agent has. What types of housing or neighborhoods do they  know best?
Compensation. Be sure you understand if any additional costs will be included in your transaction for the agent’s compensation.
Finding properties. Make sure your agent has full access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and ask if they will look beyond the MLS for suitable properties if necessary.
Related service providers. Ask if they can provide referrals to other services related to your home purchase, including inspectors, surveyors, movers, etc.

For more information on the ABR certification and how working with an ABR certified agent can benefit you, visit the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council’s (REBAC) website .

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