If you’re thinking about buying a home, going solo is NOT the way to go. Thinking the listing agent will give you a price break by going direct to them means one of two things: either the listing agent gets TWICE the paycheck or maybe they do kick you back some money BUT a buyer’s agent might have saved you thousands of dollars above and beyond that (and at the same time you never have to doubt whether they’re more interested in making the seller happy or you!).

Here are 10 key things to know about working with a buyer’s agent:

1) You’re getting the exclusive use of an irreplaceable resource when you hire us: our time. Just like you, only 24 hours in a day and we have to balance serving our clients and trying to have some semblance of a personal life. Chances are if you ask us Monday how the Redskins performed, all we’ll probably know is the score because we were showing homes during the game!

2) You’re gaining our local expertise. We’ve spent years gaining key market knowledge. We know where the homes are that might best fit your needs. Local events, schools, after school programs, you name it, we’ve been listening to the local heartbeat.

3) We can read a home and often know the story behind the sale. The clues may be subtle, but they’re often there. Couple that with some Internet sleuthing and we can decipher how motivated the sellers may be and how we can get you the best deal.

4) Don’t two time us. All agents are working from the same MLS information. You give us the same criteria and we’re going to be VERY close to having the exact same list of possible homes for you. Pick ONE agent and work with him or her exclusively.

5) We only get paid when you BUY a home with us (and our fee is paid by the seller, not you). All those hours of showing you homes, tankfuls of gas, etc., are all a calculated risk on our part that you WILL purchase a home. And after all that work, don’t tell us you “accidentally bought a home with another agent”. Sorry, that’s a NO SALE statement if ever there was one. We’ve yet to hear the first case of a pen taking control of someone’s hand and making them fill out a purchase offer.

6) We work new construction too, but you have to give us the opportunity to help you. The builders ARE NOT going to give you a price break for showing up solo and it DOES NOT cost you extra to have us help you. The builders have built the cost of agents into their overhead for ALL homes.

7) We can help you with FSBOs aka For Sale By Owners. Okay, not EVERY time. Some owners refuse to work with agents so if you want us, we need to talk about my compensation for representing you. But in MOST cases, a FSBO will work with a buyer’s agent, they just don’t want to pay a listing agent.

8) We need you to listen to us more than your coworker, your golfing buddy or even your relative who is a real estate agent IN ANOTHER STATE. Real estate is local and unless your friends are buying and selling dozens of homes a year, chances are VERY strong that what we’re telling you is a lot more pertinent than what they’re telling you.

9) If it’s not working out, just say so. We’re big boys and girls and we’d rather have you be upfront about it that just stop answering emails, texts and phone calls.

10) We show ALL houses. Not just our own brand. We’ll show you RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Weichert, etc. If the home fits, we’re taking you there.

BONUS: We’re not home inspectors, but we see a LOT of homes and we’ve learned to watch for a lot of the common defects that might cost you big bucks later.

If you would like to sit down and talk about the home buying process with an experienced buyer agent, give the Lise Howe Group a call! With a combined total of 40 years of in the DC real estate market, we have helped lots of buyers and we would love to help you! We can be reached at 240-401-5577 or info@lisehowe.com.