Buying a home is a lengthy process whether you are in Louisville or any other city. Timing will directly affect how comfortable everyone is throughout the process. There are a lot of moving parts to completing a home purchase, and for this reason you need someone that represents your interests and knows how everything works. Step #1 is hire a good local Realtor.
Most people already know multiple Realtors. Whether or not you are comfortable using any of the Realtors that you know is a different story. Everyone has their own reasons for why they would or would not use a friend when buying a home, but don’t let it be justification for not using a Realtor at all. If you don’t know anyone you would use, ask a friend that recently purchased a home. Your friend will immediately be able to tell you how good or bad their experience was. If you are of the mindset “I will just work with the Realtor that is selling the house that I want”, you are free to do so, but know this:
There are two sides to every real estate transaction. One side is the person selling their home trying to get the most money they can for it. The other side is the buyer who is trying to pay the least amount of money for the home. The Realtor that listed the home for sale is working for the seller. Would it not make sense then to have a different Realtor working for the buyer?
Let’s not forget that when you are buying a home having a representative on your side is free. The commission is worked out between the seller of the home and the Realtor that represents that seller. It is agreed upon before the home even goes on the market, and before the buyer ever looks at it. So if you are of the mindset “I will be able to get a better deal because I am not using a Realtor”, think again. I know from experience that Realtors pretty much never reduce their commission in the middle of purchase so that someone else can get a “better deal”. Here’s why: There are different costs associated with different properties. The Realtor (if they are good) has done a thorough examination of what the home needs in order to sell and the amount of resources it will take to sell it. That price doesn’t change because someone wants to pay less for the home.
Keep in mind that a home is most likely the most expensive purchase you will make in your life. Think of your Realtor as your financial advisor when you are buying a home. A buyer’s agent should educate you about the process, not just tell you how it is. A buyer’s agent should have an opinion about every house you look at. A buyer’s agent should be up-to-date with real estate technology and trends. A buyer’s agent should listen to your concerns and make you as comfortable as possible during an otherwise lengthy and possibly stressful process. If you want to enjoy the home buying process, step #1 is not optional!