Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

If you're a first-time homebuyer and you've already started exploring available properties, you might think to yourself, "Why do I even need a buyer agent?" After all, you've been looking at homes for sale and the realtors who showed you the properties were very nice and helpful. But here's the deal: Those realtors are seller agents. They represent the home seller. They are legally, morally and ethically bound to get the best possible deal for the seller -- not for you as the buyer! This is just one of the reasons why first-time homebuyers can really benefit from working with a buyer's agent. Here are some more advantages.

Buyer Agents Work for You -- The Buyer

Once you're prequalified and your buyer agent understands the features you want in your first home, the agent will locate for-sale properties that fit your criteria. Not only that, but the buyer agent will coordinate and schedule showings of those properties for you. You don't have to do all of the legwork. And remember: As your representative, the buyer agent is out to find the best possible deal on a first-time home purchase for you.

Buyer Agents Are Great Negotiators

Every home sale and purchase is bound to hit a snag or two along the way. It's a lengthy process to buy or sell a home, and it's also a highly emotional transaction for buyers and sellers. It is, after all, the largest emotional and financial transaction that most people will make in their lifetime. Therefore, the negotiating skills of a buyer agent will be of great benefit to you as a homebuyer. If something starts to go wrong, they know how to negotiate a fix and they know professionals within their network who can help iron out problems -- from titling companies to real estate attorneys and even contractors to fix unexpected problems with the property.

Buyer Agents Are Property Experts

If you look at a home, do you know all the potential problem spots to examine to ensure that it won't have hidden costs? For example, can you tell if the plumbing is too old and will need major repairs within five years? Can you assess the age and functionality of the furnace, hot water heater and other features? Probably not -- but the buyer agent can because he or she has that experience.

Best of all, buyer agents don't charge any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. They split the commission with the seller agent who works for the home seller. For all these reasons and more, it makes great sense to put the expertise of a buyer agent to work for you!


For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.

From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.

It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.

For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.

Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.

Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.


A homebuying budget can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to streamline a house search. If you have a budget at your disposal, you will know approximately how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Establishing a homebuying budget can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you do just that.

1. Evaluate Your Finances

Your income and savings can have far-flung effects on your ability to acquire your dream house. If you perform an in-depth review of your finances, you can find out exactly how much money you have available before you launch a house search.

It often is a good idea to consider your long-term finances as you prepare to kick off a house search, too. A house usually is a long-term investment. And if you account for your long-term finances in your homebuying budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to conduct a successful home search.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about different types of mortgages. Plus, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage without delay.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. Of course, if you have mortgage questions, you should address them before you submit a mortgage application. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you can establish a price range for your house search.

3. Examine Your Potential Closing Costs

Attorney fees, house inspection expenses and other closing costs may surprise some homebuyers. Yet if you understand your potential closing costs, you can plan ahead for these expenses.

Closing costs generally range between 2 percent and 5 percent of a house's purchase price. They also may be incorporated into the overall cost of a house. However, if you evaluate potential closing costs early in the homebuying journey, you can account for these expenses in your property buying budget.

As you get ready to launch a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional understands what it takes to find and acquire a terrific home at a budget-friendly price. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you accomplish your homebuying goals as quickly as possible.

If you want to purchase a house close to your office in the city, for instance, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help you find a first-rate house in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you aspire to own a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, a real estate agent will help you hone your house search to residences that fall in line with your expectations.

Ready to launch a successful home search? Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare an effective homebuying budget. As a result, you could speed up your quest to discover and purchase your dream house.


Image by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay

A home inspection is a service that’s usually paid for by the buyer in a real estate transaction, and you have the option to forgo this when you’re purchasing a house. In almost every situation, however, real estate agents recommend getting a  home inspection. Here’s why an inspection is so important.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is essentially an audit of a home’s structure and vital systems, and the audit is performed by a home inspector. Home inspectors are independent parties, which allows them to provide objective assessments, and they specialize in this particular service. Home inspectors have a broad knowledge about foundations, structural integrity, HVAC systems, plumbing systems and much more.

A basic home inspection generally includes an assessment of the house’s structure and essential systems. Some inspections will also check for mold, pests, lead paint and other potential issues.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

The cost of a home inspection is usually based on the size of a home and what exactly an inspector is looking for. An inspection that checks for mold and pests will typically cost more than only a basic inspection that looks at structural integrity and essential systems. Even among basic inspections, there are sometimes varying levels that cover different systems at different costs.

Despite the variance in price, however, home inspections tend to be quite affordable. Most inspections cost a few hundred dollars for a fairly common single-family house.

What Do You Do With Results from a Home Inspection?

After a home inspection is complete, the inspector will furnish a report that details their findings. Few homes are absolutely perfect, and there are normally at least a few issues noted on an inspection report. Depending on what the real estate market is like and what’s noted on a report, there are a few ways you might use this information.

First, the report at least tells you what issues the house has so that you can make sure you want to purchase the property. Second, you can also use the report to prioritize projects once you own the building. Finally, sometimes items in a report can be used to negotiate the sale price lower.


If you're on the lookout for your dream house, it helps to be persistent. In fact, there are many reasons to take a persistent approach to the real estate market, and these include:

1. You can pounce on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

A persistent homebuyer should have no trouble finding lots of homes that match or exceed his or her expectations. Then, this buyer can take the necessary steps to submit an offer on his or her dream house and finalize a home purchase.

As a persistent homebuyer, it is essential to submit a competitive offer on any residence that you want to acquire. By providing a competitive offer, you can increase the likelihood of receiving an immediate "Yes" from a seller.

2. You can stay ahead of the competition.

When it comes to buying the best house at the lowest price, the early bird catches the worm. Thus, a persistent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to find and purchase his or her dream residence as soon as this house becomes available.

To stay ahead of the homebuying competition, it helps to assess the real estate sector closely. This will enable a homebuyer to identify his or her dream house in no time at all.

Furthermore, a homebuyer should create a checklist of dream home wants and must-haves. This list will allow a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search, making it easier than ever before to discover a great house.

3. You can boost the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience.

No one should be forced to deal with a long, arduous homebuying experience. Fortunately, a persistent homebuyer can act quickly on available houses, ensuring this buyer can accelerate the homebuying journey.

For a persistent homebuyer, it often is a good idea to get extra help from a housing market professional as well. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can provide comprehensive support to persistent homebuyers in any city or town.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house in a buyer's or seller's market and is happy to share his or her industry expertise with a homebuyer. By doing so, a real estate agent can provide valuable insights to help a homebuyer accomplish his or her goals.

In addition, a real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she will learn about your homebuying aspirations, set up home showings and keep you up to date about new residences that become available. Plus, once you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.

If you want to pursue your dream house, it may be beneficial to take a persistent approach to the housing market. With the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as a persistent homebuyer who knows exactly what he or she wants to find. Take advantage of these homebuying tips, and you can move closer to acquiring your ideal house.