There are 2 ways to buy a house:
- On your own/unrepresented
- With a buyer agent/broker on your side to represent your interests throughout the buying process.
Unrepresented/on your own: You look at public websites like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com that collect listings from a number of sources and post them online with descriptions, photos, etc.
When you find a house that you like the looks of, you contact the agent shown on the listing. That agent is the listing agent; the person who is legally bound to get the most money and best terms for the seller. The listing agent will be happy to show you the house, ask you questions about your finances and other personal information to make sure you are a qualified buyer, and write an offer for you.
The listing agent’s job is to “sell” the house, not to help you make good decisions! The listing agent is not allowed to give you advice. Everything you say will be used to help get the best deal for the seller.
You will be on your own without a professional to help you with these and other tasks:
- Search for properties.
- Decide how much to offer using public information that is often incorrect and/or not complete.
- Decide about contingency dates.
- Review and understand all of the forms and disclosures.
- Manage the negotiations.
- Find an experienced home inspect.
- Decide how to handle any home inspection issues that come up.
- Manage additional negotiations that may result from inspection issues.
- Find an attorney, mortgage broker, insurance agent.
- Deal with possible appraisal issues.
- Monitor contingency dates to make sure you don’t jeopardize your deposit.
- Remember to request extensions if needed.
- Verify information that may include zoning or conservation issues/restrictions, permits for work done, Title V/septic information
- Keep all parties are informed.
- Make sure you have everything ready for closing.
- And handle anything else that may come up throughout the buying process.
- Repeat the process if your first deal doesn't work out.
Or, you can have your own buyer agent/broker to work on your behalf to represent your interests and get you the best price and terms. Your agent will help with the following and more...
- Explain the home-buying process and be there for you from beginning to end to guide you every step way through closing.
- Provide you with all of the information you need so that you understand your housing options in the current, local market.
- Provide a market analysis to help you decide on the offer price.
- Recommend area professionals, i.e. a home inspector, real estate attorney, mortgage and insurance representatives to help you.
- Attend the home inspection with you and any follow-up inspections that may result.
- Help you address any issues from the home inspection and,
- Renegotiate inspection issues on your behalf.'
- Preview listings for you and sort out the ones that fit your criteria to save you time and make the process more efficient.
- Direct you to the right parties to verify information about zoning, conservation, Title V, etc.
- Track all of the paperwork.
- Keep all parties in the loop; communications are key to success.
- Make sure deadlines are met.
- Help protect your deposits.
- Accompany you to the final walk-through.
- Negotiate any last minute issues from the walk-through
- Prepare you for closing.
- Attend the closing.
"Marilyn recently helped us purchase our first home and we couldn't have been happier with her patience, wisdom, and guidance. We found Marilyn to be extremely knowledgeable of the local market and she kept the process stress free by answering calls, texts, and e-mails at all hours. We were thrilled with Marilyn and highly recommend her to all prospective home buyers without reservation."
Elisabeth and Conor
“I contacted Marilyn when I wanted to move to the area. She was able to quickly provide me with appropriate listings for my needs and see me through to the purchase. Marilyn is terrific, knows her business and this area!”
Messenger has been practicing buyer agency in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. She is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and a member of the Real Estate Buyer Agency Council. Contact Marilyn