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Is it a good idea to use more than one real estate agent to find a home?


Although it may seem that having several agents working for you increases your chances of finding the right property, it doesn't. In fact, having more than one agent working for you usually works the opposite way.

The reason is simple. Agents earn their income through sales. If an agent knows that they are "sharing" a buyer with several other associates, they will devote less time to that buyer than to another consumer they represent exclusively. And for good reason.:

  • Agents invest a lot of time locating suitable homes for buyers.
  • They do market research. Drive buyers around.
  • Contact other agents in search of properties and even help with financing.

Thus, their first loyalty when a hot new listing becomes available is to buyers who are "really serious", the ones who are loyal (exclusive) to them.

How does a buyer find the right agent?

Obviously, recommendations are an excellent method. Interviewing agents is another. Are they knowledgeable about the market? Are they experienced? Assertive enough to be a good negotiator?

Astute agents will help buyers clarify their criteria, and give feedback on what is financially realistic. If the buyer is new in town, the agent should show them around - walk them through a few homes to give them an idea of what is available, and to get their feedback. Good agents show buyers only those homes that meet their criteria. They do not waste the buyer's time.

Aside from working with an agent, buyers should also keep an eye on the real estate section of the local newspapers. It is always possible for a buyer to find something that is new on the market, and has not, as yet, come to the agents attention.

Finding a home and working with an agent can be a delightful experience for a buyer.

The key:  

Find the right agent, and give them as much information and feedback as possible. 

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