Financial Advice

Why First-Time Home Buyers Need an Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is a very wise decision for first-time home buyers. Consider these five reasons why.

Published Feb 21, 2018 | Updated May 8, 2024
Male Realtor Showing Female Client Around House

Buying your first home is exhilarating and if we’re being honest, a little intimidating. After all, it’s not every day you decide to buy something worth six figures, right?

At first, it might seem like you can purchase a home on your own, as long as you do your research, secure a mortgage loan, go to a few open houses, and make an offer. However, first-time homeowners will quickly learn that the home-buying process can be incredibly detailed, long, and intense. As such, we recommend that first-time home buyers have a real estate agent’s expertise to guide them through the tricky process of buying a home. Here’s why:

They’re on your side.

A good agent is signing on to represent you and your best interests. The best agents will require you to get prequalified first, before you start shopping online or visiting dream home open houses. Knowing what you can afford is the best first step to finding a home you can be happy in for years to come, without overreaching your budget.

They know the rules.

Remember, when you buy a house, you’re agreeing to a binding, legal contract. Real estate agents are skilled negotiators, and you hire them to ensure you get the best deal possible on your future home. An agent acts as the middleman between you and the sellers, and can recommend certain updates and changes that you might not have previously thought of yourself. They also can let you know if a home is worth the offer price, and if you get in a bidding war, they can advise you on the proper next steps. All in all, a good agent will act as a veritable team leader who protects the clients and makes sure their future investment is a solid one.

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They have invaluable experience.

Real estate contracts are lengthy and laden with industry jargon that first-time home buyers might not understand. Most real estate agents are accustomed to navigating these contracts and helping buyers understand them. If they are good at their job, they will make sure you meet the criteria of your contract as well as any deadlines that could cost you the deal if you miss them.

They know people.

Your real estate agent should know colleagues in the industry who can help you when you have questions about mortgages, homeowner insurance, title insurance, home inspections, and many of the other services that come with buying a new home.

They know the neighborhood.

You might have a specific neighborhood in mind, but a good real estate agent will have knowledge of the area, including school districts, local government, and even changes that might be coming to the community. They might even be able to find you a home that is larger and nicer, within your budget. Because of their expertise, they will also have knowledge of housing trends, including spikes and downturns. As long as you’re flexible, a real estate agent can show you some unique options that you might not have ever considered.

Ultimately, hiring a real estate agent as a first-time home buyer is a wise decision. There is so much at stake, and you will likely spend a large amount of money buying your first home. It’s best to rely on the expertise of a real estate agent to make sure you make a smart investment, secure the right home loan for you, and find a house you’ll be happy in for years to come.