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Buyer's Agent Smoothes Sometimes Bumpy Road to Foreclosure Purchase
By Rick Sharga, Vice President of Marketing for RealtyTrac

Whether it's the first time or the tenth, buying a home can be both an exhilarating and overwhelming experience. As with any major purchase, there's a significant amount of pressure to make the right decisions about such matters as where and what to buy, and ultimately how much to spend. How can you make sure you get the best deal possible on a property that suits your needs, or find exactly the right property to fit your budget and your lifestyle? Increasingly, many homebuyers are doing this by secure the representation of a Buyer's Agent.

In the more complex foreclosures market, a Buyer's Agent can be even more valuable. The agent can help you negotiate with the owner before a property comes on the market and can also act as a buffer during the negotiating process to make sure you've completed all the necessary steps before closing. Done right, it's like having your own personal tour guide to help you find your way through the foreclosure buying process.

For buyers looking to uncover substantial bargains in real estate, the foreclosures market does offer a treasure trove of opportunities. Foreclosure properties are some of the best opportunities in real estate today with savings of 10-30 percent below market value. Some properties offer savings of up to 50 percent or more! But like any investment offering a high return, there are sometimes higher risks involved in buying a foreclosure than in buying more traditional real estate. One of the ways to maximize the value while minimizing the risk is to work with Buyers Agents who specialize in this market, with specific experience navigating the twists and turns that come with purchasing a foreclosure.

Keep in mind that even the most intuitive agents are not mind readers. You need to make your preferences, priorities and spending limits clear up front, so neither party wastes valuable time looking at properties that don't meet your needs.

Finally a word about etiquette: It is most proper to ultimately extend your loyalty to an agent who spends a significant amount of effort helping you find a property. Remember, real estate agents work on commission, so the time they spend working on your behalf amounts to no earnings if you don't ultimately make a purchase through them. Working with a Buyers Agent can often result in a net savings on property purchases—whether traditional resale homes or foreclosure properties, and can also help inexperienced home buyers from making costly mistakes in negotiations, contract terms and property research.


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