Rule #2: Get a trustworthy broker.
You wouldn’t befriend anyone you don’t trust, so why would you buy a house through someone you think is a bit shady? Find a reputable broker who you feel you can depend upon during negotiations. Your broker will be there to see you through the process, and ideally should be someone with “experience, motivation and the right credentials,” says Jorden Tepper, director of sales for Century 21 New York Metro. “You only need one, but make sure he’s qualified; in New York, he should be on the real estate board with a reputable company that’s also on the board,” Tepper says. Find someone “with experience in the market that you’re looking in and check out his sales history and neighborhood,” just to make sure they align with your goals.
To find a great broker in your area, verify the person’s license through your municipal Department of Real Estate Records, or simply ask to see his or her credentials.
Rule #3: Don’t take it personally.
All realtors recommend leaving emotions out when your broker begins the negotiation process. "Put on your investor's cap,” Tepper advises, and try to regard the process as a business transaction, nothing more.
Andy Gagliano, president of Gagliano Mortgage, agrees. He tells potential buyers not to be afraid to walk away, and never pay more than a pre-established ceiling. “In today’s market it’s not an issue, you can find another house down the street.”
Remember, your broker is motivated by a commission, and the broker only makes money when you buy. Set clear expectations for what you’re willing to spend, and make sure your broker respects them.
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