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The Homebuyer's Guide | Part 2: Hire a Real Estate Agent

Welcome to Our Home Buyers' Guide

"Realtors are the gatekeepers of community" - Trent Williamson

Welcome to The Homebuyer's Guide, Part 2: Hire a Real Estate Agent - The Key to Your Future Home

So you’ve evaluated your finances in Step 1 and decided that you are ready to begin the journey of buying a home – congratulations! Welcome to your guide to the next step in the process... Hiring a Real Estate Agent.

A Real Estate Agent (referred to herein as “Agent”) is a licensed professional who arranges real estate transactions, acting as a representative for a buyer and/or seller. Your Agent’s role is to be your guide, advocate, and representative throughout your journey, organizing and overseeing home search and purchasing transaction. From scouring the market and presenting your offer, to coordinating inspections and overseeing paperwork, your Agent is the key figure holding every detail of your search and transaction together. A good Buyer’s Agent is dedicated to ensuring that your interests are protected and that your home-buying experience is successful, satisfying, and stress-free.

Your Agent's role is to be your guide, advocate, and representative throughout your journey... the key figure holding every detail of your search and transaction together.

In this article, we will cover the following topics to equip you with the knowledge you need in hiring an Agent: :

  1. Why it's important to work with an Agent

  2. What to look for in an Agent

  3. What the process of hiring an Agent looks like

A quick note before we move on - you may have heard the terms “Realtor” and “Real Estate Broker” used interchangeably with "Real Estate Agent." These terms actually have important distinctions. A REALTOR® is a licensed Real Estate Agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. A Real Estate Broker is an Agent who is licensed to work independently, and usually employs and manages other Agents. Typically, you will work with an Agent, though Agents are commonly referred to - mistakenly - as Brokers.

Now that we've cleared that up - let's get started learning about Hiring a Real Estate Agent!


Your Real Estate Agent's role is to be your guide, advocate, and representative throughout your journey, coordinating and overseeing your home search and purchasing transaction.

Working with a Real Estate Agent is critical when purchasing a home because they offer expert insight, exclusive listing access, a network of trusted professionals, negotiation skills, and step-by-step guidance throughout the process - all free of charge to you as a Buyer!

There are over 45,000 Realtors® between MA & CT. With so many to choose from, you need to do due diligence when choosing who to work with. Look for someone with a proven track record, local expertise, strong ethics, and communication and negotiation skills. You should also have a good rapport with them.


Real Estate Agent: A licensed professional who arranges real estate transactions, acting as a representative for a buyer and/or seller.

Realtor: A licensed real estate agent who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the nation’s largest trade network.

Real Estate Broker: A real estate Agent who has additional qualifications to work independently, and usually hires Agents to work for them.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS): A database established by cooperating Real Estate Brokers to provide data about available listings, which Real Estate Agents have access to.


Why Should I Work with a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate search and transaction is full of intricacies and complexities that no amount of Zillow scrolling and HGTV watching can truly prepare you for. The guidance of a local professional who is in your corner will be difference between a smooth journey and a maze of pitfalls. Here are a few reasons why you should hire an Agent to help with your home search:


That’s right, free! In the U.S., Agents are paid from a portion of the commission that a Seller pays in order to hire their Agent. So unless you’re selling a home as well, you won’t be paying any fees to use a Realtor®.


A Real Estate Agent is someone who knows well the local market trends and home values. They will give you invaluable insight on the local market and will be able to guide you in where to look for the best investment in your price range. When you’re ready to make an offer, they’ll be able to help you craft a solid bid, as well as analyze the fair market value of the property to make sure you’re not overpaying for your new home.


Real Estate Agents have access to the latest home listings, often before they pop up on popular home search sites. This is because they are first to see homes put in the MLS (see “Key Terms” above), and they often have access to off-market properties through their professional networks.

For example, Coldwell Banker agents have access to a CB-only program called “Exclusive Look” which markets thousands of off-market properties to our own network before they launch on the market. Since Coldwell Banker repeatedly has the highest market share of sold properties in New England, having access to their professional network of off-market listings gives you a huge advantage as a Buyer in a competitive market.


Throughout the Buying process you will need to engage the services of many professionals – mortgage lenders, inspectors, and attorneys, to name a few. Your Agent will have a network of these professionals to connect you with throughout the process.


From making an offer to closing the deal, you need someone who is a skilled and adept negotiator in your corner. Your Agent will go to bat for you to protect your interests and get the best possible outcome for you.


Buying a home is a daunting process strife with complexities, legalities, and lots of paperwork, and depending on your situation, it may be uncharted territory. Your Agent will oversee your transaction and be your step-by-step guide so you’re never left feeling lost or confused about what to do.


What Should I Look for in a Real Estate Agent?

Between Massachusetts and Connecticut, there are estimated to be over 45,000 registered Realtors®. How do you cut through the noise and choose the right Agent to represent you? Here’s what to look for:


A proven track record is indicative of an Agent’s ability to deliver results for you. Look for a team or individual who has experience helping people buy and sell real estate, and has the numbers to back it up.


You don't need to look for an agent who lives on the same block as your dream home... but expertise in the general region is crucial. Look for someone who lives, works, or grew up in or near the general area you're looking. They'll have a better understanding of local market trends, property values, and neighborhood dynamics, and can help match you with the right area.

If you’re not looking in Massachusetts or Connecticut, we will be happy to connect you with a trusted local agent just about anywhere in the world – get in touch with us and let us know where you’re looking!


Strong communication is critical to any real estate transaction, and negotiation is key to getting your offer accepted and closed. Look for someone who has experience and comfort with negotiation, and who communicates in a clear, timely, and effective manner.


Between showings, offer negotiations, inspections, and more... you will be communicating with your agent often and potentially over a long period of time – make sure it’s someone you have a good rapport with! Your Agent should be someone you feel at ease with, and someone you actually want to work with.

If you’re looking for an Agent that meets all of this criteria and more - get in touch to speak with someone from our team today. We’d be thrilled to match you to a team member or affiliated Agent in your area today!


What is the Process of Hiring a Real Estate Agent?

Hiring a Real Estate Agent is a fairly simple and straightforward process.

You’ll typically begin the process by having a conversation with a potential Agent. This is a time for them to learn more about you and your needs, as well as for you to ask questions you may have about them or the real estate process. If you decide to work with them, you’ll typically sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, which is a signed document that defines your relationship to one another for a specified period of time. As with any other binding document, make sure to read the Agreement thoroughly, and don't hesitate to ask the Agent any questions you have about it. As mentioned before, you don’t need to pay your Buyer’s Agent for their buying services – they are paid from the commission that a Seller pays their Agent. From here, your Agent will begin taking you through the process step-by-step, from connecting you with a lender to helping you create your wish-list to setting up showings.


Ready to hire an agent? Get in touch with us today, we’d love to help you!

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