Monday, March 19, 2007

"I'm a prospective first-time homebuyer. My friend, a recent first-time homebuyer, told me I don't need an agent. Totoo ba ito?"

When you buy a home, research shows that there are big advantages to using the services of a real estate agent. But I do know of someone who somehow regretted using one.

Last year, he bought a new home that he stumbled upon all by himself. However, out of loyalty to an agent that has shown other for-sale homes to him in the past, when he registered to see that new home, he took this agent with him. The new homebuyer did all of the work: he found the home and did all of the research himself, and the agent just showed up to register.

When he got the closing statement, he saw that the agent pocketed $12,000 in commission for almost-nothing work. Later on, he found out from other savvy homebuyers that had he not registered with an agent in tow, posibleng nabigyan s'ya ng discount sa bahay na binili n'ya.

Yikes. That's $12,000-worth of buyer remorse.

To get clarification, I asked someone who has tons of experience with homebuyers.

"It is a good idea to have an agent when you buy a resale home as it doesn't cost the buyer anything, just the seller. When buying a new home, it isn't necessary as the agent at the sales office actually represents both seller and buyer, " said Jodi Hatch, a loan officer.

'Yun ang bottom line: Decide first if you're buying a new home or a resale home.

If the house you want to buy is a new home, do some research and see if you can do it on your own. There are tons of first-time homebuying tips that can be found online.

If you have your eye on a resale home, find a good agent. According to this website, there are three reasons to use a real estate agent as a first-time homebuyer: They have negotiation skills, experience, and resources. These are all great things to have at your disposal.

(If you have a question for ASK A KABABAYAN, please e-mail To get a more detailed information, please contact a professional.)

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