For first-time home buyers, the process can be daunting. But a good Realtor can help make the process a little easier. So HousingWire staffer Kelsey Ramirez spoke to industry professionals to get their advice on the best questions first-time buyers can ask when choosing a Realtor:

-What is your experience working with first-time home buyers?

-How long have you been in the real estate business and how many homes have you sold this year?

-How will you communicate with me?

-Are there any fees I need to pay you?

-Are you working for me and in my best interest throughout this transaction?

Here’s Ramirez’s explanation as to why that last question is crucial:

Buyers often call on a home for sale from a sign in the yard, and the listing agent wants to show you the home. The listing agent has signed a contract with the seller to work on their behalf. They cannot work for you and the seller at the same time while trying to get both sides the best deal. If you do hire a real estate agent that also works with sellers, ask them up front how this will work if you are to view a home they are selling. Buying at a discount or at terms that work in your favor are extremely important when buying a home for the first time. I like to say that you earn your equity in the purchase of the property, not necessarily when you go to sell the home, but when you buy. Equity is wealth. You will need someone working FOR you and in your best interest.

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