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Billings Real Estate Agent 41 Realty Group General Real Estate

How To Choose The Right Billings Real Estate Agent

Thinking about buying or selling a home? Both of those processes can be an exciting experience and a life-changing one at that. Whether it’s the thrill of the house hunt and the possibility of a new life and growing family, or moving on to the next chapter, a new home is full of hopeful opportunities. The entire process can be enhanced by a good real estate agent who knows all the ins and outs of your market. However, we know that in Billings, MT, there are so many different brokerages and agents out there to choose from, which means that finding the right one is more of a challenge than even finding the perfect house. Especially since working with the right real estate agent who is both experienced and trustworthy can help you sell your home for the best price or find your dream home within your budget. When you’re looking for a Billings real estate agent, you’ve come to the right place.

To help you with the selection process, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you find the best real estate agent, no matter where you live.

Simple Tips To Help You Choose The Best Billings Real Estate Agent

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best Billings real estate agent to help you buy, sell, and even fix and flip.

Start By Looking For Referrals In Your Own Network

The first thing you should do when looking for the right Billings real estate agent is to ask around. Ask friends and family members who they’ve worked with and trusted in the past. Use your network to find out who had amazing experiences. You’ll want to work with someone who has worked with people who are in the same situation as you. Specifically, first-time buyers’ needs are different from those of frequent buyers or homeowners looking to downsize.

We suggest looking for Realtors with a capital R. This specific title means that they are National Association of Realtors (NAR) members. Loosely speaking, this means they have formally agreed to abide by the NAR’s code of ethics. Some Realtors and agents also have specific certifications to show they’ve completed additional training. 

Once you’ve found a name or two of local agents and brokers, the next step is to examine their online presence. Look at their social profiles, their website, and how they promote their current listings. It is also helpful to look at online reviews, but be cautious. One or two negative reviews are normal for successful agents, but if more than 50% of their reviews are unhelpful experiences, that might be a red flag.

Look For Signs Or Open Houses

If you aren’t really excited about digging online for agent profiles, check out your local market in person. Drive or walk around your neighborhood or the neighborhood you want to be in and look for repeat agent names on signs. If you’re seeing the same name or brokerage name time and time again, it most likely is because they care about their business and want to be recognized as an asset to their community. 

Another way you can get to know an agent is to visit open houses. Get a feel for them in person and see how well they are selling another home and interacting with potential buyers. This is a great way to get a feel for their personality and see how they work.

Ask The Right Questions 

When you’re interviewing or getting to know your potential new agent, make sure you are asking the right questions. Find out how long they have been working in real estate, whether they work primarily with buyers or sellers, and how many active clients they have at a time. 

Ask if they are a part of a team, their specialty, and their marketing strategy for both buying and selling. Working with a brokerage is usually a great bet because you’ll have a team of knowledgeable agents and brokers to handle any issues and questions that come up.

Set Clear and Realistic Expectations

When picking an agent to help you buy and sell, you must set your communication preferences and let your agent know your expectations. Usually, the greatest complaint regarding any Billings real estate agent is that they aren’t communicating well. Make sure you are on the same page with your agent from the get-go. Ask them what their expectations are for you as the buyer or seller and ask them how often they will contact you. Maybe your agent prefers email while you prefer phone calls. This might not make for a great client-agent relationship. Similarly, if you’re looking for weekly updates and have a lot of questions, and your agent isn’t great at answering the phone, then you might want to look for someone who is a better fit.

We also think that it’s important you clarify your motivation and goals. If you’re on a strict timeline or have wishlist items that can’t be broken, make sure you’re communicating that with your agent. Layout everything you’re expecting right away so your agent knows all of your expectations. 

At the end of the day, you want to agree with your agent on all the important details. A great agent relationship starts with clearly defined expectations and communication strategies.

Go With Your Gut

We know that when it comes to choosing the right agent, an agent’s ability to make the process smooth and easy is just as important as experience and knowledge. You want to feel mutual trust and comfortability with your agent, as often the closing process can get a little complex.

At the end of the day, you should go with your gut. Finding the right agent is a little like dating; you’ll know if you have chemistry right away. It’s about personality fit just as much as finding someone who knows their stuff.

The Bottom Line When It Comes To Finding A Billings Real Estate Agent

When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, the bottom line is to shop around and do your research. You want someone you connect with, someone you trust, someone who knows the industry and has a large network and inventory on their side at the end of the day. 

Have questions about real estate? We’d love to help. Reach out to us today to discuss your goals.

First Time Home Buyer 41 Realty Group Buyers

Everything You Need To Know As A First-Time Home…

If anyone knows how difficult being a first-time home buyer can be, it’s us. There are so many steps, tasks to complete, requirements, and documents to fill out. Many people looking to buy are anxious about the process because, more often than not, this is the biggest financial decision they will ever have to make. However, we want to encourage first-timers not to be afraid of the process and enjoy some of the advantages of buying for the first time. 

To make this process a little easier and clear up some of the mystery, we’ve compiled a brief overview of what to expect from the buying process. Hopefully, these tips will help ease some of your worries and make life a little easier before buying your first home.

Your Go-To Guide As A First-Time Home Buyer

Thinking of buying your first home? Here’s everything you need to know to get started. 

First Things First – Get Pre Approval 

All first-time home buyers feel both the exhilaration and the fear that comes with buying a home for the first time, and it’s no surprise you’re here looking for tips. Our first piece of advice? Shopping for a home, no matter your budget, without getting preapproved for a mortgage is a big mistake. 

Getting preapproved before you even start looking for a home can help you in a variety of ways. First, it ensures that you have the financial ability to purchase a home, and also makes sure that you know how much you can actually afford. In addition, it lets real estate agents know that you are serious about buying a house.

Shopping for a home before you get approved runs the risk of finding homes that you love that aren’t in your price range. This means you find a way to buy a house you really can’t afford or every other house you look at is a disappointment. Instead of getting your hopes up, start by evaluating your finances and talking to a mortgage lender. Then create a list of must-haves and deal-breakers for the home that you want, so that when you get that pre-approval letter, you’ll know where to start looking.

Consider The Costs of Home Ownership

Like we mentioned above, it pays to know the state of your finances before you really start to look for houses. Any first-time home buyer needs to consider the true costs of homeownership. For example, your down payment requirement will depend on the type of mortgage you choose and the lender. Many lenders offer first time home buyer loans that allow as little as 3% down. But even a small down payment can be challenging to save for. A 3% down payment on a $300,000 home is still $9,000. 

Another thing that a lot of people don’t consider is the closing costs. There are the fees and expenses that come with finalizing the mortgage, and they can range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Sometimes you can ask the seller to pay a portion of these closing costs and shop around for some of those other expenses that come up. Some other expenses might include having the home appraised, getting a home inspection, running a title search, private mortgage insurance, and other surveys. Ask your real estate agent for all of the ins and outs when it comes to closing costs.

Don’t forget any immediate move-in expenses! You’ll want to make sure you have some funds after moving in for home repairs, upgrades, and any new furnishings you might want. 

Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

Another important aspect to consider when you are a first-time home buyer is to make sure you choose the right agent. The right agent will be able to meet all of your needs and guide you through the entire process. 

Make sure you have a connection and mutual trust with your agent. Get referrals from your friends and family and ask them about their experience. Then ask your potential real estate agent about their process for first-time home buyers.

Pick The Right Type Of House And Neighborhood

With the help of your agent, the next step is to find the right house in the right neighborhood. Think about your long term needs and whether you need a starter home or a forever home. If you’re thinking about starting a family or expanding your current one, then it might make sense to buy a home with a little extra room. 

You’ll also want to weigh the pros and cons of different home types, and knowing your lifestyle and budget will help you. Though condos and townhomes are more affordable, sharing walls and having neighbors close by means less privacy. Maybe you’ve found the perfect neighborhood but can’t afford a move-in ready home, in which case a fixer-upper might be your best bet. 

Whatever you choose, make sure you check out the neighborhood thoroughly. It might even be a good idea to test out the commute from your home to your workplace or your children’s schools.

Make An Offer and Close On Your Home

When it’s time to make an offer, your real estate agent will help you decide how much is fair to offer for the house, along with any conditions you might want to ask for. Your agent will contact the seller’s agent and do all of the negotiating for you. Offers and counteroffers will be handled until ultimately, an agreement is reached. Once you reach an agreement, you will then make a good-faith deposition, and the process will then transition into escrow. Escrow is the short period of time during which the seller takes the house off the market with the expectation that you will buy it – provided you don’t find any issues with the house during the inspection.

Once you reach an agreement, and there are no serious problems with the inspection, you are ready to close! Closing is the process of signing a ton of paperwork in a very short time period, and your Realtor will help you make sure everything goes smoothly. 

Let 41 Realty Group Help You Find The Perfect Home

First-time home buyers shouldn’t be afraid of the complex process because you’ll have a real estate agent on your side to help you with every step of the way. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what to expect so that when you’re ready for this fun and life-changing commitment, you’ll be ready. At 41 Realty Group, you’ll find a team of agents who love helping others make Billings their home. Give us a call or contact us online to let us help you start this process.