Stop Wearing Your Underwear
on the Outside of Your Pants

When we were all little and starting to
gain our independence, one thing that
was a big deal was dressing ourselves.
In our haste and excitement, I'm sure most of us were guilty of not paying attention to the order
our clothes were supposed to go on.  Sometimes, our underwear ended up on the outside of our

Thanks to interest rates being at historic lows, we work with a lot of first-time buyers.  It seems
like in their haste and excitement to buy their first home, some buyers are putting their "pants" on
first and their "underwear" on second.

What I mean is this - the first thing a first-time home buyer should do is educate themselves
about how the process works.  Don't call the listing agent to see every house that meets your
needs.  See, there is something called agency - and in the home buying business it's really

Agency works like this:

  * Every agent that you call off a sign is working for one person and one person only, the seller.  
Unless... (and here is where it gets tricky) you authorize that agent to act as a dual agent and
work on the behalf of both parties.

  * Any agent you call from an ad or a sign is working for the seller, and the proper term is the
Listing Agent.  The listing agent is there to help the seller market the home, price the home and
handle negotiations on behalf of the seller.  This agent is also allowed to perform "ministerial
acts" for any potential buyer.  This means that they can help you fill out a purchase contract and
submit your offer to the seller, but after that you are on your own.  This can be dangerous territory
for any buyer, but especially a first-time buyer.  There are a lot of time frames in the contract,
contingencies and other important information that you will be on your own to keep track of.  
Home inspection turns up a lot of problems?  You are on your own to negotiate them with the
listing agent, and this is second nature to a savvy agent.

  * A buyer's agent is an agent that you pick to represent you in the purchase of your new home.  
Your agent will work with the listing agent of the home you purchase and act in your best
interests.  Your buyer's agent will help you write the offer, suggest what a fair price for the home
would be after running comps, track the time frames, help you fulfill contingencies, negotiate the
inspection response for you and oversee the process from the first showing all the way to
closing.  The best part of buyer agency is that in our market the buyer's agent is paid by the seller
- costing you nothing out of pocket.  You get the expert help of a professional agent for free.  
Pretty cool, huh?

  * In a dual agency situation, the listing agent can also represent you as a buyer, but their role is
more limited.  A dual agent can not tell you what you should offer, or give you any confidential
information about the seller.

As you can see buying a home is a complicated process.  It's very important to educate yourself
before you start the process.  The best place to start?  Shop for a good buyer's agent.  Many
agents will offer you a consultation before your search starts.  This allows you to let the agent
know what you're looking for, and in turn the agent can explain to you how the process works.

So, first-time buyers - don't wear your underwear on the outside of your pants.  If you're starting a
home in search in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Collinsville, Troy, Maryville or any other Madison
County communities give me a shout.  We'll sit down for a consultation and get the process
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Goshen Realty Group is led by REALTORS Nancy Milton and Kristina Pratt. We are proud to be affiliated
with RE/MAX Preferred Partners in Edwardsville, IL.

RE/MAX Preferred Partners
One 157 Center
Edwardsville, IL 62025
618-791-8007 Nancy Milton, REALTOR/GRI
618-917-0775 Kristina Pratt, REALTOR/SFR

Copyright © Goshen Realty Group, Kristina Pratt & Nancy Milton, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
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