Buyers’ FAQs

Where do I start?

Buying a home is an exciting proposition. For most people, it’s not an impulse decision. You might want to spend some time driving around neighborhoods, looking at homes for sale in the newspaper and on Web sites, and talking to your friends about their home buying experiences.

After a while, you will get a general idea of where you want to live, what styles of homes you like, and how much homes cost in the areas you like.

What do I do when I’m ready to start looking at houses?

First, you need to figure out how much you can afford. Then, determine the most important elements of the home you hope to buy. The combination of these two pieces of information will help you determine where to start your search.

Your REALTOR® can help you compile a list of houses in your price range that meet the requirements on your wish list. The REALTOR® will then arrange for you to view those properties.

Finding a home you like is the fun part, but it’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A REALTOR® can help you through each step of the process, giving you information to help you make better decisions.

How do I find a REALTOR®?

Recommendations from friends and acquaintances can be very helpful. You can also look in the Texas Association of REALTORS® “Find a REALTOR®” search or contact your local board of REALTORS® for a directory of their members.

Remember, not all real estate agents and brokers are REALTORS®. Find out the difference.

How should I choose a REALTOR®?

You may want to contact several REALTORS® before deciding on one to help you. Make sure you are comfortable dealing with that person—you will be working with him or her for quite some time.

Some REALTORS® specialize in certain areas of real estate, and many have completed advanced educational requirements in those areas. You may be interested in working with a REALTOR® who has achieved a designation such as Accredited Buyer Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, or Graduate, REALTOR® Institute. Read about the various REALTOR® designations.

Do I have to use a REALTOR®?

No. Before you choose to go it alone, though, make sure you are prepared to handle all aspects of this complex transaction. After all, if you make an offer that is too high, negotiate poorly, fail to exercise options available to you, or any number of other mistakes, you could potentially lose much more than you would save by doing it yourself.