Why Use an ABR®
Buying a home is no small matter. Besides being the largest financial transaction you may ever undertake, it’s probably also the most complex. There are many good reasons to work with a qualified real estate professional—especially a trained professional who has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation, representing best-in-class buyer services.
When you look for an ABR® before you look for a home, you’ll be served, not sold. Your interests become their interests. And you’ll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer-representation services. Plus, a REALTOR® who has an ABR® Designation also has an established track record, with proven experience in representing the concerns of home buyers.
The ABR® Designation is awarded through the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, or REBAC, which was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer-representation skills and services. REBAC is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
Houses are expensive. Probably the largest purchase you’ll ever make. That’s why very few prospective homeowners have enough cash on hand to purchase a home outright. Instead, most home buyers seek financing—a mortgage—to cover the difference between what they’ve saved, and what they need, to buy a home.
What’s my price range?
Determining how much house you can reasonably afford, and the size of your mortgage, requires carefully evaluating:
- Savings—how much have you set aside to cover a down payment on your home, as well as your closing costs?
- Affordability—how much can you safely borrow, and still meet all your financial obligations?
A trained buyer’s representative can answer all your questions about factors to consider in evaluating your financing options and determining a reasonable price range for your home purchase.
Finding & Buying a Home
Once you dig into the actual process of finding and buying a home, you’ll benefit from learning more about several other key issues, including:
- What you should pay—both price and related terms
- Evaluating the local public school system
- Understanding your closing costs
- Details regarding your purchase contract
Use this section to explore these topics further and ask your trained buyer’s representative to provide additional guidance.
You found your home, the contract has been signed, and the closing date has been set. Now, it’s time to prepare for moving day. You should, however, begin planning for it well in advance. Moving, after all, may be the biggest job of all.
Careful preparation is essential, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. Here, you’ll find useful information on:
Selecting a Moving Company
By investigating moving companies, you can eliminate or at least reduce many of the surprises and hassles that moving often entails. Use our step-by-step guide.
Go here for additional helpful information, including a comprehensive moving checklist and several time-saving online resources.
What is a buyer’s representative?
Defined most simply, a buyer’s representative (also buyer’s rep, or buyer’s agent) is an advocate for the buyer—not the seller—in a real estate transaction. Real estate laws and regulations vary from state to state, but buyer’s representatives usually owe full fiduciary (legal) duties, including loyalty and confidentiality, to their buyer-clients and work in their clients’ best interests throughout the entire transaction.
What services are provided by a buyer’s representative?
If you’ve established an agency relationship with a buyer’s representative, common services include:
- Helping you clarify your priorities.
- Suggesting sources of financing and other service professionals, such as inspectors and exterminators.
- Providing sources of accurate and lawful information on neighborhoods, schools, and communities.
- Selecting and arranging property showings.
- Evaluating particular properties.
- Explaining forms and agreements.
- Suggesting contract contingencies to protect you, rather than the seller.
- Assisting in the negotiations for a favorable price and terms.
- Keeping all information confidential that could weaken your bargaining position.
- Monitoring the entire purchase process, assisting with issues that arise through closing.
What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage?
Typically you will first pre-qualify for a mortgage, then get pre-approved before you have found the specific home you wish to purchase. What is the difference?
Pre-qualification: An informal determination by a lender or mortgage broker stating how much mortgage you can afford.
Pre-approval: A guarantee in writing by a lender to grant you a loan up to a specified amount.
Will I pay more to be represented as a buyer?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is no. When a house is listed for sale, the seller’s contract spells out the commission rate that will be awarded to a buyer’s representative. This is known up front and typically covers all, or at least most, of your representative’s compensation.
If it doesn’t, the choice is yours. You can scratch this house off your list, or decide to view it, knowing that any remaining compensation will need to be addressed. But even if the seller’s listing contract doesn’t entirely cover your buyer’s representative’s compensation, and you must pay the difference, it’s quite possible that these relatively small differences will be more than offset by other purchasing terms negotiated with the seller.
Can I avoid real estate commissions altogether and buy directly from a seller?
Yes, this is an option that some buyers explore. However, it’s important to understand that nothing is truly free and this approach still carries a price. Unrepresented sellers (for-sale-by-owner properties) frequently lack adequate information about how to price their home, or attempt to inflate the price in lieu of paying a real estate commission.
As an unrepresented buyer, it will be much harder for you to know if you’re overpaying. Real estate professionals have developed keen pricing insights that go well beyond simply evaluating data through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). And if you are overpaying, it will create further complications in securing financing.
For these, and many other reasons, a high majority of consumer-to-consumer housing transactions never reach closing. Real estate professionals play a valuable role in keeping your home-purchase on track, starting with selecting and touring properties and continuing through negotiations, inspections, financing and closing. This is especially true in today’s market, where alternative buying opportunities, including short sales, have added even more complexity to some real estate transactions.
How much house can I afford?
When evaluating how much you can afford for your home and mortgage, lenders usually use two rules of thumb:
1. Your maximum monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your gross (pre-tax) income.
2. Your maximum debt load, including your mortgage payment, should not exceed 30 percent of your gross income.
These ratios are typical of those required to secure a conventional mortgage. Lenders will be able to supply details about other types of mortgages, such as FHA or VA loans, which offer more flexible qualification standards. There are many types of mortgages and financial tools available that provide flexibility in interest rates, terms, and down payment requirements. Learn
How do I find a buyer’s representative in my area?
One of the easiest ways is to use our online directory, which includes both ABR®-designated buyer’s representatives and buyer’s reps working to complete their designation requirements.
- Just call me: David Pfrimmer, Principal Broker
- Windermere VanVleet Jacksonville
- 541-326-6262 or Pfrimmer@windermere.com
- For complete Buyer's Representation by an ABR certified Representation