First-Time Home Buying 101: Do I Hire a Real Estate Team or Single Agent?

Buying a home is a major life purchase, and if you’ve never done it before, it can be daunting to think about where to even begin in the process. You will make your home buying journey a lot easier if you hire a real estate agent — and not just any agent will do. The right agent will understand your real estate goals and help you achieve them. You want someone who knows your market well and will be available for questions and support. One of the factors to consider is whether you will hire a real estate team or a single agent and both have their advantages.

When to go with a real estate team

One of the major business trends in the real estate industry in the last few years is the creation of real estate teams, instead of an agent who works on their own. Agents talk about how working in a team can improve their customer service, and help their customers buy and sell homes more efficiently. A real estate team could be anywhere from two to a dozen agents. It’s possible that if you hire a team you will be working with different agents throughout your journey and if you are considering a team, it will be key to be clear about who you will be working with upfront. An advantage of going with a real estate team is that they may have specialized staff to assist with each stage of the home buying process. A real estate team might charge a higher commission than a single agent since they’ll be splitting the proceeds among all of the members of their team.

All you need is one: When to go with a single agent

When you work with a single agent, they will be with you every step of the way throughout your real estate journey. They might also have an assistant who helps with scheduling or email communications. When you hire a solo agent you can be sure that you are working with one agent and they might be able to give you more individual attention than with a team where you may have different agents for different stages of the buying process. However, because a single agent may be working with multiple clients at once, you might find that they aren’t always available when you need them. If considering a solo agent, ask them how many clients they work with at a time and how much time they might have to dedicate to you and finding your dream home. Compare the estimated commission of working with a single agent versus a team to see what makes the most sense for you.

How to find that dream agent

There’s no single answer about whether you should go with a single agent or a real estate team to buy your first home. A good strategy can be to interview a few different agents (including teams) until you find the one that is the right fit for you. You can start by asking friends or neighbors for their recommendations and then create a list of questions about their availability, the number of clients they work with, and how much time you can expect them to dedicate to you each week.

Hiring an agent (or team of agents) is a must when buying your first home, and with a little research, you’ll be on your way to finding the solution that’s right for you.

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