Shatter unrealistic homebuying expectations

REThink Real Estate

Q: How would I find an agent motivated to help me? A while ago I was thinking about buying a house, but the agent kept showing me houses out of my price range. She did not provide information on first-time homebuyer programs, etc. Help! –Daphne W.

A: Agents have long had a bad rap for showing people more expensive properties than they could afford, hoping the whiff of granite and rubbed bronze would intoxicate buyers into spending more than they planned.

The fact is, the recent market dynamics have educated all real estate players — buyers, sellers and agents — with a hard reality check, and lending guidelines are so tight that most agents know buyers don’t have much wiggle room.

The last thing they want to do is set you and themselves up for failure by getting you into contract on a home you can’t afford and the bank won’t let you buy.

On today’s market, it’s much more common to see one of four reasons why buyers end up in situations like you’ve described, where they’re working with an agent who is nice, but totally off-target in terms of the information and listings they offer.