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    14 Things Real Estate Agents Really Want You To Know

    Hire a realtor who lives in the area you're hoping to buy in.

    We recently asked the real estate agents of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish people knew when buying or selling a house. Here are some of their best responses:

    1. Prioritize what you want in a new home, but always be prepared to compromise.

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    Having more than five non-negotiable "must-haves" is going to make finding a home almost impossible. Going into the process prepared to compromise and prioritize will make it a whole lot less stressful for you and for us!

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    2. Definitely make location your number one priority, because it's the one thing you can't change.

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    There are many things you can change about a house to make it a home, but that won’t matter if it's too far from work, stores, or is out of range of cell service.

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    3. Real estate sites can be super helpful for house hunting, but finding a new home without an agent will be pretty challenging.

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    Real estate agents are still a huge part of the process. You want to hire a professional that will negotiate on your behalf, and be there for you throughout the whole process. We do whatever it takes to service our clients.

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    4. And real estate agent services are totally free for buyers, so you might as well take advantage!

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    We are a wealth of information: We study the market and know the inventory. Don't be afraid to use us!

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    5. When buying, ask your agent if they recommend additional inspections — beyond the standard ones — because they might save you a lot of money in the long run.

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    When buying a house it’s not a bad idea to splurge on some extra inspections that are not covered with a regular home inspection. Get a sewer inspection if the house is older, get a radon inspection if radon is an issue in your area and you plan on having living space in the basement, and get a moisture inspection if the house has stucco siding. Your local realtor will be able to advise you on additional inspections that make sense for the kind of house you’re buying. It'll help you avoid huge unforeseen costs in the future.

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    6. Get a mortgage pre-approval before you start house hunting, so you know exactly what you can afford.

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    Most realtors and buyers will not entertain your offer without it.

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    7. And when buying, compare lenders and programs to make sure you're getting the best rate.

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    You wouldn't just look at one house, so don't look at just one lender. Make sure to compare at least two lenders to make sure you are getting the best rate and program. Don't pull your credit too many times, though, because doing so can hurt your credit score.

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    8. Real estate agents work on commission, so they only get paid when they actually get the house sold.

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    We're one of the only professionals that only get paid when the work is 100% done. When you change your mind after 10 showings, or decide to have your cousin list the house that we staged, remember that we didn’t get paid for any of that time or advice.

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    9. Hire a professional real estate photographer before you put your home on the market.

    10. And when selling, choose a mortgage broker that will work with your real estate agent to get your home into closing.

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    Many times, big banks have too much going on to give you personal service and act in your favor. It's so important that your agent and broker work together as a team. It'll make the buying process so much less stressful.

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    11. Always be honest about any issues with the home you're selling.

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    When selling a house, be honest about any issues it has on any disclosures. If you try to sweep something under the rug it will almost always come back to haunt you later.

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    12. Though they work a less conventional schedule, real estate agents still have personal lives.

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    We are people with friends, families, kids, doctor appointments — basically all the same stuff you do. We need days off or even just some hours off. Lots of clients think we should be available whenever they want us to be, but if we were available to all our clients on each of their individual schedules we'd never get a break.

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    13. Whether you're buying or selling, try to find an agent that lives in the area.

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    They will be familiar with the unique quirks of the community, as well as important vendors such as lenders or inspectors. This is especially important in places where the houses are unique (e.g. not part of a housing development).

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    14. And if you don't know something, just ask! Your real estate agent is prepared to answer any and all questions you may have about the buying or selling process.

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    Make sure to ask a lot of questions. Our job is to make sure you feel comfortable in your decision and have all the tools you need to be successful in your home buying experience. Don't ever feel as though you're bugging your agent or broker with your questions.

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