Many first-time homebuyers will want to go full-out DIY on their first home to cut costs, which includes buying their home without a real estate agent. I'm sending all the good vibes your way when it's time to DIY that new kitchen sink post-closing, but when it comes to actually buying your home, this is something you don't want to do alone — especially as a first-timer. Fun fact: it won't cost you any additional money to use an agent since buyers aren't responsible for paying their agents directly, so you owe it to yourself to work with a buyer's agent that'll offer their advice and expertise every step of the way.
When you search for a home through online databases (like Zillow), filling out their online form to visit a property will automatically "pair" you with a buyer's agent in that area. You might get lucky...but you also might not. Do your own research! I highly recommend choosing an agent that folks have vouched for, whether that's through a friend or family member's recommendation or through trustworthy online reviews, like those from Zillow, Google, or Yelp.
When deciding on a realtor, remember that you're quite literally designating the person that's going to advocate for you every step of the way — from the initial offer to closing day. For that reason, here are some buyer's agent red flags that should prompt you to run far, far away as quickly as humanly possible:
🚩 They take a long time to respond to your initial inquiry (thank you, next!)
🚩 They attempt to show you listings that are unreasonably outside your budget (see ya!)
🚩 They don't take the time to adequately answer your "first time homebuyer" questions (nope.)