Bad Credit Home Shopping: The Importance of a Good Real Estate Agent

By Gabriel Traverso
Mortgage Credit Problems Columnist

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Shopping for a new home without the assistance of a real estate agent is rarely the right move. If you have bad credit it is even more important that you have someone on your side to help you get the best possible home for you and your family.

Bad Credit or Not, It's a Buyer's Market Out There

The market has shifted and we're no longer seeing the buying wars of just a few years ago. Having a real estate agent working for you can help you take advantage of market conditions to negotiate the best possible deal. Currently, about 64% of home shoppers use a real estate agent when buying a home, and June Fletcher of The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, "As a buyer, it's always beneficial to have someone carry your spear in negotiations with a seller or builder."

Bad Credit Home Loan Shopping

Having bad credit in today's market means you'll have to shop a little harder for a good deal on a home loan. However, don't let that fact distract you from the importance of finding the right agent. You might even find an agent who works with lenders specializing in borrowers with bad credit. The important thing is that you need an agent who listens to what you want in a new home and will work hard for you. If you don't feel comfortable with the person or don't think they're doing the right job then move on.

What is Dual Agency?

In some states, your real estate professional may represent only you, the buyer. In other states, an agent may work for both buyer and seller. An agent working for both the buyer and seller is called a dual agent and must disclose this relationship in writing to both sides. Of course, an agent who also represents the seller will not be able to fully represent you, the buyer. If you have bad credit, in particular, you need your agent to pressure the seller to help make your financing more affordable. It can be to your advantage to get your own agent who has no conflict of interest.

The Wall Street Journal: Finding the Best Match When Shopping for a Buyer Agent

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