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Real Estate Agents

It should come as no surprise: buying a home is a big to-do.

And sure, you can go ahead and click on a few links online and buy yourself a home. But, uh—congratulations!—you've just committed $400,000 of money you don't have to a property that may or may not include a wrecked sump pump, ghosts, and termites that munch really loudly while you’re trying to sleep.

Top 6 Things to Think About Before Buying

To have a better house buying experience, here's a list of stuff to consider:

  1. Who are you buying the home for? Well, you, obviously. But will there be others living with you?
  2. What do you absolutely need in a house? Hardwood floors? A big kitchen? Long hallways for epic sock slides? Knowing what you’re looking for makes it easier to find.
  3. Is it important that you are in a good school district, that you can see the stars at night, or that you live in a zip code that you're proud to put on snail mail?
  4. Is the house in good condition, or are those cracks in the foundation signs that you'll soon need to pony up $100,000 for repairs?
  5. Is the house on the local haunted house tour, and, if it is, do you care about stuff like that?
  6. Would anyone else want to buy the house? The house doesn’t have to be the popular kid on the block, but if everyone else is laughing at the house, they may know something you don’t. If no one else is interested you’d better really love the place because you might not be able to find anyone else to buy it if you end up selling it.

Before you get down to the serious business of buying a house or even going to open houses and nibbling on those tiny sandwiches they put out, make sure you have some semblance of direction.

Why Do Realtors Dress so Nicely?

Why can't you just buy a house on your own? "I don't need no stinkin' realtor…"

Well, these professionals have lots of talents. They can tell you about the neighbors and neighborhood, negotiate the price for you, take care of the paperwork—all while looking snazzy in pearls and suits.

But that sort of pro help doesn't come cheap. Homebuyers usually pay realtors a commission of about 5%. On a $300,000 house, that’s $15,000. (Trust us—we used a calculator.) And that’s whether the real estate agent spent two hours or forty hours helping you out. If he just drove you around for a couple hours and the first open house was "the one," well, you just dropped $7.5G per hour for that help.

No wonder he was wearing Tom Ford.

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