Serving Santa Rosa, Escambia, & Okaloosa Counties

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Is a Real Estate Agent Necessary to Buy a Home?

Buying a home is a big event, especially if it is your first home. There will probably be many things you don't know, because you simply haven't been through the home buying process before. One of the most common questions of first-time homebuyers is whether they need to hire a buyer's agent.

There is nothing that requires anyone to hire a buyer's agent. You can find homes for sale on your own and work directly with the seller's agent. The problem with that is that the seller's agent has the seller's best interests in mind. He will try to get the highest possible price for the seller, and is in fact contractually bound to do so. He is also obligated not to share any confidential information about his client with you.

Working with a buyer's agent gives you the advantage of having a knowledgeable and experienced agent looking out for your best interests. Your agent will help you find property that meets your needs. He will then assist you in negotiations to help you get it at the lowest possible price.

You can work with an agent without signing a buyer's agency contract. In fact, it's a good idea to do so for a while until you're sure that you want that agent to represent you. You need time to determine whether the agent will listen to your needs, and whether the two of you will be able to get along.

An agent is not legally bound to keep information, such as the highest price you would pay for a property, confidential until you sign a contract with him. If he is a dual agent that also represents sellers and you want to buy a home that belongs to one of his clients, he has to share that information unless he is legally representing your interests. So keeping such things to yourself until there is a written agreement is a good idea.

An agent should not pressure you into signing an agreement right away. That is a bad sign in and of itself. If after a while you're still unsure, you can talk to the agent about signing an agreement that only lasts for a short time. You could also consider a non-exclusive agreement, which allows the agent to represent you but also allows you to work with other agents.

A buyer's agent is not necessary when you are buying a home, but having someone with experience on your side can make your home buying experience a more pleasant and potentially less expensive one. In many cases your agent and the seller's agent will split the commission. That means that you can have your own agent without having to spend more money.


What Our Clients Say...

  • First time selling a home...Leslie is a wonderful agent to work with. This was my first time selling a home and I was apprehensive about it. She was very quick to respond to all my questions and help... View More..
    Erika Santiago

    First time selling a home...Leslie is a wonderful agent to work with. This was my first time selling a home and I was apprehensive about it. She was very quick to respond to all my questions and help me feel comfortable with the process. She has a very welcoming and friendly personality. I enjoyed working with Leslie so much that she is now helping me with a home purchase!
  • Buying my first house...Leslie went above and beyond to help me go about buying my first house. She was very friendly and was always quick to respond to questions I had. This being my first house, I... View More..
    Brian Simmons

    Buying my first house...Leslie went above and beyond to help me go about buying my first house. She was very friendly and was always quick to respond to questions I had. This being my first house, I had many. She went out of her way to make time to help me and I am pleased to tell everyone that is looking to buy or rent a home to contact her. Her friendly smile was contagious, and I will definitely use her again on my next house purchase.
  • Sold our home in 4 days...Leslie was such a joy to work with. She not only knows her stuff, but she is such a sweet person that wants what's best for her clients. She was always willing to drop... View More..
    Whitney Bennett

    Sold our home in 4 days...Leslie was such a joy to work with. She not only knows her stuff, but she is such a sweet person that wants what's best for her clients. She was always willing to drop anything to meet with and/or discuss things over the phone at anytime. She sold our home in 4 days, helped us find a new home, and we were able to have double closings just a few weeks later!
  • Cindy Cotton. I have been the beneficiary of the most incredible real estate firm. That would be Cotton Real Estate. I did not know them before I hired them to list my first home. After that they... View More..
    Constance Stoner

    Cindy Cotton. I have been the beneficiary of the most incredible real estate firm. That would be Cotton Real Estate. I did not know them before I hired them to list my first home. After that they were the ones we contracted with to sell our current home and purchase our next one. They have since sold that one for us and the purchase of the next one. We also bought some additional properties and of course, Cotton Real Estate is who we called. I have referred several people to Ms Cindy Cotton (mother and father-in-laws and good friends), who have had equally great service from them as we feel they are the BEST realtors that can be found. ANYWHERE. They are above board on their precision of the real estate market, will help you at every turn, are so educated about the contracts, what needs to be done, septic permits and inspections, the ever so awful qualifying and loans, and the quality and type of home that will work. I don't just recommend Cotton Real Estate to anyone looking to buy or sell, I would not use ANYONE else! Sincerely, Constance Stoner
  • Leslie was AWESOME! Leslie recently listed my home for rent and had it rented in 2 weeks. She was very responsive and would follow up with me to give me feedback on all showings which I greatly... View More..
    Paula Snow

    Leslie was AWESOME! Leslie recently listed my home for rent and had it rented in 2 weeks. She was very responsive and would follow up with me to give me feedback on all showings which I greatly appreciated because most property managers don't take the time to do this. Leslie found us a great tenant. She was wonderful to work with. We will definitely use her again. Thanks Leslie,
    Paula Snow
  • Excellent Work, Falen! Thank you for your excellent work on the sale of the Berryhill property and the acquisition of the Gulf Road house! Your advice was always well-informed. You made suggestions... View More..
    James & Linda Thompson

    Excellent Work, Falen! Thank you for your excellent work on the sale of the Berryhill property and the acquisition of the Gulf Road house! Your advice was always well-informed. You made suggestions which were useful. You pointed out items we had not considered. You were always professional while also being personable. You are an example for the real estate industry. Truly, Yours, James and Linda Thompson
  • Thank you Falen Haddy!
    My husband and I recently purchased a home in Pace , and Falen Haddy from cotton Real Estate was our realtor. She was amazing! She worked with us around... View More..
    Ashleigh Bowers

    Thank you Falen Haddy!
    My husband and I recently purchased a home in Pace , and Falen Haddy from cotton Real Estate was our realtor. She was amazing! She worked with us around our schedule to see as many homes as we wanted to see until we found THE one. I would recommend Falen and Cotton Real Estate to anyone and everyone!

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