What to Expect from Your Realtor

When you're ready to buy a home in Fairfield County, CT, you’ll want to work with an experienced, full-time, professional real estate agent — one with a proven track record of success, and who works with a Connecticut real estate brokerage firm that has significant market share and the unwavering support of its agents and clients.

A Word About “Buyer’s Agent”

The terms “buyer agency” or “buyer’s agent” are often used, but may be confusing, especially to a first-time buyer. In the state of Connecticut, “buyer agency” status was created as a means to protect homebuyers under the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. It is a legally binding commitment between a potential buyer and a real estate agent that states that the buyer’s agent represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction. The buyer agent’s fiduciary duties are owed exclusively to the buyer, not to the seller, even though the seller is the one who pays the commission.

It is Connecticut law that a buyer agency agreement must be signed before houses can be shown. It is important to note, however, that buyers can limit that commitment to a single day or particular homes to be shown. Choosing a real estate agent is a bit like dating; you want to be sure you like, trust and feel you can work with an agent before fully committing to an exclusive relationship.You don’t have to feel “locked in”!

More information can be obtained from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Finding The Right Fairfield County Real Estate Agent

Buying a new home is not just a financial decision; it's a personal and emotional decision as well. It can be exciting and it can be stressful. In many cases, it is the largest single purchase you will ever make. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your real estate agent and it’s most important that you feel a personal connection. You’ll want to work with someone with whom you are comfortable and whom you can trust; whose style is compatible with your own. You should be confident that your real estate agent is providing you with the best data, expertise and experience to assist you in this important process.

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

  • Ask your family, friends and coworkers for referrals; find out what they liked most and least about the real estate agent with whom they worked when they bought their home.
  • Go to public open houses; chat with the agents to get a sense of their market knowledge, professionalism and style. Do they understand you? Is this a person you feel you could work with, would want to spend hours driving around with and walking through homes and, potentially, have negotiating on your behalf? Can you imagine having to speak with this person (if all goes well) several times a day, and enjoy it?
  • Visit the websites of various agents you have heard about. It will give you another inside look at the individual and their expertise. Is their website merely fluff or are they sharing important information?
  • Check out ads in newspapers and online listings to see who handles properties similar to what you are seeking. Interview those agents on the phone or in their offices before committing to going out with anyone.

Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

• How long have you been in the real estate business?
• Is this your full-time job?
• What is your track record?
• How available are you to me?
• What can I expect from you?
• What do you ask of me?
• May I have a list of references?

My Track Record

Cathy BlounT 2009:
Top 3% of Westport Listing Agents

 

Cathy
Blount

 

Westport Ct
Average

 

2009 Days On Market

 

67

 

123

 

2009 Sale Price vs. Listing Price

 

95%

 

92%

 


Questions a Real Estate Agent Should Ask a Home Buyer

To make your search for a new home in Westport, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield, Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich or any of the surrounding communities in Fairfield County more efficient and effective, a good real estate agent will need to understand your needs and wants. I will ask you a lot of questions, and I’ll listen to your answers. I will ask to see pictures of your current home or if feasible I'll visit it to get a clearer idea of how you live, what your tastes are, etc. All will be tools for me to search the available homes that would suit you best. Some things that are good for both of us to know are:

  • What do you like/enjoy the most about your current home and property?
  • What do you like least or think is missing?
  • Do you find that you “live” in less than 50% of your current home?
  • How much initial work are you willing to do? How much maintenance afterward?
  • Describe your dream home.
  • What Is your lifestyle?

To determine which towns and neighborhoods in Fairfield County to target to best meet your family needs, tell me:

  • How far are you willing to commute? If you are commuting into Manhattan, do you want to be able to walk to the train station, and how far is your office from Grand Central Terminal in the city.
  • What are your needs in terms of schools and community? If you have children of different school ages and like to be involved with the schools, the clustered schools of Wilton or Weston may be particularly appealing, for example.
  • What are your needs and desires culturally? Recreationally? Fairfield County offers a wide selection, including theater (The Westport Playhouse, the Rich Forum in Stamford), museums, beaches, golf courses, wooded trails and open space, bike paths, running trails, playgrounds and numerous houses of worship.
  • How close do things need to be for you? If you want "country living,” how far are you willing to travel for basics like groceries? Westport, Wilton, Fairfield, Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich, and Wilton, for example, all have downtowns with an abundance of shopping and restaurants. Easton and Weston are more rural with limited shopping.

Visit the towns that interest you. Feel the atmosphere; visit grocery stores, coffee shops, downtowns, pizza places, parks or playgrounds if you have children or pets. Do you like what you see? The people you encounter? If you don't have the time, I can advise you on the nuances of each area you are considering.

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Cathy Blount is a Fairfield County realtor specializing in Westport, CT homes. She is a top-producing real estate agent for The Riverside Realty Group in Westport. As a Connecticut real estate agent she also works with real estate clients buying and selling Fairfield County homes in Weston, Fairfield, Southport, Norwalk, Rowayton, Darien, New Canaan and Greenwich. She is available to consult with clients interested in Fairfield County properties seven days a week and can be reached through e-mail or by phone at 203-858-8710.