Do I have to have a realtor?..or is it okay to use several of them at once?
No – but if you are a newbie, it would help significantly, especially if you can find a good one with investment experience. I am NOT new and have always used a realtor.
Yes – as long as you don’t sign exclusively with one realtor.
If I don’t have one, will the listing agent show me the home that I’m interested in?
Of course. Just remember that the listing agent has a contract with the seller, works for the seller, and (contrary to what you may have read in another thread), is paid by the seller (yes the seller!). The listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller to sell the property for the highest possible price, which is in direct conflict to your objectives of buying the property for the least amount possible.
In most states, you can have the listing agent show you the property and then bring in your own agent later if there is a real interest on your part. In Louisiana (and perhaps in other places, too), you must be extremely careful doing this as the listing agent can object and get all or part of the money that your agent should get (things are a little quirky here)…
It sounds like I should have my own realtor show me the property
I believe you asked “Do I need a realtor?” and that I said “…if you are a newbie, it would help significantly, especially if you can find a good one with investment experience. I am NOT new and have always used a realtor.”
As a newbie, my answer would be “Yes, you need a realtor”.
And, if you decide to buy a property, “Yes, you need an inspector”.
It never hurts to have a realtor to help you find a property. My suggestion is that you talk to several. Find a couple that you like. Let them know that you are an investor and that you are looking for deals. Then, reward those that help you out by giving them more business in the future.
I highly suggest that you find a Realtor that is also an investor. Most Realtors don’t have the first clue on how to evaluate a property for it’s investment potential. If you are new, you may not be able to discuss some important aspects with your Realtor.
Best of luck!
Perfect!! I thought I could only go with one, and the one I have is note’s not helping me. I found one on the posts here, and she seems like she knows exactly what I’m looking for.