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Why You Need a Buyer's Agent

Real Estate Agent with Dickens Mitchener

Why you need a buyer's agentHave you ever wondered why you need a buyer's agent?  Money.  It's that simple.  A buyer's agent can save you money - the agent will save you time as well, which, in my book, translates to saving money.

First off, you may think that it's simple to search for homes.  And it is...kinda...if you want to spend all your waking hours on the Internet searching for the perfect home!  From the thousands of homes you can view online, only a handful might truly work for you.  Sifting through this information is a buyers agent's job.  Sit down and talk to your agent.  Let your agent get to know you and what you are looking for in a home so she can best advise you.  Your agent can help you narrow down the choices - and even send you pictures of listings so you are viewing only the homes that will work best for you.  Often, your agent knows more about specific communities than you do and, in many instances, will have already been inside some of the homes.  This can be a huge time-saver.

Once you've found a home, your agent will be able to assist you with negotiating the best price.  She can analyze comparables with you to help you determine a fair offer price.  Yes, some of this information is available through tax records, but many times the information is incomplete (for example, seller-paid concessions and days on market).  This could be information that may largely affect what your offer price would be.  Remember also that your agent has a good knowledge of the area where you are purchasing and which neighborhoods or areas are selling better (or worse) than others -- information that is critical as you prepare your negotiation strategy.

You might think that going directly to the listing agent (calling the phone number on the sign outside the home) is a good strategy, thinking that they will be able to negotiate the price on your behalf since they are earning both the listing side and the buying side of the commission.  This is far from true.  Remember that the listing agent, by law, has to get the best deal for his client (the seller).  In North Carolina, dual agency is permitted but the agent is not allowed to give either party advice and simply has to act as a mediator.  This often does not help the buyer.  You must remember that the listing agent has already had several conversations with the seller.  Also, even if the listing agent gives back a small percentage of the commission to make both sides "happy", that amount is often much less than could be negotiated if you had a buyers agent on your side, representing you and you alone.

I didn't even touch on how an buyers agent can protect you - that's for another day!  Why do you need a buyer's agent?  To protect you and keep your best interests in mind.  Well, that and money.

Robin Husney, your Charlotte real estate expert