Do you really need a buyer's agent?
Most people think that real estate agents just sell homes and they are pretty much the same all over. Right? Often the home-buying process begins with looking on the internet or cruising neighborhoods and looking at homes. When they stumble upon a home that sparks their interest, they blindly call the agent who is listed on the sign outside or at the bottom of the ad. What is wrong with this picture? Think about it. What is the agent who has an exclusive listing agreement with the seller of the home supposed to do? Sell that home. Who will the agent represent in the transaction? In whose favor will the contract to purchase the home be written? Right, the seller of the home!
What is a home buyer to do?
With gas prices the way they are, cruising neighborhoods can become pretty pricey The internet is a wonderful tool, but frankly you can become overloaded with the huge volume of information and the great number of homes that come up on search. Take heart, there is a better way to go about finding a home--by using a buyer’s agent to assist you in the home buying process.
Having a buyer’s agent means that you have a person who is an expert in home buying guiding you through the whole process as smoothly as possible. When you contractually engage an agent to work exclusively for you, that agent can advise you in the process, give you exclusive information and cut through all of the home-buying chaff and get straight to the heart of what you are looking for. The best part of it is that it will cost the buyer nothing to use a buyer’s agent if they buy a home that is listed by another real estate agent. In Georgia, the seller pays the real estate commission. People that engage a buyer’s agent can breathe easier to know that they will typically spend less time searching, and spend less money than someone who does not engage a buyer’s agent.
In this current market, there are plenty of “deals” to be had, but there are such and incredible number of homes to sort through, it can be tough to evaluate them quickly without being overwhelmed. Finding a new home can be exhausting. What if you fall in love with a home? Will you be able to evaluate the home without being blinded by emotion? Face it, falling in love with a property can cloud your judgment and you might not see the property for what it really is. There may be neighborhood issues and problems with the foundation or roof. It is nice to have an impartial person who has your best interests in mind when you are about to make the biggest investment of your life! A buyer’s agent will advise you if there was a toxic waste dump nearby or if they are planning a new landfill down the road. I have personally told people not to buy homes that they loved and they thanked me for it later.
Another great benefit of having a buyer’s agent is that you will have full and equal representation in the purchase contract negotiation process. The process of purchasing a home is initiated by the home buyer. Your buyer’s agent will write the contact to purchase the home with protecting your interests in mind. Your agent will have done neighborhood research to find out how long the house has been on the market, why the seller is selling, and what similar homes have sold for in that neighborhood recently. Your agent will help you to negotiate the best price you can get for the home. At this point in the process, a good buyer’s agent can save you thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars.
When a deal is made, then there are contractual deadlines that must be met. The new contracts require a loan contingency period, an inspection period and other dates that must be kept in mind to not be in breach of the contract. In the loan contingency period you must secure funds (get approved for a loan) within a certain number of days, usually 14 days. If you do not have a loan in this time period, you will forfeit the earnest money you invested when the contract became binding. Your agent will have helped you to secure a pre-approval prior to finding your dream home, and will keep you on track after the contract has become binding. The agent will put you in touch with home inspectors, termite inspectors, and other experts that you may need during your inspection period. It is their job to make sure that all the contingencies on the contract are met, the contracts delivered and the closing attorney engaged for the client. Your agent is responsible for making sure everything is in place to make the closing smooth and easy. Sometimes that can be a lot of work!
On the day before or the day of closing your agent will schedule a “walk-through” to make sure the house is in and acceptable condition prior to purchase. The final check list will be completed for the buyer at this time, ensuring that the termite letter and home owner’s insurance are in place. Your agent will check the settlement statement to make sure it is accurate and notify the attorney if it is wrong. The agent will be with you at the closing table and will be the first to congratulate you on your new home!
A buyer’s agent will guide and protect your interests in every step of the home buying process at no cost to you. Having a buyer’s agent means having a friend in the real estate business.
Any questions? Give me a call!
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