APPARENTLY, sometimes even offering your services for free isn't enough.
I'm thinking out loud about a report by the National Association of Realtors that states that during November 2011, just 60 percent of the people who purchased a home were represented by an agent. Despite the fact a buyer's agent typically doesn't cost the consumer any money, two out of every five buyers decided to not seek the help of a real estate professional.
Much of the reason for that has to be a buyers ability to now find houses for themselves through the Internet. Let's face it; a buyer can get on-line all by themselves - they don't need an agent's help. And, an agent's access to a MLS book isn't nearly as special as it once was.
So, should a buyer even take the time these days to find an agent to work with? Well, according to many within the industry, yes, they should. And here are a few of the commonly cited reasons why:
- A buyer's agent is paid out of the seller agent's commission, typically with no cost to the buyer.
- A buyer's agent can access historical data valuable when developing a bidding strategy. They also have a good understanding of the market, which is critical when making a bid.
- A buyer's agent usually knows other dependable professionals in the industry to work with when the time comes to contact a home inspector or finance company.
- Buyer's agents are professional negotiators. Remember, you will be negotiating with a seller's agent, someone who represents the seller and will be trying to sell their property for as much as possible.
- Let's face it, those in the profession are in the loop, those outside the profession are not. Agents oftentimes know of properties up for sale before they formally are listed.
- A buyer's agent can bring an unattached, unemotional perspective into what can become a very emotional process.
- A buyer's agent understands how the process works. They are familiar with contracts and concepts like "disclosure."
As most of you already know, a buyer's agent offers a consumer much more than a list of houses for sale and judging from the numbers in the NAR report, buyer's agents need to get better at reminding the rest of us of that.
Take it on as a personal challenge ...
For a couple of articles on why a buyer's agent may be a good idea: