The Buyer Agent "to do" list of Buddy Pope, BUYER AGENT in Peterborough NH
Many buyers do not understand the benefits of working with an agent in a buyer agent capacity. Hopefully we can lend clarity to the confusion here!
A buyer agent contractually works for and is pledged in a fiduciary manner to promote the best interests of the buyer in the search for and in the purchase of real estate according to the terms of the buyer agency agreement. A buyer agent is compensated for this effort and the compensation is negotiable between the buyer and the buyer's agent at the time the buyer agency contract is written.
Some duties a buyer agent would perform might be:
01) Fleshing out the with the buyer what the buyer's goals are and bringing to light any obvious and immediate obstacles to these goals. Is the price realistic for the area in which the buyer wishes to buy? Does the buyer have a proper idea of varying towns' tax rates? or current use taxation help? Are the buyer's truthfully considering wants over needs?
02) Providing the buyer with a software platform through which to conduct searches for properties; making sure the search software is current and in line with the local MLS so that the buyer is reviewing currently active properties or properties that are under agreement but that are still being shown for backup purposes. See www.THEPOPEOFREALTY.com for up to date town & home search capabilities in New Hampshire and links to the Monadnock region of NH
03) Helping the buyer to get a pre-approval letter and thereby to be vetted by a reputable (local) lender for credit worthiness, employment screening, debt to income ratios etc, so that the buyer will be ready to write an offer and have that offer accompanied by a pre-approval letter so that the seller knows the buyer has his/her ducks lined up and to present the buyer in the best possible light in the case of competing offers versus having to "get" the pre-approval letter after the offer has been submitted- seller's do not look kindly on that!
04) Suggesting potential things for the buyer to consider when writing the offer... "Must appraise at or above the purchase price" is one protection buyer agents often suggest to buyers when drafting the Purchase and Sales contract. But what if the property does not appraise for value? Then what? Or what if the clause is omitted and the property does not appraise- will the lender necessarily kill the deal... it depends on the lender, financing, ratios. A buyer agent can discuss these and other P&S suggested clauses with the buyer prior to writing an offer. If in doubt an attorney or the lender could be consulted
05) A buyer agent has a great team of inspectors, lenders, title/closing firms, appraisers that he or she can call and lean on for advice.
06) A buyer agent makes sure the buyer does not overpay for the property- a buyer agent should run a comparative price analysis on the property based on similar properties that have sold in the area, but also based on a review of ratios of assessed values to to sold values in the area. A buyer agent should have some familiarity with the apprisal process in order to know how to "break the rules" as an appriaser would when easy comparables cannot be found- for instance how far radius wise can the search for comparables look on order to find comparable listings? Can one jump to towns that are not immediately abutting or to towns that may be in a different school district?
07) A buyer agent will go to the town and see if there are any known outstanding permitting issues or disputes with the current homeowner and the town. Does that 3rd floor living space adhere to town fire code regulations for egress?
08) A buyer agent ought to do his/her best to make sure that abutting properties are not in line for known development or changes that would degrade the value of the property in focus. Are there any lot line disputes, are any of the immediately abutting homes in foreclosure status?
09) A buyer agent has assembled all the facts that are resonably obtainable about the property in question and can negotiate a better price or terms for the buyer. NEGOTIATION is gained from experience and a command of the facts... are there other properties that are so similar that the buyer might just want to look at that other one if the seller is not willing to be realistic... just a thought to float out there, to let the listing agent know that the buyer agent KNOWS the neighborhood and can present his buyer with ALTERNATIVES! One cannot GET something without LEVERAGE or a willingness to GIVE on terms that the seller may hold dear but that matter little to the buyer; for instance, the seller may need a quick close in order to get the house of his/her dreams in another State, one that won't last long on the market- the buyer may be able to give that and leverage something in return like a lowered price or keeping the appliances.
10) A buyer agent needs to plan for setbacks and have alternative plans in place ahead of the setback, not to start from scratch after the setback has occurred. This is called PROACTIVE thinking, not REACTIVE thinking.
11) A buyer agent reviews the seller's disclosure sheet and brings forth to the buyer any items that seem odd or items where full disclosure seems questionable or any unanswered questions- then the buyer agent GETS ANSWERS for his client so he/she can make informed decisions at every step of the process.
12) Megan's law check against area pedophiles- did you remember to check in with your local police or State police on that one? Property values can be affected by proximity to known sexual offenders.
These are examples of SOME of the things a buyer agent will do for his/her client. Are you, the home buyer, prepared to do these things on your own and simply trust that it will all turn out right? I have NEVER yet seen the perfectly clear, nothing goes wrong real estate transaction yet. On the listing end, the listing agent works very hard at promoting the best interests of his/her client- why would YOU want anything less for yourself?