The real estate industry has changed in many ways over the last 10-20 years.
Because of the wide-spread use of the internet and mobile devices, buyers have quick and easy access to property information at all times. Great search tools and personalized portals help buyers and agents work together more effectively.
Unfortunately, many agents have left much of the "searching" up to the buyers rather than assisting them and providing tools buyers need. So, what should a buyer look for in a buyer's agent?
Do buyer's even need an agent today? Yes and here’s why. For starters, home buyers often waste time and become frustrated due to the high amount of partial or outdated information provided by many online real estate sites. You probably know what I'm talking about if you've spent any time searching homes on the well known sites out there.
Perhaps even more important is the fact that a good buyer’s agent will focus on the buyer’s best interests. The good agent will track and control many important tasks that reach far beyond the property search function - tasks most buyers don't even know about.
Here is a short list of the essential tasks a good buyer's agent will perform:
• Be an adviser and advocate during the entire home buying process.
• Take time to discover the buyer’s needs and wants as well as their motivation for buying. Understanding these things assists the agent when the time comes for negotiating price and terms.
• Educate buyers on current market conditions and how they affect price, value, etc.
• Find a way for buyers to meet as many of their needs as possible while navigating the realities of the marketplace or specific lending requirements.
• Research homes in the area and sort through active listings to make suggestions after cross-referencing the buyer’s needs. Good agents spend a lot of time researching the market. They know the things that affect home values today and how they might affect values in the future.
• Help buyers achieve their lifestyle choices with a different set of features than they might have originally anticipated.
• Assist buyers in narrowing their search to weed out poor options and identify their top choices.
• Handle the back and forth of the negotiation process including the preparation of all necessary forms when making an offer and/or counteroffer.
• Provide oversight and follow up for any inspections required.
• Counsel buyers on how to handle any repairs or repair requests needed.
• Accompany buyer to the closing to ensure that all the buyer’s interests are protected.
Good buyer's agents will save you time, aggravation and money. Take time to get to know your agent and work with him and only him. You'll reap the benefits, if you do!