Do I Really Want a Buyer’s Agent? For years, Realtors have been selling you on the importance of having your own buyer’s agent when buying a home.
A buyer’s agent is a Realtor who works exclusively for the buyer. This is the person who really takes the time to learn about the buyer’s needs and wants. The buyer’s agent will work with your lender to determine the right price range for you, and show you properties that meet your criteria. In addition, the buyer’s agent writes offers, and negotiates exclusively for the buyer, keeping the buyer’s interests as his or her top priority.
Sounds good, right? What could be bad? Best of all, the seller pays YOUR buyer’s agent!
This weekend, I was making this pitch to a buyer when showing a home, trying to demonstrate my value to him as a buyer’s agent. The buyer expressed his desire to stay uncommitted to a buyer’s agent so he could buy his home directly from the listing agent.
There have long been people who employ this strategy and think they will get a ‘better deal’ this way. This gentleman made a different point. In our market of low inventory and high demand, where multiple bids are common, he felt he was MORE LIKELY to get the home he wanted by using the listing agent. Sadly, I realized there was some truth to this.
There are always listing agents who are eager to ‘double-end’ their commission. You may be more likely, in a competitive situation, to get the home you want by using the listing agent. Now ask me if I advise it, and the answer would in most cases, be ‘no.’
The listing agent has a contract with the sellers to obtain the highest price possible for their home. The seller will always be the top priority for a listing agent.
A good buyer’s agent should be able to strategize different ways of getting your desired home, and writing the most compelling offer. Unlike the listing agent however, the buyer’s agent is more likely to have YOUR best interests in mind, and secure the home at the best possible price. Your buyer’s agent will point out the positives and negatives of a home, inviting you to consider all aspects of a home, while a listing agent will try to sell you his or her particular listing.
Do I Really Want a Buyer’s Agent? In most cases, the answer is still a definitive YES because in the long run your buyer’s agent is more committed to finding you the right fit than selling any specific home.