What Will a Buyer's Agent Do For Me?
Buying a home or property for the first time can be a challenging process. A lot of people assume it is going to be a comfortable journey and try to go it on their own. You may be lucky, but it is great to have some professional help. A buyer's agent will without a shadow of doubt save you both time and money.
Many people, unfortunately, think of a buyer's agent as someone who shows you houses. Showing homes are in fact the least important task of an exceptional buyer's agent. I will preface the word "exceptional."
The average agent shows houses. The best buyer's agents become your trusted advisor. Someone who will be in your corner throughout the transaction. A person you can trust and have their full confidence.
The best buyer's agents don't care about when they make a sale but that the client is getting exactly what they want with the right terms. A real buyer's agent is your fiduciary. A lot of buyers wonder what will a buyer's agent do for me? It's a great question, isn't it? The article at Maximum Real Estate Exposure does a great job of explaining in depth the role of a buyer's broker.
Keep reading for more reasons why having your own buyer's agent is essential. Going directly to the seller's agent is foolish. Foolishly, many people think that going to the seller's agent is going to get them a better deal. WRONG! You might overpay for the property.
A Buyer's Agent is Free
In most circumstances, it is not going to cost you anything to hire a buyer's agent. That is true almost 99 percent of the time. There are occasions when a buyer's agent is invaluable.
For instance, if you are trying to purchase a property directly from a for sale by owner ( FSBO), you can rely on your buying agent for advice. Almost certainly the seller will be keen to sell their home and would pay a commission to your agent. If the seller says they won't pay a buyer's agent fee, your agent could draft an offer deducting what you would have paid them off the top. You can then pay your agent the fee.
A buyer's agent is a professional that is invaluable when trying to purchase a home whether it is a for sale by owner or traditional listing. He or she will know what to look when it comes to protecting your interests and making sure all of the legal guidelines are followed.
What To Look for When Viewing a Home
A buyer's real estate agent will also know what to look for when it comes to property. When you are new to buying property to live in or as an investment, you may miss out on some of the red flags. It can be easy to miss out on potential home inspection deal breakers that may rear their ugly head. An experienced buyer's agent that has been around the block can point out any potential issues they see from experience.
Buying a property is all about the details. Most buyers agents are good at noticing things like leaking roofs, mold and HVAC systems which are not up to date. They will point any potential problems out to you even before the home inspection takes place.
When crafting an offer on a home, they may suggest to know off money up front to take care of issues they've noticed. Once the home inspection takes place, and more problems are discovered the best buyer's agents will be with you every step of the way helping with negotiations. Remember it is not about making a sale but getting you the best possible outcome.
The Local Real Estate Market
A buyer's agent will understand the local real estate market. Most local real estate markets are a bit like the tide -they ebb and flow. Are there some areas better than others? Is one side of town more popular or have a better school district. An excellent buyer's agent should be able to provide this kind of knowledge to you.
These are just a few of the things a buyer's agent will point out to you. A buying agent will be familiar with demand in the market and any local trends. Maybe new employment opportunities are pushing up the price in specific neighborhoods? Are some price points super hot and others not so much? Is it likely you will be in a bidding war at your particular price point?
A buyer's agent should be able to give you a solid understanding of what is going on in the cities or towns you're looking in.
Help with Financing
Most buying agents have a lot of contacts. For instance, you may have spoken to your bank about a mortgage. Don't be afraid to share this information with your buyer's agent.
They may know of a financial institution which can give you a better deal. A great buyer's agent will share how to choose a lender. After all, there are many different ways in which you can obtain financing apart from your local bank.
As a buyer, you should conduct your own interview with any banks you're considering using. Asking your lender questions will help determine whether you want to use them or not.
Showing or Viewing Properties
When you work full-time, you will find that you may be pushed for time when it comes to viewing properties. Instead of trying to coordinate it all yourself, let your buyer's agent help you out, Think of them as your private assistant.
They will help you to find the best properties for you to view, and at the same time, make all of the necessary arrangements. When the sale goes through, you will be surprised how much time this will have saved you.
Most buyer's agents will have a website that allows you to look at homes that fit your search criteria. Many of these sites will email you when a new property hits the market. This is something to ask your agent about.
Once you start looking at homes, the best agents will point out features in the house that you may not have noticed. The agent can explain whether they add value or not. For example, maybe the owner has gone green in the home and added some valuable money saving features such as solar panels.
Smart agents can point of features and amenities that make a difference when you're putting together a contract.
Paperwork and Contracts
Something else a buyer's agent will do is to write up the contracts. Without a buyer's agent, you would have to get in touch with a lawyer for this service. That could mean having to part with more money than you need to.
The money spent on legal fees could instead be saved or spent on the purchased property instead. Maybe there are a few changes that you would like to make.
The best agents will make suggestions on appropriate contingencies that should be in your offer such as home inspection, radon test, mold test, termite inspection and a host of others.
The contingencies are there to protect your best interests.
Real Estate Contacts and Negotiator
Your buyer's agent will also have access to a network of other professionals. It could be a home inspector which they have worked with in the past. It is essential to have a home inspector who will do an excellent job for you, and finding the right one is not always easy.
Again, a buyer's agent who is thinking about what's best for you is going to refer you to a thorough inspector and not someone who does a lousy job.
A buyer's agent who is a true professional will be at your side during the inspection. They are there to listen to the home inspector and understand any issues that surface. By attending the inspection, they will be better equipped to negotiate on your behalf if the necessity arises.
Negotiating to buy a property can be stressful, especially with things like a home inspection. When you have a buyer's real estate agent on your side, they will take a lot of the stress out of the situation.
Staying on Track and Not Getting Emotionally Involved
There are two major secrets to a smooth property transaction. The first one is staying on track, and the other one is not getting emotionally involved. You will be surprised how much paperwork the home buying process can produce.
You may have fallen in love with a property, but your buyer's agent will not feel the same way. They should be emotionally disconnected. That will make them a much better negotiator on your behalf.
They will also be there for you to lean on when things become difficult in the transaction.
There is no reason at all why you should even consider looking for a property without a buyer's agent. A top-shelf agent can save you both time and money. Don't ever buy into the notion that going to the listing agent directly is a smart move.
You will be putting yourself into a dual agency situation where the agent becomes a neutral party, or even worse they are representing the seller. In both cases, you get ZERO assistance.
Over the years I have personally seen buyers go directly to the listing agent and end up overpaying by tens of thousands of dollars. At the time, of course, the buyer is lulled into thinking the got a great deal because the agent knocked a couple of thousand dollars off the commission.
When you do the math, saving a couple of thousand dollars in commission when you're overpaying by ten thousand isn't a win-win. These are all the reasons you want to hire a buyer's agent when purchasing a home!
Other Helpful Real Estate Articles Worth a Look
- Best real estate articles to help buyers and sellers - see a compilation of exceptionally written articles that will help guide buyers and sellers through some of the more important topics that can come up during a real estate transaction.
- Do I really need a real estate agent - learn more tips about the importance of having a buyer's agent in your corner fighting hard and protecting your best interests.
- Myths about real estate agents you need to avoid - some of the more common myths include going directly to the listing agent offers some kind of benefit, all agents do the same thing and many more.
Use these additional resources to make the best possible decisions when buying or selling a home. If you enjoy the article please consider socially sharing it with your real estate network.