What is a Buyer’s Agent?
Simply put, this is a real estate professional who represents the person on the buying side of a real estate transaction: the buyer. The agent marketing the property for sale and working directly with the seller will typically have an agency agreement in place which creates a responsibility to work in the seller’s best interest.
For assurances that your agent is actually working for your benefit and interests, you must have a written agency agreement. Not only will this ensure that you get the best service, but it offers written protections and guarantees that will come in handy through the buying process. While you could work with an agent without an agreement, a lack of guarantees on both of your parts could prevent you from having the best experience possible. Having a buyer’s agent working for YOU is possibly the best move that you can make!
Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Agent
If you are unfamiliar with all of the details of what it takes to get into a new home (e.g., paperwork, inspections, financing, title insurance, appraisals, etc…), an agent will be able to make the experience and transition much smoother for you.
- Better Representation
Sometimes buyers unknowingly ask the agent representing the seller to help them in preparing an offer of the home. While this process is possible, as a home buyer you are asking the agent who represents the seller to now represent you as well.Your enthusiasm (or lack thereof), along with any information you share can be communicated directly to the seller without any context, which can impact your ability to negotiate effectively. You will also be dependent upon the seller’s agent to provide you with all of the details, and again, your interests are not their primary concern.With a buyer’s agent, you will have a knowledgeable expert in your corner to guide you through the transaction, negotiating for YOUR benefit, and making sure your needs are being met through the experience. Your agent is there to provide the information and assistance you need to make confident, fully informed decisions.
- Better Opportunities
How much time can you devote to buying a new home? How many hours can you spend looking for properties for sale, vetting them, and calling different agents to try to schedule showings? Assuming that you have a job and a life, the answer is probably a lot less than you would need.Since your agent is connected to the real estate industry, they will have access to more homes. They will have information on homes not yet publicly advertised, or published on popular sites. Your agent can notify you immediately as new properties become available. With a buyer’s agent on your side, you don’t have to worry about missing out on an opportunity. Your agent will dedicate time to find places that fit within your budget and needs, and also do the legwork beforehand so that you don’t waste time on houses that won’t be a fit for you.
- Professional Recommendations
If you’re new to the home-buying process, you probably aren’t aware of all of the steps you have to take to make sure that you’re getting a good deal. You’ll also have to work with a variety of people, from mortgage brokers to lenders to appraisers. Your agent will help you navigate the process, and direct you to other professionals to make your transition as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
- No Cost
Before you sign with a buyer’s agent, you may be wondering how much it will cost you as the buyer. After all, he or she is putting in a lot of hours and work for you, so they should be compensated, right?The good news is that a buyer’s agent will usually cost you nothing! Brokerage fees or commission are typically negotiated between the listing agent and the seller. The listing agent then voluntarily offers a part of this commission on the MLS as compensation to a buyers agent. This means that you don’t have to pay your agent out of pocket, and you can rest easy knowing that you got the best service regardless.