Why Use a Buyer's Agent?
Today many people use the Internet to start their home search. While this is a great start at some point they will have to work with a real estate agent to see inside the homes.
During buyer’s searches they are reaching out to many listing agents individually on the homes they are looking at. It is important to remember that a listing agent represents the seller. In representing the seller they will be acting in the best interest of the seller, that’s not a bad thing – that’s their job. Sometimes buyers aren’t actually getting the listing agent when they make the call – but that’s another blog. We wonder if buyers think that in only involving one agent they will get a lower price because the agent will give up part of what they are being paid? If an agent is representing 2 parties they are now doing all the work so that is not a scenario that is likely to happen.
The question is can an agent represent two parties – a buyer and a seller?
Yes, of course, they can but there are some things to consider:
- When it comes to the negotiation process, there’s no way that one agent can be loyal to both parties of the transaction. Buyers and sellers inherently have distinct interests, especially when it comes to the price.
- Negotiations don’t necessarily end after you’ve agreed on a price – they can happen again regarding repairs.
- If an agent is representing both the seller and the buyer, they can no longer provide an opinion, they can only give both parties options.
A buyer’s agent will be there to represent the buyer’s best interests, ensuring that you make a competitive offer on the right house for you.
Here’s what a Buyer’s Agent will do:
- First, they listen to what you want. What are your wants and needs, why are you moving?
- They research homes in the area and sort through active listings to make suggestions after cross-referencing your needs
- Schedule showings and spend time with you learning what you like, want and need
- They figure out what the home is worth – is it priced too high? Should you make an offer? This will be part of educating you on the current market conditions. It’s likely that during the time you have been looking you will have been discussing this already.
- They write the offer and explain the details in the agreement – this is at least a 2-hour process – just explaining the agreement can take an hour depending on the questions you may have.
- They negotiate for you – buying/selling is an emotional process – agents are the calm voice of reason, they help keep you on track and focused on the big picture.
- Once you have an agreement do you know there are 50 potential items in an agreement that must be met on time and if they don’t you will fall out of contract and lose the home? An agent’s job is to keep this timeline moving along, to keep you advised on what’s next.
- Good agents will help you locate all the specialists needed to work through your due diligence during the agreement period – home, well and septic, builders, etc. They will usually meet these contractors at the home so you don’t have to. Of course, on a home inspection it is always wise for you to show up for the last 15 minutes and get the results directly from the inspector so you can see exactly what they are talking about.
- Agents also help you re-negotiate based on what you find in the inspection – If there are a lot of repairs needed they can help you get the price reduced or the work completed by closing.
- Agents are just one of many people involved in the transaction – they coordinate paperwork with the mortgage person, the title company, the inspectors and contractors if needed.
- You can rely on them to get you the information you need to help you feel confident in your investment.
We hope this helps explain why having your own agent, no matter what side of a transaction you are on, is not only important but highly recommended. If you have questions, we are happy to chat about the process.