18 Nov Using a Buyers Agent
Before you can get those keys, prepare for chaos, stampedes and buyers competing for the same digs.
We won’t lie: The process can be complex and stressful–especially if you are a first-time buyer. A real estate professional can make all of the difference.
You may have heard of listing agents who helps you sell your home, selling agents and buyer’s agents. What is a buyer’s agency?
Buyer’s agents are true to their name. They help buyers find the right home for them.
Continue reading to learn more about how a real-estate buyer’s agent can assist you and how to choose the right one.
The benefits of using a buyer’s agent to buy real estate
“A buyer’s representative will help you navigate the home-buying process and be available for any questions or concerns,” states Don Wessel a Realtor who specializes in buyers in Greenville SC. These are some of the many things that a buyer’s representative can do:
- Search for the right property. Once the client has determined their needs and budget, the agent will arrange appointments to show them homes that meet the criteria. To help buyers choose the right home for them, the agent will explain the intricacies of different properties and neighborhoods.
- Make an offer. The buyer’s agent will help clients decide on a price and present it to their agent. “Then they will negotiate for you and prepare the contracts for your,” says Matt Laricy a Chicago Realtor with Americorp Real Estate. The agent’s expertise in negotiating deals will save you money and prevent you from falling for pitfalls such as a fixer-upper, which can be costly.
- Refer to other professionals. Your buyer’s agent should be able refer you to trusted mortgage brokers, real-estate attorneys, home inspectors and other real-estate professionals. This will help speed up the process and make it easier to sell your real estate.
- Help overcome setbacks. A buyer’s agent can help you decide how to proceed with the sale and act as a buffer between yourself and the seller or their broker. It is extremely beneficial to have an experienced professional who can keep calm and offer productive solutions if negotiations get heated or hostile.
What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent?
Buyer’s agents have a legal obligation to assist buyers. Listing agents, the real estate agents representing the home selling agent, have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller.
“That’s why you should get an agent to represent your interests as a buyer,” explains Alex Cortez a Realtor in New Jersey.
Think about it like this: If you were being sued, would the attorney you hired be the same as the one suing you?” No. It is important to have someone who will fight for your rights and interests.”
Imagine that you were at an open house and approached the agent. While you might be raving about the house and wanting to purchase it, you should also mention that you need to move quickly because you are pregnant and will need to decorate the nursery as soon as possible or because your lease expires in a few months.
An agent for the seller could use this information against your by telling sellers that their clock is ticking and they should not budge on asking price.
But, you can still make the same confession to your buyer’s agent. This professional would know that sellers (and their agents) are not allowed to see this information so it cannot be used against you.
Recognizing this problem, some states required disclosure of dual agency if a broker represents both parties in a real estate transaction.
You may not feel comfortable signing an agreement stating that you are aware of a double agent. It is possible to find an agent that isn’t representing the owner and is looking out for you best interests.
How to locate a buyer’s representative
A good agent for buyers can help you get homeownership. However, a bad agent can lead to a rough ride.
Do not blindly trust a friend’s recommendation or take the first agent you meet as your buyer’s agent. This is what more than half of home buyers do. It’s better to interview at most three agents and ask them questions such as:
- Which neighborhoods are you a specialist in? You need local knowledge to sell real estate. Find an agent who is familiar with the area you are interested in.
- Your availability and schedule? You need an agent who is available and flexible.
- What is your experience as a real-estate agent? A couple of years experience is a must, as well as a track record of selling houses.
To find real estate agents in your area, you should Google Realtor in *my area* make sure to read all of their reviews. They should look something like this.
The buyer/agent contract
After you have agreed to work with someone you will need to sign an “exclusive buyer agent agreement” which outlines the services and compensation of the agent. (More on this next).
This contract also states that the person you have chosen will represent you as your only representative, and that they will not work with any other buyers agents.
Don’t make a first time homebuyer mistake of not having an agent represent you.