This is a common question that runs through the minds of many homebuyers. Some may have even heard from either a family member or friend that they have purchased a home in the past without a Buyer's agent.
How is that possible?
Well, that's because you don't actually have to use an agent to purchase a property. In fact, every day people decide to navigate the home search, contract negotiation, appraisal, inspection, and all the nitty gritty details on their own. Truth be told, you can actually forgo using a buyer's agent. But as a Buyer, do you feel comfortable enough to go about it all on your own?
The expertise that an experienced and professional Buyers agent can bring to the table can be the difference between signing the dotted line on the home of your dreams or having buyer's remorse as soon as the ink dries.
What does a Buyers Agent do?
This is a fair question since not everyone knows the role of a real estate agent on the buying side of the question. As a trained and professional agent, you have a duty to look out for the best interests of your buyer(s). When someone is looking to sell their home, the process can be a little straightforward: figure out ways to market the home to get the best possible price with the best possible terms.
A buyer's agent is looking to get the best possible price for their client on the best terms possible, too. Buying and selling agents work together to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties, but always keep their clients' best interests in the forefront.
But a buyer's agent is not just there to take care of the business side of things. A truly great buyer's agent will be your go to for information about the housing market and specifically, about the houses in the area you are searching. An agent is there to protect you from start to finish and ensure that you are in the best possible position the entire way.
Here is a quick list of three things that a skilled and reliable buyer's agent can bring to your home search.
They See Things You May Not
As is the case with any job, the more years of experience that an agent has, the more knowledgable they are! As a full-time real estate agent, over the years you will see homes of all different shapes, sizes, and conditions while house hunting with buyers. When it comes to spotting potential deal-breakers like possible water damage, structural concerns, and deferred maintenance, a buyer's agent is your best bet to make sure you're getting a good deal. Although a home inspection will tell you the official findings, an agent will be able to give you a great idea of what you are getting into from the very beginning.
Finding Houses Before they Hit the Market
Real estate agents are not just networking with their sphere but are also communicating every day with other agents. It is not uncommon for an agent to come across a house before it hits the market. As a Buyer, just having an extra day or two can be a huge advantage. This is just one of the advantages of having a buyers agent by your side.
Buyer's agents likely also build strong relationships with other peers in the industry. An agent that has a great relationship with a mortgage lender and different home inspectors can provide an entire inventory of industry professionals that can make the process much smoother and a lot less stressful.
Getting your Offer to the Top
A skilled buyer's agent has the negotiation skills required to keep offers competitive that would be discounted otherwise. In many instances, an agent will find a way to keep their clients offer competitive through various tactics they've acquired and used throughout the years. It's not always just about the price, in a hot seller's market, you need a good agent to draft a clean offer with favorable terms to help you win in a multiple offer situation. When speaking with prospective buyer's agents, it's important to gauge just how effective of a negotiator they are. It could be the difference between tens of thousands of dollars in or out of your pocket. Or even more critically, whether you seal the deal or have to sit on the sideline.
When should you contact a REALTOR to buy a house
Finding an agent may feel a little overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources available on the web to help make the process seamless. Don't let fear and anxiety over getting started be your road block to homeownership. Take your time and speak with a variety of buyer's agents to put you at peace of mind that you are working with someone who will always have your best interest in mind. If you are a first-time homebuyer that is currently renting, begin the process at least 4-6 months before your lease is up. Start to build a relationship with a local agent and share your real estate goals with them. Also, reach out to your landlord or property management company, to find out if they offer month-to-month when your lease is up. However, when doing this, your rent will likely increase. So you may want to find out what the increase will be. But look at that as a benefit to you because it gives you flexibility so you are not rushing to buy something prior to your lease deadline.
No matter how many things a buyer's agent brings to the table, there may still be skepticism from some. Even in the face of evidence that demonstrates those with a buyer's agent overwhelmingly report more satisfaction and less stress throughout the homebuying process, there will still be those that navigate the process on their own. It may be because of the belief that they are saving money, but in actuality, the commission that is paid to an agent comes out from the seller. In some much rarer circumstances, a seller might request that a buyer pay the fees, but these instances are few and far between. You may not need to use a buyer's agent, but it could most certainly be the best thing you do during the homebuying process.
Posted by Nathan Garrett on