We’ve all been there—late night watching House Hunters on HGTV thinking, “Wow, buying a home looks like so much fun!” Well, anyone who’s actually purchased a home can tell you it’s a little more complicated than touring three dream homes and saying, “I want that one!” Between the legal jargon of contracts, the negotiation of pricing and the logistics of making one of the largest financial investments of your life, it can get complicated quickly.
Why am I Writing this Article?
As an experienced buyers’ agent, I’ve met a handful of clients who are hesitant on whether they should sign up with an exclusive buyer’s agent, and I think that many simply don’t understand what a buyers agent is. I would like to clarify the difference between what a buyer’s agent does for you compared to what a GOOD buyer’s agent will do for you. What should you look for when interviewing agents? Why should I hire one at all? It’s my hope to help everyone from 1st time home buyers to experienced homeowners.
Most Buyers Want the Same Thing
I’ve heard a lot while sitting in the cross hairs of potential clients, observing everyone’s questions and concerns. Most buyers all want the same thing: a great deal and an easy transaction. But, let’s face it, not everything will go accordingly every time. The home you’re bidding on might already have multiple offers submitted. During your inspection period, the inspector could uncover the infamous “can of worms”. Or maybe it’s the middle of the workday and you have a question that requires more than just googling it. Then what?
So, Why a Buyers Agent?
There are two types of agents: buyer agents and listing agents. The buyer’s agent represents you, the buyer. While the listing agent represents the seller. Sounds simple enough, right? Realtors often specialize in one over the other, so it’s important to know which your agent is experienced in before signing with them.
One important fact that new home buyers may not realize is that buyers do not have to pay their agent, the sellers do. The seller usually agrees to pay the buyer agent’s commission because they want to sell their home just as much as you want to buy it. There’s a chance that your agent might charge you, but that will always be disclosed in the Buyer Agency Agreement, the contract between you and your buyer agent.
When you employ a realtor as a buyer’s agent they will work as your fiduciary advocate, meaning they’re there to have your back and help you to get the most for your money and keep you out of legal trouble.
At minimum, a buyer’s agent should:
- Come to you with current market knowledge
- Find homes that meet your budget and needs through professional avenues
- Perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine price and show you what you can get for your money
- Inform you on the necessary steps you need to take in order to put in an offer and close on a home
Buyer’s agents that act as true fiduciary advocates will…
- Promote your best interests and stay loyal to you
- Follow your lawful instructions
- Provide you with all material and facts that could influence your decision
- Use reasonable skill, care and diligence required to give you the best home for the best price
- Account for all money they handle for you
- Keep all of your information confidential
- Protect you from the seller’s agent
Surviving a Sellers’ Market
Currently, the real estate market is considered a Sellers Market. There are a lot of qualified buyers out there, but not enough inventory of homes on the market. For sellers, this means that they’ll get the best price for their homes, often selling them quickly and with multiple offers. This puts buyers in a position where they need to move quickly and efficiently.
Having an experienced, well informed agent at your side can take a huge weight off your shoulders. A GOOD buyer’s agent is someone you can trust, someone who will work as hard for you as they would for a member of their own family. That’s what we do at The Bourke Group, and I hope that my advice can help you to find an agent that will do the same for you.