When you search for a new home, you may find it’s not as easy as you expect. There could be competition for a home you want to buy, and there will be paperwork and processes to navigate before you own the property.
While looking for a home might sound fun, it can become very stressful. Hiring a buyer’s agent will help you deal with the ups and downs of buying your perfect home.
What is a buyer’s agent?
Many professionals in real estate help buyers and sellers. There are listing agents, brokers, buyer’s agents, and more.
The buyer’s agent works with homebuyers helping them find the right property for them and ensuring their interests are looked after in negotiations.
Understanding the role of a buyer’s agent in a real estate transaction is essential.
Why you should use a buyer’s agent
If you hire a buyer agent when you begin your house hunt, they will be available to answer any questions. If you are a first-time buyer, this will be even more important to help you understand the process.
Buyer’s agents will do the following:
Help you find a suitable home
Property search. The agent will find out what features are essential to the buyer and try to find homes that meet these requirements within their price range.
The buyer’s agent should also explain the advantages of the neighborhood and home to make it easier for the buyer to decide.
They will help you research any potential disclosure issues.
Help you negotiate the purchase
Negotiations. A buyer’s agent will advise an appropriate price to bid when their client wants to make an offer on a home.
The suggested offer will be based on comparable sales via a comparative market analysis.
They will help create contracts with contingencies to protect the buyer during the transaction.
Recommend excellent vendors
Recommendations. An experienced buyer’s agent can refer you to reliable professionals like attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and mortgage brokers. These recommendations can make your purchase run more smoothly and save you money.
Be your guide when problems arise
Help when things go wrong. During the buying process, there’s always a danger things don’t go the way you expect. When this happens, advice and assistance from your buyer’s agent will prove very valuable.
What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent?
A buyer’s agent works on behalf of the buyer. The listing agent works for the seller, listing their home and helping them find a buyer. The listing agent will represent the seller’s best interests, so you should have someone to represent your interests as a buyer.
If you don’t have an agent working with you when you approach a listing agent about a home you love, they could use any information you give them against you in negotiations. But with a buyer’s agent, your needs or concerns won’t be revealed to the seller.
If you don’t have an agent when buying, the listing agent might convince you that they can also represent you.
When a real estate agent or broker represents both the buyer and seller, it is known as a dual agency. However, agreeing to this arrangement will mean the agent cannot put your best interests first.
Finding a buyer’s agent you’ll love
While having a buyer’s agent is far better than not having one, you shouldn’t just hire the first agent you find. While you could take the recommendation of a friend or family member, it is better to interview a few agents yourself.
Try asking the following questions to at least three buyer’s agents:
- How long have you been working as a real estate agent? You should hire someone who has at least a few years of experience.
- Which neighborhoods are you experienced in working in? Local knowledge is essential in real estate, so you want an agent familiar with the neighborhood you want to live in.
- What is your availability? Some agents only work part-time, and while they might do an excellent job for their clients, they may not be available when you need them.
When you decide who you want to work with, you must sign an agreement with the agent. This is usually referred to as an “exclusive buyer agency agreement.”
It will detail what will be provided, and the commission charged. Though, as a buyer, it won’t be you who has to pay your agent’s commission, the seller will pay this at closing.
Since you won’t be paying for the agent you’re using to buy the home, there isn’t a reason not to use a buyer’s agent. They will make finding the right home much more manageable and help you resolve any issues or concerns during the purchase.