Benefits of using buyer's agentsA buyer’s agent will guide you through the home-buying transaction and be at your disposal for any questions or concerns. Here are some of the
A Buyer's Agent is FREE
Benefits of using buyer's agents
A buyer’s agent will guide you through the home-buying transaction and be at your disposal for any questions or concerns. Here are some of the things a buyer's agent can do:
Property Search: The buyer agent will help you find the right property for you. After determining what the client is looking for, they will set up appointments to view the properties and help the buyer decide which one is right for them.
Negotiate: The buyer's agent will help the client with an offer that is to be submitted on the property they have chosen. They will negotiate to get you the best deal on the property. The old wives tell that the listing agent can get you the best price is not the case. They work for the seller and cannot represent the buyer. If you chose to work with the listing agent, you are unrepresented in the transaction.
Recommend other professionals. A buyer's agent should also be able to refer you to reliable mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more. This can also help expedite each step of the process and move you to a successful sale all the faster.
- Help overcome setbacks. If the appraisal brings new issues to light, a buyer's agent can advise you on how to proceed, and then act as a buffer between you and the sellers or their agent. If negotiations become heated or hostile, it's extremely helpful to have an experienced professional keeping calm and offering productive solutions.
Buyer's vs. listing agent: What's the difference?
Buyer's agents are legally bound to help buyers, whereas listing agents—the agent representing the home listing—have a fiduciary duty to the home seller. Think about it this way: If you were getting sued, would you hire the same attorney as the person suing you? Of course not. You need someone who will diligently fight for your interests and rights.
Let's say, for instance, you walked up to the listing agent at an open house and gushed about how you love the home and want to buy it, but you will need to move soon because you're expecting your second child and need to decorate the nursery pronto, or the lease on your rental is up in a couple of months. A seller's agent could then use this information against you by informing the seller that your clock is ticking, so they shouldn't budge too much on their asking price—or at all.
Yet make this same confession to the buyer's agent you're working with, and it's all fine—this professional would know to keep this info private from sellers (and their agents) so it can't be used against you.
How to find a buyer's agent
A good buyer's agent can ease your way to homeownership—and a bad one can result in a bumpy ride. As such, don't just take the first buyer's agent you meet (which is what two-thirds of home buyers do), or blindly accept the recommendation from a friend (over half do this). Instead, it's best to interview at least three agents and ask them a few questions, including the following:
- What neighborhoods do you specialize in? Real estate requires local expertise, so you should find an agent who's extremely familiar with the areas you're interested in.
- What's your schedule and availability? Part-time agents who are committed can do a fine job, but if the house of your dreams pops up or you encounter last-minute closing snafus, you want an agent who will be readily reachable.
The agent/buyer contract:
Once you agree to work with an agent, you will have to sign a contract called an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement outlining the agent's services and compensation (more on that next). This contract also means that this agent will be your sole representative and that you won't work with other buyer's agents.
How much do buyer's agents cost?
The seller pays the commission for both the seller's agent and the buyer's agent. Typically, the commission equals about 6% of the sales price, which is split evenly between both agents.