Home buyers should always have their own agent. Searching for the perfect home can be a very confusing process, especially for first time home buyers. Your mind will most likely be racing with all sorts of questions. What is my price range? Where should I be looking? How do I know how much to offer? What happens after my offer is accepted? Using a buyer’s agent will ensure that all of your questions are answered and put your mind at ease. Unfortunately, a lot of buyers make the mistake of calling the listing agent to show them homes that they are interested in. Here is why buyers should use a buyer’s agent:
They are free!
The number one reason to use a buyer’s agent is because they are FREE! You do not have to pay a dime to hire a buyer’s agent. Just for that reason alone, why wouldn’t you use one? Most buyers assume that they will have to pay a fee to use an agent. However, in a residential real estate transaction, the seller pays the full commission which the listing agent and the buyer’s agent split. So the service of a buyer’s agent is completely free for the buyer.
Access to the MLS.
Using a buyer’s agent will get you access to the most up-to-date and accurate information on houses for sale. Sites like Zillow are great for browsing for houses. Unfortunately, the information on these sites is often inaccurate. With houses now selling in a matter of days and multiple offer situations, you need to find out immediately when a new home hits the market that meets your criteria. Your buyer’s agent will have access to the MLS and will be able to get you set up with an account so that you will have all of the same information at your fingertips that they do. The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service. This is the site that listing agents use to promote their listings to other real estate agents.
They are representing YOU and your best interests.
A seller’s agent is hired by the seller to list their home, promote their best interests, and to protect the seller’s confidences. So, why wouldn’t you want someone to do the exact same things for you? When you hire a buyer’s agent, you get the expertise and experience of an agent who is professionally trained in finding you the perfect home. And they will have your best interests in mind when submitting an offer, not the seller’s. They are there for you every step of the way. Typically when you work with a buyer’s agent you will sign a form that outlines the relationship you have with the agent. This is called a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. Some of the responsibilities it outlines are: loyalty to the buyer, promoting the buyer’s best interests, and maintaining confidential information from the buyer.
Someone to plan and schedule your showings.
How convenient would it be to have someone else plan and schedule a showing for every house that you want to see? This is what a buyer’s agent does. If there are 5 homes that you are interested in, it is your buyer agent’s responsibility to plan the best route and schedule each showing with the listing office. They will then either drive you or meet you at each home. Not only is this convenient for you, but this gives your buyer’s agent the opportunity to really get to know your needs and wants in a home. They get to see first hand what you love or hate about each home that you view. This will help them with finding you more homes to possibly look at. Wouldn’t you love an email or phone call in the morning from your agent saying “Hey, there is a new house on the market and it looks like something you would love?” If a listing agent shows you a home, they don’t know anything about you or what you are looking for. They are basically just there to let you into the home.
Someone to explain the entire buying process.
Buying a home is most often the biggest purchase a person will make in their lifetime. There are many steps involved between getting a mortgage pre-approval and signing the closing papers. The process is much more complicated than people often think. It is extremely important to find someone who will take the time to sit down with you before you begin your home search and outline the entire process from start to finish. Buyers should know how the process works before prior to looking at homes. Once your buyer’s agent knows what you can afford, they will let you know what price range to stay in. They will also help to explain how showings work, the details of writing offers and the importance of an inspection.
Buyers should interview Realtors just like sellers do. This is a person who you will be spending a lot of time with and who will be representing you in one of the largest purchases you ever make. It is necessary to make sure that you not only choose someone qualified, but also someone who you wouldn’t mind spending a lot of your time with! Your agent should be familiar with and knowledgeable about the area that you are looking to move to. You should also do some research by checking out their website, looking up their qualifications and reading their reviews. Even if a friend or family member refers you to an agent, you should still follow through with an interview and some research of your own. We hope this helps you understand why buyers should use a buyer’s agent when searching for the perfect home!