Why use a Real Estate buyer agent?by Jon Kresh
In short, the reason is to get you a better deal than you would have gotten without one. It's really as simple as that! This means money, but it also means having the services of an expert who can find you the home you want, come to agreement with the home seller at terms favorable to you, and see that the home sale actually closes. Just as a movie star's agent is paid to put the best possible shine on his client, the seller's agent is paid to put the best possible shine on the house he is selling - and the buyer agent can translate "sellerese" (or "builderese") into "buyerese" for you. Why is this important? If you aren't in the real estate business, you are unlikely to be familiar with many of the factors involved in buying a home, which means that if you don't have your own agent, you are at a serious disadvantage. You will have someone who looks out for your best interest and keeps you informed of everything as it happens, not leave it for you to realize six months after it's too late to do anything about it. A buyer agent is trained in real estate and probably works in it every day, so the agent can make sure everything works for the home buyer, such as:
· Finding a "pool" of homes for sale that have the features the homebuyer wants using the sources of information the Realtor has developed
· Ablity to identify which of these homes are also sweet deals, so you don't overpay
· Getting a good idea of a house's condition and any defects it might have just by looking at it, which will save the homebuyer a lot of trouble
· Many agents preview homes for sale, so they have seen many of them in person (not just on a computer screen), know their condition, and can save you time
· Knowing what is normal and negotiating the most favorable price and terms for the home buyer, which can obviously save you thousands of dollars on your purchase
· Making sure all of the numerous necessary real estate forms and disclosures are handled and written to your advantage
· Knowledge of various companies who will work best for different situations such as title, inspections, appraisals, surveys, insurance, flood insurance, and other matters handled from acceptance to close
· Knowing a few mortgage officers who have shown themselves to be competent, hardworking, and able to do what they say up front
· Handling all the many day-to-day problems that need to be done to get the transaction completed and that most people don't have the time, willingness, or knowledge to handle. Some of these problems will delay or even derail a closing and disrupt your plans to move - obviously causing you many problems and costing you money - and your moving van can't unload until all i's are dotted and t's are crossed.
How do you know that a Real Estate agent is working for the buyer?
If you don't have a WRITTEN buyer representaion agreement with a real estate agent, then that agent will be working for the home seller BY DEFAULT and will get the best deal for them (maybe at your expense.) The typical scenario works like this: The Realtor says that the owner doesn't want to negotiate on terms. Why? Because he is trying to get THEM the best deal, not YOU! Is he showing you listings that aren't what you want? That's because he is trying to sell the houses that are listed with his company ONLY! (Can't blame him, that's what he is contracted to do.) Did the sellers find out that you were willing to pay full price? That's because THEIR agent told THEM what you said! (He HAS to do this. He is THEIR agent, not YOUR agent.) You wouldn't think of going into a courtroom and trusting the other guy's lawyer to be looking out for you, would you? The same idea applies to real estate agents.
What are common reservations to hiring a Buyer Agent?
1. You want to do it all yourself
2. You don't want to pay for an agent
3. You don't want the hassle of dealing with an agent
1. Are you sure you know everything you need to know to get the home you want, get a good price on it, and write the papers so things work your way? Are you "in the know" when it comes to current real estate information? Do you have the pulse of the market? Do you know about real estate procedures and which forms to use? Do you have the desire to be a martyr, or the desire to buy a home? The Realtor has already learned all this, both out of the book and through experience.
2. There is usually no additional charge for a Buyer Agent to work for you - the listing agent will split his fee with the Buyer agent. As a side note, if an agent works for the seller, they get paid EXACTLY the same thing, and he didn't even negotiate a better deal for you!
3. A buyer agent reduces your hassle: without one, you will spend long hours looking through ads or online listings, making calls for showings, not getting callbacks, driving out to see houses that turn out to be not what you want, feeling awkward in other people's houses, spending time on papers, making multiple calls every day to keep things on track, dealing with lenders who need a daily 'nudge', requests for information (and knowing what information they are talking about), coordinating closing, running across town for documents, and doing everything at odd hours on weekends. (Ahhh, the pleasures of buying a home!) The buyer agent does all this and just reports the highlights to you.
What it comes down to is this: you will be working with an agent no matter which home you buy, whether from a private owner selling his/her house through a real estate agent who represents THEM (not you), or from a builder's representative (the agent who is in the sales office on the new home lot), who represents the BUILDER (not you). Or, you can work with an agent who looks out for YOU. Which do you prefer?
About the Author
Jon Kresh is a Realtor and Buyer Agent in Austin, Texas. His Austin Real Estate buyer agent services may be seen at http://www.home-buying-and-selling.com