Why Do I Need a Buyers Agent?
Buying a home is a BIG DECISION and a personal one.
You need the RIGHT PERSON to find a home that suits your needs.
SMART BUYERS today never need to buy a home alone.
So you've decided to buy a home...
Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. Depending on the laws in the state in which you are purchasing and the business arrangement you have with a licensed real estate agent, that agent may actually be negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. The best way to be certain that you have an agent that is promoting your best interests is to engage the services of a Buyers' Agent.
What is a Buyers' Agent?
A real estate Buyers' Agent represents the buyer who is purchasing property in a real estate transaction. Research by the National Association of REALTORS has shown that when a Buyers' Agent is used, the prospective buyer found a home one week faster and examined three more properties than consumers who did not use a Buyers' Agent.
The Buyers' Agent works for, and owes fiduciary (legal) responsibilities to, the real estate buyer and has buyer's best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate process. A Buyers' Agent will:
- Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
- Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range and locale.
- Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.
- Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase the property.
- Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
- Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.
- Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.
- Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
- Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. home inspectors, attorneys, licensed contractors, movers, etc.) if these services are needed.
- Most importantly, fully-represent the buyer throughout the real estate transaction to ensure a smooth closing.
Who needs a Buyers' Agent?
If you want to make sure you buy smart, you need a Buyers' Agent. If you are a first-time home buyer, if you are relocating or unfamiliar with the local market, if you are buying for investment and want negotiating assistance, or if you need to purchase anonymously, you will be best served by a Buyers' Agent who puts your interests first.
Avoid Making Common Mistakes.
The costly mistakes listed below are just a few of the pitfalls waiting for the buyer who is not prepared. Relax, we can help you avoid these and many other common, yet costly mistakes:
- Choosing the wrong home. Too big, too small for future needs. Too far from work, or needs too many repairs that you are not prepared for.
- Title issues. Last minute title searches may reveal encumbrances to a property.
- Making an offer without knowing the market. Ask us for a comparative market analysis (CMA) on any property before making an offer.
- Repairs not being made or done improperly. The seller has failed to make all the required repairs on time.
- Bad survey. The property survey may show the boundaries are different from what you expected or was shown on the property plat.
- Hidden "Junk Fees". Some lenders add questionable charges at closing. They have many different names, but they are designed to do one thing: take more of your money.
- Unanticipated pre-paids. Items such as real estate taxes and homeowners' association dues are pro-rated at settlement. Others, like hazard insurance and taxes have to be paid a few months ahead in escrow.
The Bottom Line
If you want an agent to fully represent your best interests, if you want help evaluating a property, if you want someone to negotiate on your behalf to get you the best price and best terms, you'll want to enlist the services of a Buyers' Agent. What's more, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you have an advocate working on your behalf to help you buy the home you want, on your terms, for the right price.
Why you should use an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
Why should you look for the ABR designation before engaging a licensed real estate agent to work on your behalf? These three letters after a REALTOR's name tell you that you will be working with a Buyers' Agent who is committed to your best interests. The ABR designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) to those REALTORS who have met the specific educational and experiential criteria needed to provide the high level quality service required by the Council.