When You Should Have a Buyers Agent on Your Side
Most people are familiar with listing agents and what their roles is in a real estate transaction. However buyer's agents are not always as well known and their role is sometimes not as clearly understood as it should be. Today we're talking about buyer's agents and when you should consider having one on your side. If you're in the homebuying market, you'll want to read this for sure. If you need help locally with the Emerald Isle, North Carolina real estate market—let Sun-Surf Realty be your area experts! We're here to help.
1. If you're a first-time home buyer.
Homebuying is a complicated business that requires a fair amount of legal expertise, and many people want the reassurance that comes with getting help from someone who manages these transactions every day. This is especially true if you are a first-time homebuyer with zero experience. Using a buyer's agent can give you some protection, represent you and your best interests, and guide you through the entire process.
Real estate agents traditionally represent the seller, not the buyer, and they get a percentage of the sale price. Therefore, it's in their interest (and the seller's) to set as high a price as possible. The higher the sale price, the higher the agent's take-home pay. This system works wonderfully when you're the seller, but it's not always the best arrangement for the buyer. A buyer's agent helps tilt the transaction back toward balance by giving the buyer a professional representing his or her interests. And the help you get is not just about the money. Seller's agents will do everything within the bounds of the law to get you to buy a house. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's their job. A buyer's agent will help you get a more realistic picture of the home, the neighborhood, and the price you should pay.
You can read more about what a buyer's agent can do for you here.
2. If you're building new and working directly with the home builder.
When you buy new construction, the home's builder is considered the seller, and the agent representing the builder is called the builder's agent. In fact when you walk into a builder's office everyone you're going to be talking to and dealing with is on Team Builder. You definitely are going to want someone representing you and your interests. After all, the job of the builder's agent is to get the highest price for the homes the builder is selling so their agent is not going to be as eager to negotiate down.
It's a good idea to have your real estate agent accompany you on your first visit to the new construction. Why? Because the builder (aka the seller) will be responsible for paying the commission, and needs to know if you'll have a real estate agent representing you. So bringing your agent to the first visit will make it clear that the builder's agent will be on the hook for paying commission. Some builders might even refuse to pay your agent a commission if you don’t register the agent the first time you visit the home on a new construction site.
You can read more about why you'll want a buyers agent representing you in new construction here.
3. If you want premium access to what's on the market.
A buyer's agent can help you by finding listings and touring houses with you. Agents may be able to give you access to more listings, including those that are For Sale By Owner or some which are not yet on the market but soon will be. They can be a great resource when it comes to doing a lot of the leg work and research you'd have to do on your own, which can be very time consuming. A buyer's agent should be a wealth of local knowledge and be readily available to give you the information you need.
A buyer's agent can also help you when it comes to recommending services you’ll need. An agent can connect you with mortgage lenders, home inspectors and other professionals you may need to work with.
If you’d rather not buy a house on your own, you’ll need to decide what kind of buyer’s agent you want to work with. An exclusive buyer’s agent will work solely with you and won’t take real estate listings of any kind. Agents that declare “dual agency” work for both the buyer and seller—but that could be a conflict of interest.
4. If you want someone representing your best interests in a real estate transaction.
When you decide to look for a new home, you have three choices of how to go about your search. You can do it yourself, looking for "For Sale" signs and listings in the paper or online; you can call a real estate agent and have him find you places to see; or you can hire the lesser-known buyer's agent. The downside to doing it yourself is that you might not find the best properties if you don't know where to look, and the problem with a real estate agent is that he always has the seller's best interest at heart.
Meanwhile, buyer's agents have your best interests in mind and keep everything you tell them confidential. Your buyer's agent would be able to negotiate prices for you, make sure that the property is inspected before you buy it and ensure that you have any representation you need. They're able to show you houses that are for sale by the owner, and not just houses being marketed by real estate agents.
You can read more about why you might need a buyer's agent here.
have you ever used a buyer's agent?
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