For the uninitiated, a buyer’s agent is the real estate professional hired by (though not necessarily paid by) the buyer. The agent is absolutely committed to look out for the best interests of the buyer.
Why Buyer’s Agents are an Important Protection for Buyers
I guess I gave it away with the title there, but the biggest benefit to buyers having their own agent is protection.
Here’s the thing. Sellers have an agent. And that agent will gladly talk with buyers, help them decide, and even walk them through the paperwork. But that agent is not representing the buyer – they’re there for the SELLER. That’s whose best interest they’re looking out for.
That means efforts slant toward their best interest – not the buyer.
What to Expect from your Buyer Agent:
Knows the general market and also the micro markets
A skilled and knowledgeable buyer agent will know the market well enough to understand not only the broader market of the province, city, or rural area, but also the micro markets within that locale. Some areas can withstand market bumps more than others, some areas are much more volatile, swinging with the highs and lows of the broader market. Each area is different from the other in terms of pricing, availability, amenities, days on market (how long it takes to sell a home), and culture, and the agent will understand how these affect your wallet and goals.
If you have a fairly new home and you’re trying to sell it in a neighborhood that’s being built up around you, your buyer representative should also know the effect on homes for sale in conjunction with new home developers and builders who are selling all around you and help guide you through the possible future market impacts.
Should be Able to Give You the Real Picture
Most of us don’t know what we don’t know. The same goes for clients. Sometimes a client will be frustrated by the bidding war sale style on some homes. “Why do I have to wait for the offer date, and then compete with others? Can’t I just offer now?” When that happens, the buyer’s agent, in this case being me, will educate the client. As much as I feel their pain and agree with them, I’ve got to tell them straight. “This is not unusual for this area. It’s a decreasing method in our balancing market, but it still happens.”
There’s no reason to wander into house hunting (and all its many legal pitfalls) alone.
Before we go, I want to put a few free tools in your hand.
First, here’s a list of questions to ask when interviewing agents. They’ll help you get the best, most suitable professional for your needs.
Second, here’s a Pre-Approval Checklist. With the new mortgage rules, financing is falling through more than Alice in Wonderland. This checklist will help protect your offer from falling through too.
And finally, as you’re preparing for that future purchase, here’s a Closing Cost Checklist to make sure you’ve got all those often unexpected expenses covered.
Happy house hunting!