A well known statistic tells us that most home buyers begin their home search online. This is very valuable in helping the buyer find the perfect home. Ultimately though, a decision can't be made until the buyer has viewed the home. This is where a buyer's agent can come in to play, but it shouldn't start there. There are many items a buyers agent can assist a home buyer with, starting from the very beginning. It would be a mistake to purchase a home without a buyers agent representing you. A local Realtor knows the current market conditions and home prices, which enables them to give real insight and up-to-the minute analysis of the market.
I'll list the top 5 reasons you should use a buyers agent when purchasing a home, in no particular order.
Choosing the Right Home, At the Best Price - After listening to your desires in a property, a buyers agent can recommend the properties that would meet your criteria and serve as your best options. The next step are the showings. The agent will schedule any showings and make sure you can get an inside tour of all the possible properties. Along with that, they can go over pricing with you on any properties that you are considering making an offer on. A buyers agent has access to market data that cannot be accessed by anyone other than a licensed agent, which they'll happily share with you to make sure the offer will be within or under market value, but never over.
Writing the Offer - After an offer price has been determined by the buyers and their buyers agent, the offer must (for legal purposes) be put on paper and signed. There are many different pieces that go in to making an offer. To a buyer, this might seem very complicated and make you feel overwhelmed, especially considering most people buy only a handful homes in their lifetime. A good buyers agent does several transactions a month, so they are very familiar will all of the paperwork and what it takes to close the deal, while protecting the client. This paperwork might be the single most important aspect of purchasing a home. Some people might be able to find a home and purchase it without the guidance of an agent, but can they protect themselves legally while doing so? There's a lot of legalities that come in to play while purchasing a home, most of which won't even come to mind, unless you are a seasoned real estate guru.
Negotiating the Best Terms - While the purchase price is a biggie, it is not the only important point when negotiating an offer. There are other points to pay attention to such as, earnest money amount, pre-approval of buyers, down payment amounts, time in escrow, etc. All zoom agents have been specifically trained to negotiate on the buyers behalf. Our agents have many more hours of training on their resumé that what the state requires for licensing.
Managing the Transaction - There are so many aspects of a real estate transaction that, unless you are involved with it full time, can and will be missed or forgotten. A buyers agent can manage the whole transaction from start to finish. There are also multiple parties involved, not only the buyer and seller. Everyone has their role in the transaction, but the agent is the main party, and makes sure everyone gets their job done so that the deal doesn't fall through. Other parties in the transaction include appraisers, inspectors, title escrow officers, loan officer, handymen, underwriters, etc. The list goes on and on.
Get Your Own Representation -In a typical real estate transaction, there is a listing agent and a selling agent. The listing agent represents the sellers and the selling agent represents the buyers. It is a misconception that a buyer can save money by using the listing agent. That is untrue. The listing agent has a contract with the sellers to list, market and sell their home, and they will be reimbursed for these services, usually in the amount of 6% of the sales price, when the home sells. If there is a buyers agent, then that commission amount will be split between both agents. If the listing agent happens to represent buyers on one of his own listings, he would receive the whole 6%. So, this will not save a buyer money, it will only increase a listing agents commission. On top of that, the listing agent has a fiduciary duty (and legally binding contract) to represent the sellers, so their first priority would be them, and not you as a buyer. This means they would look out for the sellers best interest, and not the buyers. When the buyer has their own representation with a buyers agent, they can rest peaceful knowing that their agent is looking out for their best interest, and only their interest.