What a Buyer’s Agent Can Do for You
There are many ways to buy and sell real estate and the ultimate decision on how you want to proceed is up to you. But there is a reason people use real estate agents to buy and sell their house. These professionals know their market and know how to navigate the negotiation process. Still, many people would rather not use an agent, whether because they don’t want to pay a commission or because they think they can do it themselves.
As an agent, I certainly wouldn’t recommend undertaking this enormous process by yourself, as there are nuances and complications that only someone who does this for a living would know. Here is a look at some of the things a buyer’s agent does for you:
- Works for your best interests, free of charge: There is a misconception or misunderstanding out there that if you have an agent, you will have to pay. But a buyer’s agent doesn’t collect any money from his clients, as the listing, or selling, broker pays all the commissions.
- Sets expectations at the beginning: Different costumers may have different expectations on how the buying process goes. But a good buyer’s agent will sit down their clients before they even look at a house and rundown the steps it will take to get them in a new property. They will go over their process, what forms need to be filled out, the loan process and what to expect at closing. That way, when it’s closer to the finish line, the clients will not be surprised with a last minute hiccup. They will be prepared.
- Is a fire preventer, not a fire fighter. This phrase has been uttered many times at our office because it’s easier to nip something in the bud right away than wait till all heck has broken loose to try to fix it. Didn’t ask for that refrigerator and now the contract is already accepted? Well if you would have asked your clients if there is anything they wanted in the house that wasn’t bolted to the floor before offering a contract, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
- Educates their clients: Most people won’t know about loan commitment dates, earnest money and inspection periods. It is the agent’s duty to offer up this information from the get go so a client doesn’t get impatient or shocked when they have to write a $1,000 check to make sure their offer is attractive.
- Shows their clients how to look at houses: While an agent should always listen to their clients, it is best not to drive around for hours looking at dozens of houses without a clear idea of what the client is looking for. In the initial meeting, questions should be asked to narrow down the field of acceptable houses, from how many bedrooms they want to whether they want a finished basement. Then, help them eliminate certain areas by having them drive by houses (not go inside) in different neighborhoods. It’s all about location, and this will help them see that. Nobody wants to live in a beautiful house in a rundown neighborhood.
- Keeps their clients informed: No matter what, the buyer’s agent should have a constant flow of communication between themselves and their client. They should keep them up to date on the loan process; let them know when inspections are scheduled and what the inspector found; and if new houses have popped up on the market along with any other vital information.
- Is an advocate during negotiations: Some agents like negotiating and some don’t. But the key is always to keep your client’s best interests at heart. An agent can give their advice on what the best offer would be but ultimately it comes down to what the client wants to do. All an agent can do is offer the best advice possible.
- Congratulates their clients on the new house: Now that all the hard work is done, it’s time to celebrate. Let your clients know it was a pleasure working with them and you would love to help them in the future. Also, if they know anyone else who is looking to buy or sell, you would love to help them.
Our next article will look at what a seller’s agent does.