Buying real estate is a big decision. When ready to buy, having a real estate agent on your side is the winning choice. Buyer agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for you. Best of all, the buyer agent’s services are free to you! The seller pays the commission whether or not a buyer uses an agent, so your best option is to find a REALTOR® with Henderson Properties, Realtors® who will guide you through the local market. Your buyer’s agent is your trusted advocate.
- Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Buyer Agent:
Sign an agency agreement and Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement to clarify the services offered, how they will work together, and how the agent will be compensated. Realtors ® have a responsibility to protect your financial information and connect you with service providers for inspectors, lenders, home warranty companies.
- Look for an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR).
- Don’t hire the seller’s agent – that’s a conflict of interest. The seller’s agent is obligated to negotiate the best deal for the seller, and that would mean more compromises for you.
- Buyers must work with their buyer’s agent exclusively.
- Buyers should never give personal information to any other agent.
- Buyers should not call other agents to see properties, even if they think they are saving their agent some time and effort.
- Buyers should clearly define their must haves and deal breakers to help their agent streamline the showing process.
- Buyers should interview agents just as sellers interview listing agents.
- Make sure your agent knows your property and location preferences, and home buying situation.
Benefits of Using Buyer’s Agents
The National Association of Realtors® shares this article on some of the things a buyer’s agent can do:
- Find the right property. After determining what clients are looking for and what they can afford, the agent will schedule appointments to tour homes that fit the bill. The agent can also explain the ins and outs of various properties and neighborhoods to help buyers decide which home is right for them by explaining the pros and cons of various options.
- Negotiate the offer. The buyer’s agent will advise clients on an appropriate price to offer and present it to the seller’s agent. Then they will negotiate on your behalf and write up the contracts for you, This is where the agent’s experience in negotiating deals can save you money and help you avoid pitfalls like a fixer-upper that’s more trouble than it’s worth.
- Recommend other professionals. A buyer’s agent should also be able to refer you to reliable mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more. This can also help expedite each step of the process and move you to a successful sale all the faster.
- Help overcome setbacks. If the home inspector’s report or appraisal brings new issues to light, a buyer’s agent can advise you on how to proceed, and then act as a buffer between you and the sellers or their agent. If negotiations become heated or hostile, it’s extremely helpful to have an experienced professional keeping calm and offering productive solutions.
- Help finding the right home, beyond square footage and baths. Browsing online is a terrific way to start a home search — in fact, almost 90 percent of people start their home search online.1 But when it’s time to buy, knowing all the pros and cons of a property can help you make the right decision. Realtors® live and breathe real estate, and they can share information about a home that you wouldn’t otherwise know. For example, they can tell you about the perils of polybutylene piping (a plumbing material that’s prone to bursting), or the concerns with FRT plywood (a roofing material that can spontaneously combust in higher temperatures, like those in attics). Your Realtor® can go beyond the aesthetics and tell you important details about homes you’re considering.
- Pricing and selling a home. There are lots of sites where you can view price estimates for your home before you list it for sale, but you take a risk using them. In some markets, online estimates can be off by as much as 35 percent, and they often rely on tax records and data that can be as old as 6-12 months. Realtors® know the local market, have access to the freshest sale data, and can price your house in line with the market to maximize your earnings. In 2012, sellers using an agent got $40,100 more: The median sale price for the 88 percent of sellers who worked with an agent was $215,000, versus a median sale price of $174,900 for the 9 percent of sellers who didn’t use an agent.1
- Contracts and negotiations. Finding the right home is the fun part. Then the real work begins: Today’s contracts can be 50 pages long — not counting addendums and riders. Realtors® can help you navigate these complex documents and craft an attractive offer that makes sense for you. Plus, when it comes to negotiation, your Realtor® is your advocate and can bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation.
- Following a code of ethics. When you work with a Realtor®, you’re partnering with a professional who operates according to a strict code of ethics. In place for over 100 years, the Realtor® Code of Ethics ensures that consumers who work with a Realtor® are treated professionally and ethically in all transaction-related matters.
1National Association of REALTORS® 2012 Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers.
1 National Association of REALTORS® 2012 Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers.