What Is a Buyer’s Agent? A Trusted Guide Who’ll Help You Find a Home
Ready to House Hunt?
We won’t lie: The process can be complex and stressful—especially if you are a first-time buyer. Having a real estate pro by your side can make all the difference.
You might have heard of buyer’s agents, selling agents, listing agents, and so on. You’re a buyer, so what is a buyer’s agent?
True to their name, buyer’s agents help real estate buyers navigate the real estate market; they can also save you tons of time and money on the road to your new home.
Read on to learn how a real estate buyer’s agent can help, and how to find the right one for you.
Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Agent When Buying Real Estate
Find the Right Property
After determining what the 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
seller’s agent. “Then they will negotiate on your behalf and write up the contracts for you,” says Matt Laricy, a Realtor with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago. 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
real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and other real estate professionals. This can also help expedite
each step of the process and move you to a successful real estate sale all the faster.
Help Overcome Setbacks
Buyer’s Agent vs. Listing Agent: What’s the Difference?
“That’s why it’s in your best interest as a buyer to get an agent who is there to represent you,” explains Alex Cortez, a Realtor with Wailea Village Properties in Kihei, HI.
“Think about it this way: If you were getting sued, would you hire the same attorney as the person suing you? Of course not. You need someone who will diligently fight for your interests and rights.”
Let’s say, for instance, you walked up to the listing agent at an open house. You might gush about how you love the home and want to buy it, but add that you will need to move soon—because you’re expecting your second child and need to decorate the nursery, pronto, or because the lease on your rental is up in a couple of months.
A seller’s agent could then use this information against you by informing the sellers that your clock is ticking, so they shouldn’t budge too much on their asking price—if at all.
Yet make this same confession to the buyer’s agent you’re working with, and it’s all fine—this professional would know to keep this info private from sellers (and their agents), so it can’t be used against you.
Some states, recognizing this problem, required a disclosure of dual agency when a broker represents both sides of a real estate transaction.
However, you may still not be comfortable after signing an agreement saying you know someone is a double agent.
You might want to hire an agent who is not representing the owner, and who is looking out for your best interests.
How to Find a Buyer’s Agent
You should not just take the first buyer’s agent you meet (as two-thirds of home buyers do), or blindly accept the recommendation of a friend (more than half do this). Instead, it’s best to interview at least three agents and ask them a few questions, including the following:
What Neighborhoods Do You Specialize In?
What’s Your Schedule and Availability?
How Long Have You Been a Real Estate Agent?
The Agent/Buyer Contract
This contract also means that this person will be your sole representative and that you won’t work with other buyer’s agents.
How Much Do Buyer’s Agents Cost?
Typically, the commission is the equivalent of about 6% of the home’s sales price, which is split evenly between both agents (on a $200,000 home, that would be $6,000 apiece).