Why should you use a real estate agent or Realtor to buy a house? You absolutely do not have to! You may have plenty of time to find listings, research them thoroughly, set appointments, etc. You may feel comfortable presenting your offer and negotiating your way through all the phases of the buying process.
However, a Buying Agent costs you nothing, and they are professionals in the real estate business. Buying a house is not like buying anything else! It’s likely your most valuable asset, and you should treat it as such. Using a Buying Agent can save you time and money in the long run, and protect your investment in your home. Let me explain.
Buyer’s Agents know the ins and outs of contracts, making and negotiating offers, and how to navigate multiple offer situations. In addition to that, they have access to and can give you up to date listing information, as opposed to sites such as Zillow and Trulia – that often lag a couple of days behind. By the time you find a home on Zillow, it could already be under contract.
If you think it will save you money by going to the listing agent, you are taking a pretty big gamble. The listing agent works for the seller – NOT the buyer. That agent’s fiduciary duty is to the seller, and he/she will work to get the seller the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. They will always negotiate on behalf of the seller if you choose to be unrepresented.
The listing agent could give you money back at closing if you ask for that and he/she chooses to, but will still work to get the highest price possible for the seller as that is what the listing firm promises to do when it takes a listing. This will likely result in your paying more than what you would have had you used a buyers agent. (Do you really know what the home’s true market value is? A Buying agent does – and will work on your behalf to get you the best price in the current market!)
If you choose to use a Buyer’s Agent, the agent will help you find homes to look at and research those homes on the front end when possible. He/she will pull comps on the ones you’re considering making offers on, looking at active prices, closed and under contract prices, and expired prices to determine if a property is priced correctly.
A Realtor will research the homes you’ve picked and will help you decide if they would be a good fit or not based on the information you provided in the initial consultation. He or she will look at the RPD forms and see if there are any current problems with the home that could be a deal breaker for you, or that can be used to negotiate the price down.
When it comes to making an offer, your Buying Agent will help you make a compelling offer! Then he or she will help you negotiate the terms of that offer, and guide you through your due diligence period, pointing out what inspections you should complete, what repairs you can negotiate, and whether or not you need to extend that due diligence period. An experienced agent knows what to look for when it comes to potential problems with a home and if they can give you more negotiating power.
Buyer’s agents field multiple calls, texts and emails on your behalf between all those involved while touring homes, and even more so once you are under contract. Having an agent communicating with the listing agent keeps your emotions out of it, and makes for a much smoother negotiating process. They also work closely with lenders, attorneys and inspectors to make sure your transaction is as smooth as possible.
Having a network of agents they are in contact with across the nation, and sometimes worldwide, they may know of a coming soon or a pocket listing that might be just what you’re looking for!
There are many reasons using a Buyer’s Agent would be beneficial to you- but to sum it up..it’s FREE! And it truly saves you so much time and money in the long run. The real question is….Why WOULDN’T you use a Realtor to Buy a House?! 😊