Why Hire a Realtor - Working with a Buyer Agent?
In an era of skeptical consumers, one might ask: Why hire a buyer agent? In a nutshell, the answer boils down to one word: Expertise.
Below are ten reasons to hire a buyer agent. But first, let’s review a few basics about working with a REALTOR.
Can a Buyer’s Agent Also Represent Sellers?
Yes. The overwhelming majority of real estate agents represent buyers and sellers, though rarely in the same transaction. In the unusual chance an agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, a status called “dual agency” arises and a set of state rules and ethical guidelines falls upon the agent, governing their behavior.
Some agents or firms purport to eliminate conflicts of interest by representing only buyers or only sellers, but beware of this marketing tactic. While this may eliminate the chance of a dual agency situation, it hardly ensures a better price or better service for the consumer. After all, the agent’s commission still correlates to the purchase price! (See "How to Choose an Agent" to address these concerns.)
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Buyer Agent? NOTHING!
The buyer’s agent makes neither a wage nor a salary – they are paid a commission when the deal closes. Here’s how it works: the seller pays a commission to the listing agent to market the home, and offers a commission to the buyer agent as incentive to bring a buyer. Commissions are only paid to the agents at closing, upon completion of the deal, and are typically a percentage of the purchase price.
Do I Have to Sign Anything?
Well, you don’t have to, but it’s in your best interest to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement. This is the only way to ensure a real estate agent works on your behalf and negotiates in your best interest.
That’s because, in the state of North Carolina, a real estate agent always represents the seller by default, unless a buyer has signed a Buyer Agency Agreement with that agent. An agent without a signed, written agreement to represent a buyer is known as a “seller subagent” working with a buyer. So, until you have signed a written agreement with an agent, keep confidential any information you would not want a seller to know.
Top Ten Reasons to Work with a Buyer Agent:
- Expertise – You probably have many questions about the home buying process, and real estate agents have the answers. After all, they do this every day.
- Research skills – From looking for properties to finding permits at the county courthouse, buyer’s agents become efficient researchers.
- Service network – Consider your agent the “source of the source,” and tap into their vast networks of service providers, from engineers to attorneys to mortgage consultants.
- Tour guide – It’s not everyday that someone else will make your appointments, drive you around, and be your personal "tour guide."
- Legal paperwork – Do your eyes glaze over when reading legalese? Allow a real estate agent to translate that for you.
- Guidance – A good agent guides you through every step of the process, keeping clients from straying or making missteps.
- Negotiations – Working out the details between a buyer and seller can be tricky work, fraught with emotional landmines and legal liability. Agents know the terrain.
- Delegation – Buying a house is stressful enough without the myriad of to-dos – let a buyer agent take some of the load.
- Advice – Whether they prepare market analyses or provide an outside opinion, buyer agents often act as counselors and consultants.
- Peace of Mind – This will very likely be the largest purchase of your life. Shouldn’t you trust an expert?
About the Author - Mark Vanderhoff
Mark Vanderhoff is a real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty. He helps sellers stand out among the competition and helps buyers take advantage of the opportunities. He also devotes himself to consumer education through his writings in various publications and holds free first-time homebuyer seminars.
Mark offers buyer and seller consultations at no cost and no obligation. He is also a certified Environmental Consultant who specializes in green building.
Asheville Real Estate Directory Listings
|Agencies and Agents||Appraisers||Architects|
|Land Surveyors||Mortgage Brokers||Property Management|