A buyer’s agent is a professional, licensed real estate agent who represents the interests of home buyers throughout the purchasing process. Unlike most real estate agents who represent both buyers and sellers, a buyer’s agent exclusively represents buyers, which guarantees them a more personalized, focused service. Their primary responsibility is to represent the home buyer in all aspects of the transaction, in contrast to a selling agent who represents the seller. Both types of agents have a legal and ethical duty to act in their client’s best interest. Some companies represent both the buyer and seller in a transaction. They are known as ‘dual agencies.” Dual agencies may find it difficult to represent both parties fairly. Therefore, it’s recommended that home buyers hire an agent who solely represents their best interests when searching for a real estate agent.
What Does a Good Buyer’s Agent Offer?
A buyer’s agent can assist you with every aspect of purchasing a home, from your initial search to the closing process and even after-sales services. When hiring a buyer’s agent, these abilities should be considered. Some of the key benefits of hiring a buyer’s agent includes:
- Access to listings: A buyer’s agent has a comprehensive understanding of the available homes in your area and may have access to more listings than those you see online. They can provide you with immediate access to new listings as soon as they become available.
- Expert negotiation skills: Your agent can help you determine a fair market value for a home before making an offer and also provide strategic advice based on market conditions. They will then negotiate with the seller on your behalf to come to an agreement on price and other terms.
- Experience: An experienced agent can be extremely helpful throughout the entire home buying process, from recognizing red flags during the inspection report to anticipating counteroffers. They serve as a trusted advisor and provide you with honest guidance that could ultimately save you time, money, and stress. A top real estate agent should have at least three years of experience in the industry, with a track record of successful deals. If you choose to work with a newer agent, you should find out whether they are being guided by a more experienced agent.
Good network: An experienced agent can recommend trusted lenders, real estate attorneys, escrow officers, financing schemes, and home inspectors to help you with every aspect of the transaction. When these professionals have a good working relationship with your agent, they can work together to streamline the buying process. It’s important to know how quickly they respond to customer requests, and whether they are available on evenings and weekends.
- Documentation support: Buying a home requires a lot of paperwork, from offer paperwork to contingencies to closing documents. Your agent will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is in order, explain your rights and obligations under the contract terms, and guide you through the entire process, ensuring that everything is signed appropriately.
- Solid area expertise: You should look for someone with experience in the specific area where you want to buy a home. You can check the past sales of agents in that area or ask them directly about their business in that neighborhood.
How Can You Hire a Buyer’s Agent?
To find a buyer’s agent that suits your needs, communication style, and goals, you should follow some steps.
- Search online or physically visit brokerage agencies to view lists of agents. Observe their bios, reviews, ratings, and past sales records and see if you can shortlist the impressive ones.
- A great way to find an agent you can trust is asking friends, family members, or colleagues for recommendations. You can cross-check their names with online reviews for a better understanding of their experience.
- Once you have shortlisted potential agents, narrow it down to at least three agents and discuss your needs with them to get a better understanding of how they work. You can ask them questions such as how many buyers they’ve represented in the area in the past years, whether they work full-time in real estate, and how they ensure excellent customer service.
When buying a home, it is important to have a buyer’s agent to help navigate the process, negotiate with the seller’s agent, and provide expert guidance. There are several ways of finding a great agent, from searching online directories or friends and family referrals. However, only you can decide which agent is the best for you. Since you will be trusting them long-term, it is better to look for an agent with years of experience in the specific area where you want to buy, who has strong communication skills, and a good reputation. If you become a satisfied buyer at some point, you will always return to the same buyer’s agent comfortably every time they need help in the real estate market. That is the true success of a buyer’s agent.