What is a Buyer’s Agent, and What Can They Do for You?
Working with an experienced real estate agent can make everything easier when it comes to buying a home, including the amount of time you must spend, your stress levels, and achieving your ultimate real estate goals. As a buyer, you probably have heard about using a buyer’s agent, but what exactly do they do differently? Do you need one? Should you sign a buyer’s agent contract?
Here are a few facts to get you in the know about how a buyer’s agent differs from a listing or selling agent.
- The transition to having buyer’s agents who legally represent the buyer took place in the mid-1980s. Basically, state licensing officials and trade organizations required agents to disclose whether they were working for the seller or the buyer - and buyers began requesting equal representation.
- Typically, the buyer's agency commission is paid from the proceeds of the closing, just as any other agent is paid, so there is no added cost for the buyer.
- You may even save money because your agent may by be able to negotiate with the seller and selling agent to work toward obtaining the lowest price.
- Your buyer’s agent is representing you, the buyer, with full confidentiality. Legally they are not allowed to disclose a buyer’s personal motives or financial intentions to the sellers or their agent – for example, if you are really willing and able to pay more, that remains secret.
- Signing a buyer’s agent contract creates legal "fiduciary" responsibilities between you and the agent. They are legally representing you and must abide by the confidentiality rules.
Now you know what a buyer’s agent does, but how do you find the best one for you? Here are a few things to look for:
Their experience and the professionalism of the agency they work for: There are many variables that can come up when buying a home. Unless your agent has dealt with the numerous pitfalls that can arise, your agent’s level of experience could end up costing you, unless he or she is part of an agency that mentors and supports each other. Always choose a quality agency that has support and educational opportunities for their agents.
An agent who works full-time in the industry, or one who works with a partner.A partner can be a plus in getting answers quickly and having someone available to show you that next listing.
- Does the agent have specialized training that applies to what you are looking for? Say you are seeking lakefront vacation property, or you want to buy in a 65+ community. There is specialized training and a level of experience your agent can possess to help understand the nuances of buying this type of property. Seek a good fit in terms of experience or training.
Choosing a buyer’s Find Agent is an important decision, and it will help you find the right property with less stress and frustration. Look for someone with personal knowledge, experience, and professional support and training from their agency.
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