Buying a home is a very exciting event. Finding the perfect home can be difficult enough and that’s just the first step in a somewhat complicated process. Fortunately you don’t have to navigate the process on your own.
Most houses being sold have a real estate agent representing the seller, referred to as a listing agent. The listing agent’s main responsibility is to make sure the seller’s best interests are being protected. How can you, as the buyer, ensure your best interests are protected? By hiring a buyer’s agent.
What is a Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who represents the purchaser’s interests in a real estate transaction. Not only will they help you find the perfect home, they will guide you through the entire home buying process.
You’re not legally required to hire a buyer’s agent in order to buy a house. You always have the option to find a home and negotiate the terms of the purchase on your own. Some homebuyers might even think they can take a shortcut by working directly with the listing agent. Neither of these scenarios is a good idea. You would need to have extensive knowledge of the current market in order to negotiate the best price and terms. Working directly with the listing agent creates a dual agency which is illegal in some states. At the very least, it creates a conflict of interest.
It’s in your best interest to hire a professional agent. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) an overwhelming 86% of buyers choose to hire a buyer’s agent to assist them with the home buying process.*
Here are some of top reasons to hire an agent when buying a house.
One of the most obvious reasons for hiring a buyer’s agent is that it’s free. The commission for the agent representing the buyer is paid for by the seller. Where else could you hire a professional to guide you through the entire process while protecting your interests…at no cost to you?
Although roughly 99.9% of the time it is free to hire a buyer’s agent, there is one circumstance that could lead to a buyer potentially having to pay for the buyer agent’s commission. This could happen if the home you’re purchasing is a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and the seller is not willing to pay a commission. If you still wanted the agent to represent you, you would have to pay the agent’s commission.
They Understand the Local Real Estate Market
Every real estate market is different and they can differ from town to town, even neighborhood to neighborhood. An experienced buyer’s agent understands the intricacies of the local market. They can provide valuable information about the area including home values, local schools, access to freeways, homeowner associations, property taxes, etc.
A Buyer’s Agent will Coordinate Showings
One of the most valuable, time saving tasks that a buyer’s agent performs is coordinating showings for buyers. Depending on your house search, it’s possible that they will coordinate a large number of showings in several different areas, at a variety of different times. Your buyer’s agent will make sure that you have the opportunity to view all the potential properties. This means making dozens of phone calls. It means figuring out the best route for the showings. All while making sure they provide you with all the pertinent information about the properties you’re viewing.
They Know How to Write Real Estate Contracts
Even if you’ve purchased homes in the past, it’s unlikely you’re familiar enough to navigate a real estate contract. An experienced buyer’s agent will know the ins and outs of the contract. There are contingencies and deadlines included in a purchase offer that need to be considered. In addition, a knowledgeable buyer’s agent will know how to write a contract that presents you in the best possible way in the eyes of the seller. A contract that is poorly written or with missing or incorrect information is a common reason why a purchase offer is often rejected.
A Buyer’s Agent is Your Negotiator
This is one of a buyer agent’s most important skills and having a tip notch negotiator is critical. They will help you in deciding how much to offer for a home. But that’s not all. They can advise you as to how much earnest deposit to offer, the length of time it will take you to close, whether you should ask the seller to provide closing cost assistance or provide a home warranty, etc. And, if the seller counters your offer, your agent can advise you on whether you should accept the counter offer or counter back. Your buyer’s agent will also help you when you’re negotiating repair requests during your inspection period.
They will Keep the Transaction on Schedule
The real estate contract contains several contingencies and deadlines; your buyer’s agent is responsible to see that all contingencies are fulfilled and that all deadlines are met. They will coordinate with your lender and the title company to ensure that there are no hiccups or delays and that your closing happens on time.
As you can see, there are many reasons to hire a buyer’s agent when buying a house. They play an essential role in the home buying process. An experienced agent can help make finding a home, submitting offers, negotiating favorable terms, and getting to the closing table a smoother and more pleasant experience.
Contact the Donnelly Group
No matter whether it’s been a while since you last jumped into the home buying process, you are a first time buyer, or you’re new to the Phoenix housing market, the Donnelly Group has the expertise to act as your buyer’s agent. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team at 480-792-9700 or by email, we’d love to help.