What is a Buyer’s Agent and How are They Compensated?
A Buyer’s Agent is your representative throughout the transaction. When you choose a Buyer’s Agent to represent you, they’re going to keep your best outcome in mind. They’re not only legally bound to protect you throughout a real estate transaction, many Buyer’s Agents are also naturally protective of their clients.
Many people are nervous about choosing a Buyer’s Agent because they’re under the impression that they may have to pay an extra fee for their services. However, the fees that the real estate agent and their company earn are set long before you walk in the door. Buyers don’t typically pay their agent directly since the brokerage commission is figured into the price of the house. So cost is not typically an issue for a buyer.
Buyer’s Agents Make Everything Easier for You
Furthermore, your Buyer’s Agent is a lot more than a pencil pusher. They can help make your purchase so much easier in a million ways. Here are just eight of them:
- Knowing the market inside and out. There’s only so much you can learn about your housing market from looking at houses online. A Buyer’s Agent can tell you what part of town is poppin’ and which areas are not as popular. Getting in on a little-known up and coming neighborhood can mean a very happy long term financial forecast. Remember, typically Realtors are long time members of the community(s) they service.
- Wanting you in the right house, not just any house. Good Realtors will understand their clients wants and needs. Your Buyer’s Agent is going to pound the pavement looking at houses for you while you’re off working or having a life. Then they’ll make a shortlist, saving you time and effort by eliminating houses you’d never buy, and take you shopping! Most will keep at it until the right house appears, no matter how long it takes.
- Being a shoulder during the stressful buying process. There’s no better way to say it, buying a house is emotionally draining. It becomes exponentially harder when you add a spouse or partner in the equation. Your Buyer’s Agent has walked lots of people from home shopping to the closing table and will be there for you when you start to panic or the stress is just too much.
- Giving you advice on creating a reasonable offer. Your Buyer’s Agent has typically written lots of offers, some that were accepted, some that were not. You can take advantage of their professional experience and ask for help creating an offer that will stick. After all, if you offer too little, the seller may not even respond and if you offer too much, you might kick yourself later.
- Protecting you and your rights throughout the buying process. Your Buyer’s Agent is basically a human shield that stands between you and all the worst things in the market. They’re the ones who will point out shoddy workmanship in homes you’re considering, as well as recommending home pros who can fix it. They also go to bat when it’s time to negotiate repairs after your home inspection. With every step, your best interest is their first priority.
- Fighting for you if a contract goes south. Hiring a Buyer’s Agent (or a Seller’s Agent when you’re selling, for that matter) is a little like taking out an insurance policy. They help you write your contract and walk you through the buying process, but they also have another vital role to play. If things go sour, they’re going to help you fix it. Buyer’s Agents are the ones helping you weave your way through messy issues, like who should be getting the fridge or whether or not certain items remain with the home.
- Spotting value you may not see. You’ve decided on a budget and certain specs you want in your home. Well, maybe you can achieve those goals by knocking down a wall or converting an attic into a bedroom. Oftentimes it is very hard for buyers, especially first time buyers, to see beyond the listed specs of a home. Good Realtors have seen and experienced all kinds of renovation projects, conversions, purchases and sales — and can add a perspective you may not be considering on a home that may not check every box you initially thought you needed.
- Serving you even after closing. Buyer’s Agents don’t just drop you once they’ve cashed their checks. They’re around for you no matter what it is that you need help with, real estate-wise. Need the name of a good painter? A place to buy architectural salvage? Your Buyer’s Agent can set you up.