In our recent article, Ten Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent when Selling Your Home, we concluded that scrimping on the important services of a Real Estate Agent doesn’t save the Seller any real money. In this Article, we will list our Top Ten reasons to use a Buyer’s Agent when buying a home. Buyers should strongly consider using a Buyer’s Agent–here’s why:
1. The Listing Agent Doesn’t Work for You (Protecting the Buyer’s Interests): While most Agents are well-meaning, nice people, a listing Agent does not represent you as a Buyer. A Listing Agent is under a fiduciary duty to put the client’s interests ahead of the interests of all other parties. Many Buyers operate under the false impression that the Listing Agent is “looking out for them.” This is simply not the case. The Listing Agent is working to maximize the Seller’s interests, i.e. maximizing the price (among other things). Only a Buyer’s Agent, who owes a fiduciary and contractual duty of loyalty to the Buyer, will seek to maximize the Buyer’s interests, i.e. minimize the price (among other things).
2. “Free” to the Buyer: The Listing Agent’s commission is customarily paid by the Seller. When a Buyer’s Agent is employed, the Listing and Buyer’s agent “split” this commission. Therefore, the Buyer’s Agent’s services are essentially free to the Buyer.
All too often, we hear a Buyer tell us that they will save money on the purchase price by “going direct” to the Listing Agent. This thought process is flawed because, in the unlikely event that there are any savings, the savings will be passed on to the Seller (see duty above…).
3. Help With Negotiation: Aside from our cars, most of us don’t engage in negotiations for expensive property. Others find the prospect of hard-nosed negotiation about as pleasant as an early morning root canal. Buyer’s Agents are experienced negotiators who are able to advise their clients of the best strategy. They are also one step removed from the purchase which means they are not emotionally attached to the property.
There’s one common misconception worth dispelling here: the Buyer’s Agent will not try to maximize the purchase price to maximize their commission. As mentioned above, Buyer’s Agents owe a duty to their clients to maximize their client’s interests. Furthermore, referrals in the Real Estate Industry are King. A Buyer’s Agent lives and dies by their reputation and, quite simply, it isn’t worth eking out a few extra dollars of a split commission at the expense of losing a client’s potential referral.
4. Help Buyers Discover what they Want: Sometimes, a Buyer will think they need one thing, but in fact need something else. A Buyer’s Agent helps Buyers determine precisely what the Buyer should be looking for.
5. Better Searching Resources: While the internet has made the casual browsing of inventory easier, consumer search tools still pale in comparison to the robust network of resources that are available to an Agent. An Agent also has the additional resources of time and experience. A diligent Buyer’s Agent will search for properties on behalf of the client and screen properties that don’t fit the client’s needs.
6. Historical Sales Data: Agents have access to powerful search tools and databases. An Agent is able to see the sales history of the subject property in addition to comparable sales in the area. Buyer’s Agents are equipped to advise Buyers of current market conditions and the true value of the target property.
7. Referrals for Other Services: The home buying process involves a large cast of characters. From home inspectors to real estate attorneys, from mortgage brokers to mold remediators, a seasoned Buyer’s Agent will have dealt with these parties and will be able to provide top notch referrals to their clients.
8. Managing Showings: Buyers often need to see many properties before making their ultimate choice. A Buyer’s Agent helps to coordinate with Listing Agents and other necessary parties to best accommodate the Buyer’s schedule.
9. Due Diligence: Buyers are given various due diligence tasks prior to closing. A Buyer’s agent will orchestrate these tasks more accurately and efficiently.
10. Your Time is Valuable: Frankly, searching for and buying a house can be time consuming. By streamlining the search and closing process, a Buyer’s Agent is able to protect your valuable time.
Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions.
Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.