Your Buyers Agent Does More Than Write Up the Offer!
Most buyers start their search for a home on the Internet. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says more than 90% of buyers start there. As you look at listings online, you will start to identify the style of home and features that you'd like to find. You might be narrowing down which town and neighborhoods to consider.
Even if you are just starting your house search, and are not ready to buy a home, this is the time to meet with an agent who will represent you when you are ready.
Why meet with an agent now? Because your Buyers' Agent does more than just write up the offer. Your Buyers' Agent is a full-time, professional REALTOR. This is her/his career. She has expertise, knowledge and experience in helping people make investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions! That has to be someone you can trust and count on.
Your Buyers' Agent represents you and your best interests. She/he knows the neighborhoods and the market trends. Do you know if it's a buyers' market or a sellers' market in a particular town and a certain price range? Your REALTOR does.
She also can recommend service professionals like mortgage lenders, home inspectors, structural engineers, roofers, plumbers, pest inspectors and more. Your Buyers' Agent will make sure that you see the listings that come on the market even if they do not exactly meet the parameters of the search criteria that you set up online. For example, when you set a search limit of $375,000 for homes you want to see, your Buyers' Agent will make sure that you also see the great home for $385,000 and the one for $399,000 that they believe will sell below $375,000.
Yes, your Buyers' Agent will write up an offer, but she will also help you understand the market value of the home and make a recommendation for making a good offer. She will represent your part of the conversation in any negotiations with the Sellers' Agent.
Since you're working with an excellent Buyers' Agent, she will also help you understand the different stages of the transaction, the timeline and what your potential costs may be along the way. One of the most important recommendations will be to hire a real estate attorney because your Buyers' Agent is most likely not a lawyer and may not give legal advice.
Your Buyers' Agent may suggest that you go to Open Houses as you start to get to know what house styles and features you like, or to see if you like a specific property. When you get there, sign in and put down your Buyers' Agent's name. That way, the Sellers' Agent who is hosting the Open House will know who to contact to find out what you thought of the house.
The Sellers' Agent represents the best interests of the sellers. You can ask her questions about the house, but you can also ask your Buyers' Agent who will follow up with the Sellers' Agent and get those answers for you. Don't share information with the Sellers' Agent that might negatively impact you if you decide to make an offer on the home. In some states, it may be legal for a real estate agent to represent the seller and the buyer, with written permission from both parties. That's called a "Dual Agency". Unless you and the seller agree in writing, the agent from the Open House only represents the Seller.
When you are making what may be the largest investment of your life, make sure you are fully represented by a Buyers' Agent. Remember, your Buyers' Agent does more than write up the offer.
Read More to Become More Informed:
For Sellers: Why a Pocket Listing Hurts Sellers
For Sellers and Buyers: Dual Agents and Fiduciary Resposibility