Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent for You
So you are in the market to buy a home. Good for you! It’s an exciting time! It’s your HGTV moment!
Where to begin? Well, one of the most important things you can do is to select a Buyer’s Agent to work with. A Buyer’s Agent will help you with many aspects of the process. Of course, they can serve as “the key master,” getting you into those homes that you are coveting. But there are many other key ways they serve you including:
– Helping you understand the local market, how it ebbs and flows, and the current conditions. Is it a
buyer’s market? A seller’s market? That can vary based on the neighborhood, the price range, the season…it is a Buyer’s Agent’s job to know and share this with their client and to help them navigate through these market conditions.
– To help “sleuth out” your home – in a hot market a home can come on the market and be gone in days, sometimes hours! A good Buyer’s Agent is tenacious about staying on top of the market for their client so these opportunities are not missed.
– To help you negotiate the best price and terms for the home you purchase. It is not just about the purchase price, though that is probably the most important item you negotiate. However, other terms can help you win or lose a bid on getting a home – particularly in a multiple offer situation. A great Buyer’s Agent understands and will teach you the power of offering the right amount of Due Diligence, uncovering if the seller would like a fast close or seller possession, and other facets that can help YOUR offer stand out and be selected as the winning offer when more than one person is bidding on a home. They can also help you craft these terms to most benefit YOU – with home warranties, and seller paid closing costs, for instance, when there is need for a little more “negotiation room” on your behalf.
– To serve as your advocate during the home buying process, completing all the necessary forms and documents, performing negotiations on your behalf, and advising you on the professionals such as surveyors and home inspectors that can help insure you are making a solid financial decision with the purchase of your home.
– Which service providers and which services & inspections to use during the home buying process is up to the individual buyer, but a Buyer’s Agent can provide you with a pool of professionals to assist you. Good Buyer’s Agents often arrange all of these appointments for you and even attend these appointments in your place and convey all of the information garnered from these professionals.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A BUYER’S AGENT?
You might talk to the agent’s RECENT CLIENTS. You can ask the agent for their client list from the past year with contact information and ask firsthand about how pleased the client was with the Agent’s performance. You might also check out the Agent’s Zillow Reviews or Facebook Page, depending on which social media platform they use.
Inquire about the Agent’s KNOWLEDGE OF THE MARKET. If you are from out of the area, this is tremendously important as you are relying on the Agent to guide you to the neighborhoods in town that most suit you, to explain the aspects of the market that affect the purchase of real estate, and often to provide you with above and beyond service from a distance as you go on living your life in your current location. For out-of-town home buyers, your Buyer’s Agent will also serve as a tour guide and an educational maven to the area, helping you learn the area, how to navigate it, and really LISTENING to help you discover how the area can best work for YOU. Even as a local buyer, you need a competent Agent that understands and can convey the “temperature” of the market at the time and can help you get the home you desire at the best possible price and terms.
In real estate, finding a Buyer’s Agent with great CHARACTER is important. Knowing that you are dealing with an honest person of integrity is paramount. In real estate, we have a “fiduciary responsibility” to our clients. This means that our clients come FIRST – no matter what. It is our job as a Buyer’s Agent to follow all lawful instruction of our clients, but you also want someone who is honest enough to guide you AWAY from making a decision that is not in your best interest and whose instincts and character you fully trust.
Like any good relationship, you want CHEMISTRY and RAPPORT with your Buyer’s Agent. Buying a home can be exciting and a lot of fun. But it is the biggest purchase most people make, and it can be a time of stress and intensity as well. You can spend many hours riding around the countryside in a car with your Buyer’s Agent, and then you will be communicating with your Agent through each step of the home buying process. In short, you should LIKE your Buyer’s Agent. You should feel comfortable and engaged. The whole process will be much more palatable if you feel this way.
So when you are looking for YOUR Buyer’s Agent, look around until you find that combination of experience, knowledge, competence, character and chemistry that can BEST serve you on YOUR journey to a new home. You’ll be glad you took the time. HAPPY HOME HUNTING!
Written by Julie Tallman, BROKER, realtor. Connect with Julie to see how she can make finding a home easier for you.