When you want to buy a house or an apartment, the experience can be really daunting. It is the real estate agents that make this process much less daunting. When you are a buyer, you have to look for a buyer’s agent. The problem is most people have no idea what the real estate buyer’s agent is and what he does.
What Is A Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?
At first glance, the buyer’s agent is just a real estate agent. This can be mentioned as being correct but the buyer’s agent is legally obliged to protect the buyer’s interests. This specialist works to make sure that the best deal is obtained for the client.
Most real estate agents actually work as listing agents and as buyer’s agents. However, some do specialize in representing buyers.
Listing Agents Versus Buyer’s Agents
Most real estate transactions involve 2 real estate agents. These are the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. The real estate buyer’s agent is working for the buyer and the listing agent is representing the seller’s interests.
Buyer’s agents help buyers to navigate everything related to the real estate transaction. They find listings and advocate for the needs of the buyer. Listing agents are listing properties for sellers and their fiduciary responsibility is to support the seller.
There are many home buyers that think they do not need the services of the buyer’s agent. They think they can simply work with listing agents. This is not recommended and you cannot work with the same real estate agent as the seller since a clear conflict of interest appears.
Real Estate Buyer’s Agent – What Can He Do?
Real estate professionals that work as buyer’s agents are responsible for being a resource for clients. They have to offer guidance during every single step involved in the home buying process. Usually, buyer’s agents take on these tasks:
- Finding adequate listings – When hiring the agent, some questions will be asked about preferences and needs. Then, the agent will look for the ideal home, based on this discussion.
- Scheduling showings – Buyers pick the properties they consider based on what the agent shows them. Then, the agent will work with the listing agents to schedule showings.
- Information – Buyer’s agents are responsible for asking the tough questions when discussing with listing agents and they need to answer all questions clients have.
- Pricing consultation – When you want to be sure that you are paying the right price for a property, the buyer’s agent is your best bet for accurate information.
- Negotiations – Buyer’s agents are much better at negotiating prices with sellers or listing agents than regular people are. Both terms and prices can be negotiated. When sellers make counteroffers, agents recommend accepting them or further negotiation.
- Referrals – Buyer’s agents advise and guides buyers up until closing. As a result, it is possible to refer some other professionals, like inspectors or real estate attorneys.
Paying The Buyer’s Agent
Usually, the seller pays the commission for the listing agent AND the buyer’s agent. This is very important for buyers because of the fact that the services of this agent are available for free. When buyers cannot find something to buy, buyer’s agents do not get paid.
In most cases the commission of the buyer’s agent is around 6%, unless it is written differently in the contract. However, this commission is evenly split between him and the listing agent. This is because it is the seller that pays the agents. Fees are automatically deducted from sale proceeds.
Ending Contracts With Buyer’s Agents
Buyer’s agents will only be paid when the property is sold. This is why there are buyers that sign an agreement to solidify the work relationship. In this contract, terms are stipulated and there is a guarantee that buyers only work with one agent.
Contract terms are definitely negotiable. However, there are restrictions about how much terms can change. Buyers usually negotiate contract duration, but there are some agreements that will specifically mention the buyer can only exclusively work with a particular agent for a number of 3 months.
It is very important to talk about the contract and you have to read it because ending it can be very difficult. Always read the fine print.
Finding A Good Buyer’s Agent
Buyers need to find very good buyer’s agents because of the free experience that is offered. However, this does not mean that you can just hire the very firsts one that you find.
It is important to interview several buyer’s agents. Ask them all the tough questions in order to understand the individual’s experience and personality. The ideal agent is a person that knows how to find what you need and deal with the price range you bring to the table, all while making you feel very comfortable.
In order to locate very good buyer’s agents, make sure you discuss the following when you interview them:
- Industry experience – usually expressed in years.
- Hours when work is done.
- Whether or not the agent is specialized in working with the buyers.
- The number of clients.
- Actual experience with locating homes in the desired location and in the appropriate price range.
- Reasons to work with the buyer’s agent.
Last but not least, make sure that you assess how well the agent understands your preferences and needs. A very good one will always be the individual that fully understands the industry and you, the client.