Finding a Buyer’s Agent
How can a buyer’s agent help
A dedicated buyer’s agent will make buying a home much easier and give you the advantage over buyers without an agent. What are those advantages?
- Agents have access to homes that may not currently be on the market.
- Agents have knowledge of upcoming developments that could affect your home’s future resale value
- Agents are well connected to loan officers, contractors, and closing companies
- Agents know the numbers: average appreciation for the area, average time a house is on the market in a given area, average sale price, etc.
- Agents can negotiate the best price on your behalf.
- Agents know strategies to manage all of the most common home-buying pitfalls
What to look for in a buyer’s agent
We know that you want to find someone you trust, someone who you feel is working behind the scenes, listens to you and knows exactly what you want. Finding a buyer’s agent who is a match will take many things into consideration, including personality, proactivity, integrity, commitment, availability, and knowledge. Your buyer’s agent should be able to match your price range, needs, and wants, with the right expectations and areas. The following might be some questions you ask prospective agents to get a feel for their approach.
- How many clients do you have right now? Do you set a limit on how many you work with at any given time?
- What happens if you find that you have a full client roster? How will you guarantee that I won’t be put aside?
- What are your specialty areas? (residential, commercial, rural, first time home buyers, etc.)
- How often can I expect to hear from you, and what is your availability?
- Do you have a licensed assistant? If not, who covers you in the event that you’re unavailable?
You need to know that your buyer’s agent has enough time to be competitive. This is one the largest personal and financial decisions you will ever make. You probably can’t take time off from work to house hunt and you may be competing with other buyers.
You might fall in love with a house that has multiple interested buyers. Work with an agent who understands urgency and is flexible with your schedule so that you’re not missing out. An agent with a licensed assistant ensures that someone is available at all times in case of an emergency, which is especially true if your agent’s client roster is large.
Remember, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your real estate agent. While you may not consider it at first, it’s important that your personalities are a match, too. Find an agent who listens, responds, communicates promptly, and who you feel you can trust and talk to easily. Your buyer’s agent will be negotiating on your behalf and should be there for you at every turn.
Does an agent’s real estate company matter?
Coldwell Banker, Re/Max, Century 21. Does it really matter what company an agent is with?
In the real estate world, we call the real estate company a “brokerage.” An agent pays fees to their brokerage. All brokerages are a bit different, but if a brokerage charges their agents hefty fees, these often trickle down to the client.
A brokerage that represents a larger portion of the market will have more access to “pocket listings” or listings that aren’t currently on the market. An agent with more listings, likewise, will have more access to pocket listings for their own personal buyers.
At the end of the day, though, the individual agent is more important than the real estate company.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our qualifications or the home buying process in general. We would be happy to hear from you!