Always On Your Side: The Benefits of a Buyer’s Agent
Posted December 23, 2018 in Special Features
So you’ve started the process of purchasing a home. You have financing pre-approval or maybe even cash in hand. You’re excited to get out there and see what’s on the market in your price range. You drive by a great home in the perfect location, or find your dream home online. You can’t wait to find out more about the house and wonder if you should call the listing agent.
Do you have a buyer’s agent working with you yet? Have you secured the valuable and unbiased representation only a buyer’s agent can provide?
It may not be entirely obvious to everyone that the first step in the house hunting process should be finding an agent, and ideally that agent should be a dedicated buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent is a REALTOR® whose job it is to look out for your best interests as a buyer. Meanwhile, the job of the listing agent is to get the best price for the seller. Speaking with a listing agent on your own could reveal sensitive financial information to hurt your position in the negotiation. You will also only hear about all the great features of the property from the listing agent, as they are not required to disclose any negative information that could potentially jeopardize the sale. However, a buyer’s agent can offer full disclosure information on a property even if it hurts the seller.
Many real estate agents are involved with both buying and selling transactions, and there are different commission structures involved with each. When a real estate agent works as a listing agent, they are working for a 6% commission on the sale, while a buyer’s agent earns 3%. One agent may have many active listings while also serving as a buyer’s agent at the same time. That agent may even guide the buyer toward one of their own listings, or they may possibly put more of their time and energy into selling their active listings than providing full service to buyers. The basic role of a buyer’s agent is to show you available homes, point out features, provide financing information, and submit an offer. Whether or not an agent puts 100% effort into each phase of the transaction depends on the motivations of that agent. It seems obvious that anyone would put more time and effort pursuing a negotiation that will give them a higher payoff and perhaps not as much into a lesser payoff.
These are just a few reasons why there is absolutely no risk involved in choosing an exclusive buyer’s agent to represent you in your home search. Plus, in Washington State, the services of a buyer’s agent are paid for by the seller so it will not cost you a dime. It just makes sense to choose an agent who will always be on your side to get you the best home for the lowest price possible.
Lauren Aldous is a real estate broker and exclusive buyer’s agent for SW Washington. https://thealdousteam.com/home