A REAL ESTATE AGENT (Buyer’s Agent) is an advocate working hard on your
behalf throughout every phase of your home purchase and will:
• Find and show you homes that fit your criteria.
• Compare prices with other listings to assure good value for your money.
• Negotiate with the seller’s agent for terms that are in your best interest.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that lists homes for sale. While you can also find houses on your own by attending open houses, reading your paper’s real estate section, and searching online, your agent is the best point of access for all homes and can arrange showings for houses of interest.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS can help you narrow your search by going through a home with you and noting what you like and dislike. The agent is also a source of information about the home itself: how long it’s been on the market, the neighborhood and school system, the home’s best features and so on. Rather than being flooded with properties of all type, your agent can help you find a match for your specific needs and wants.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS answer questions about the current market, interest rates and other home buying issues, and refer you to home specialist you will need, including a home inspector or a lender.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS will negotiate on your behalf when you make an offer on a house. The agent can help you determine exactly what you offer, not only in price but also in other factors, such as appliances, seller’s help on closing costs and other negotiation issues). The agent will write up the offer and present it to the seller’s agent.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS will lead you through the process, ensuring all necessary steps are
completed, such as securing a loan, getting an inspection, completing a title search, and so on.
IS THERE A FEE TO USE A REAL ESTATE AGENT?
For a buyer no, the seller pay’s the commission. When a house is listed for sale, the seller’s contract spells out the commission rate that will be awarded to a buyer’s representative. This is known up front and typically covers all, or at least most, of your representative’s compensation.
CAN I AVOID REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS ALTOGETHER AND BUY DIRECTLY FROM A SELLER?
Yes, this is an option that some buyers explore. However, it’s important to understand that nothing is truly free and this approach still carries a price. Unrepresented sellers (for-sale-by-owner properties) frequently lack adequate information about how to price their home, or attempt to inflate the price in lieu of paying a real estate commission.
As an unrepresented buyer, it will be much harder for you to know if you’re overpaying. Real estate professionals have developed keen pricing insights that go well beyond simply evaluating data through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). And if you are overpaying, it will create further complications in securing financing.
For these, and many other reasons, a high majority of consumer-to-consumer housing transactions never reach closing. Real estate professionals play a valuable role in keeping your home-purchase on track, starting with selecting and touring properties and continuing through negotiations, inspections, financing and closing.