Since becoming an agent I have heard over and over that people don’t see the need for hiring a real estate agent when buying a home. Most of the time, I politely explain the benefits of having someone on your side. The hope is some of what I’ve said resonates. Now I’m going to spell it out loud and clear why it is a huge benefit to have a buyer’s agent involved in your home buying experience.
6 Reasons you need a Buyer’s Agent:
- Knowledge. – A real estate agent is an agent because they have the proper knowledge base for that specific field. They have taken classes, passed exams, become licensed, and work for a brokerage. They are knowledgable in their field. Why would you not want to take advantage of their knowledge? Would you walk into a courtroom without a lawyer and work with the opposing side’s lawyer instead? I don’t think so. Buying a home is literally one of the biggest legal and financial obligations of your life! Use your resources!!!
- Priority. – Let’s be clear. When you work with a seller’s agent you are working with the other team’s coach. If they’re a good coach they will be helpful, but ultimately their number one priority is the seller. Let me repeat that for those in the back, THE SELLER’S AGENT’S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS THE SELLER! When you hire a buyer’s agent you have someone who has your best interest as their number one priority. See how that balances things out and gives you a bit of an edge that you otherwise wouldn’t have?
- Money. – A lot of the time the buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you a thing. In almost all transactions, the buyer’s agent’s commission is covered by the seller. How is that possible? The seller allots a certain amount of commission to their agent and a buyer’s agent. *Be aware, not all agents are created equal and not all transactions will result in not having to pay your agent, so make sure you talk to whoever you’re working with for clarification.
- Accessibility. – So we all know home shopping sites, right? They’re fun and colorful, easy to use, and they make you think you should buy that $600,000 home outside your budget because the payment calculator doesn’t look so bad… Think again! Don’t fall into the trap of false hopes because you’re on a site built to entice you. Your buyer’s agent has access to real time listings through their MLS, which is something you don’t unless you’re an agent.
- Contacts. – Sure you can head over to Google and search up home inspector, lender, etc., however you’re missing out on a valuable aspect of having a buyer’s agent. Most agents have a team of people they have worked with and trust in different areas of the home buying process. Why not take advantage of their knowledge instead of winging it and hoping you’ve found someone decent?
- Offers. – Writing an offer is a delicate and legally binding matter. Your agent knows their forms, they know how to write the offer with your interests in mind and they know how to negotiate with the Seller’s agent. You might think you’re benefiting yourself by trying to go at it alone, but believe me, having that agent with you to communicate and negotiate is far more lucrative.
In conclusion, not having a buyer’s agent is flippant and automatically puts you at a disadvantage, especially if you’re a first or second time home buyer. Don’t set yourself up for failure by forgoing the resources a buyer’s agent can offer.
My best advice to anyone selling or buying a home is to interview your agent. Meet with more than one and find someone that you feel you can trust and that fits with your personality. I think a lot of issues arise from not finding the right agent. Buying a home is one of the most financially impactful experiences of your life, so use your resources and make good decisions. Good luck out there!
10 Reasons Why Home Buyer’s Should Hire a Real Estate Agent
Top 10 Reasons To Hire a Buyer’s Agent When Buying a House
The home buying process can be long, exciting, and expensive. You don’t want to be faced with one more expense, however, skipping the Home Inspection could end up costing you far more than the $300-$500 it typically costs.
Here are 5 reasons a Home Inspection should be on your home buying list.
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
So your offer’s been accepted and you’re ready to skip ahead to the closing table. Take a breath and understand there may be issues you can’t see. For example, if the crawl space has mold you won’t see that from the walkthrough and you may not recognize it even if you do look down there. I can assure you, paying for the home inspection is far less expensive than putting you or your family’s health and safety at risk.
A home inspection is going to give you insight on the structural integrity of the home. The inspection can help you avoid purchasing a home with major red flags that would end up costing you much more than your initial investment.
If a home inspection reveals issues you’ll have the chance to end the deal if the red flags are overwhelming. If not, you can negotiate repairs and/or price. For example, roof issues. Replacing the roof could end up costing a significant amount of money. With the information you’ve obtained, you can work with your agent to submit a repair request. One important thing to keep in mind here are “Sold As Is” homes, where the owner is making it clear they are not willing to do any repairs in order for the sale to go through. Even in these scenarios a home inspection is valuable, so you know what you’re walking into if you do buy it.
Part of budgeting home ownership is taking into account the cost to maintain the home throughout the years. A home inspection can sometimes offer explanations of potential issues and the costs of deferred maintenance.
Peace of mind.
Even if you have a home inspection that doesn’t reveal any major red flags, you can rest assured knowing you did your due diligence. Obviously, we can’t control everything and there are no guarantees, but you can have a better understanding of your new home.
Overall, home inspections are highly recommended even with newer construction. Don’t make the mistake of putting the cost over knowledge, safety and security.
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Did you know that some lenders will help you several months to a year before you’re ready to buy a house? It’s all about finding the right mortgage lender for you.
When you’re ready to start, you’ll look at either working with a bank or a mortgage broker. Many people don’t know there are options other than going down to the bank. Let’s discuss the differences.
Working directly with the bank.
When dealing directly with the bank there are some things to be aware of. This option can be influenced by your relationship with your bank (Realtor.com), which can be an advantage. If you’re like me, you don’t have a relationship with your bank. I am not someone who goes into my nearest branch and they know my name. On the other hand, if you do have that relationship, sit down with them and talk about your needs. Just talking doesn’t mean you’re committed, but it will give you information and insight on options your bank offers. Banks typically only offer a certain number of mortgage types, so it’s important to speak to more than just your bank. It can be time consuming and confusing, so be prepared to have questions.
Working with a Broker.
Another option is a mortgage broker. To me working with a mortgage broker seems more flexible. First it’s important to understand that mortgage brokers are mortgage experts (Realtor.com). They will take your information, analyze it, and then find your best options. Your broker will handle all of the paperwork and communicate with lenders on your behalf.
Both options have pros and cons, so do your homework and have conversations before committing to any one person or institution. It’s worth the time spent to find the right mortgage lender!
Use your resources.
Now that we’ve covered your options, let’s talk using your lender or broker as a resource. The mortgage lending industry does not look at your credit in the same way as a credit card company or a car dealership. You might not know this unless you or someone you’re very close with is in this industry. I didn’t learn it until I got my real estate license and even now I don’t pretend to be an expert because I’m not.
What I do know is that a good lender or broker will work with you for a decent amount of time before you’re ready to buy. Finding a lender or broker that is wiling to take the time to come up with a plan of attack so you can get your dream home is an invaluable resource and one, I fear, that is under utilized.
I encourage people to start working with a lender 6 months to 1 year before buying a home. This helps bring to light any potential issues that need to be addressed and gives you a solid foundation of information for when you go to actually buy.
And just as with an Agent, interview your broker or lender. You’re going to be working with this person during an important part of your life and there is a lot of confidential information they are handling, so it’s a good idea to find the person you work well with and feel comfortable with.
You are the buyer, so you create the team you want to work with to get your new home!
Source: Realtor.com – Mortgage Broker vs. Banks
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