Buyer Guide

10 Benefits Of Working With A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home

10 Benefits Of Working With A Real Estate Agent:

We all know it can be browse the internet for your next home but when it comes time to actually purchase a home, working with a real estate agent can make a huge difference. A buyers agent will take the time to help you find the right home and place you on the path of homeownership.

With millions of active real estate agents across the country, you have your pick at finding the right agent to complement your personality and one who will help you get exactly what you need from your next (or first) home.

  • THEY’LL GET YOU A BETTER PRICE

When you use a real estate agent in the purchase process, they will help you get the most for your budget. They are there to know when a home is priced well, or too high, or maybe even too low for the neighborhood it’s in. Your agent wants your purchase price to be a great investment so you can reap the financial benefits of being a homeowner. A real estate agent is knowledgeable about what certain features are worth and how that will impact your finances for years to come. Best part, your agent is there to ensure you don’t pay too much for your home or the neighborhood it’s in.

  • THEY’LL SAVE YOU TIME

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If you ever sat down at the computer to start your home search you are already aware of how long this process can take. Searching for homes can be an endless time-consuming game. Once an agent understands the specifics of what you’re seeking in a home, they can work to weed out anything that doesn’t match your criteria. Also, agents attend events and open houses all the time on behalf of their buyers, so they do not waste their buyer’s time. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to eliminate looking at homes that simply will not work for you.

  • THEY HAVE ACCESS TO MLS

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The Multiple Listing Service is one of the most effective communication tools in the home buying and selling marketplace. Unfortunately, you don’t always have access to it unless you’re working with a real estate agent. This isn’t to be confused with many of the online home search tools, as they don’t always contain all of the available listings which could hurt your search. The MLS  is a powerful tool in the real estate industry that is designed to alert agents to things like open houses, new listing notifications and other useful tools to put you in the right place at the right time.

  • THEY HAVE AN INNER PROFESSIONAL NETWORK

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The real estate professional network is unlike any other business network that you might be familiar with. Real estate agents are consistently interacting with each other about properties and discovering hidden gems along the way. This is not an inner network of people that you are likely to travel in the same circles with, so having access to that network will prove to be incredibly valuable in your home buying pursuits. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent about some of the professional real estate associations they may be affiliated with within their industry.

  • THEIR ETHICS AND EXPERTISE

The fundamental benefits of working with a Realtor are encompassed by the two great big “E’s”; Ethics and Expertise.  Realtors voluntarily hold themselves to a higher standard and that’s important for the same reason that doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and attorney’s are sworn to a Code of Ethics. Realtors are professional fiduciaries, guided by principals, responsibilities, and rules of conduct that prioritize the client while preserving the dignity of, and respect for, real estate as a profession.  Expertise is demonstrated in a variety of ways, including locating homes that meet often very specific wants and needs, pricing and valuation, knowledge of building code, writing binding contracts, unemotional negotiation, and the coordination required for a smooth closing. In what’s often the most significant purchase in one’s life, it’s critical to have an experienced Realtor by your side.  Properly represented, you can expect to sell for more, buy for less, and avoid intensely consequential mistakes. (Source: Chris Kallin, SeattlebyDesign, Realogics | Sotheby’s International Realty)

  • THEY KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND

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One of the best features of working with real estate agents is that they fully understand the city they work in. For you, this translates into market knowledge, neighborhood background and real estate insights you may not otherwise be privy to. This will come in handy when you have specifics about what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, how far you want to commute to work, or what kind of schools you want your kids to attend. For example, you might find a home that you really adore; an agent will be able to tell you more about the neighborhood as far as things like the quality of the schools, crime rates or pending commercial development.

  • THEY KNOW THE MARKET

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The real estate market is one that changes from week to week. Some changes are small like minor price fluctuations in a neighborhood, while others are more significant like interest rates. Each state, city and small municipality has their own real estate markets beyond what is happening on a national level. Real estate agents are constantly monitoring these changes for their buyers which keeps you informed of all of these volatile details so you can purchase your new home at the best possible time.

  • THEY UNDERSTAND COMPLEX TRANSACTIONS

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Real estate agents understand all of the complex processes that take place in a real estate transaction. For instance, the home inspection and being able to interpret unfamiliar details effectively to you. An agent will also understand communications from your loan officers and underwriters which will help you feel organized and highly aware of what is happening in your property transaction. As issues arise, or information is needed from you, your agent can quickly advise you on how to retrieve anything needed so your purchase can progress with less stress.

  • THEY ARE MOTIVATED TO FIND YOU A HOME

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Real estate agents are highly motivated individuals as their success is predicated on their ability to find you a home. In short, if they do not help you buy the home of your dreams, they do not eat. Real estate agents don’t typically work off of any kind of salary, for the most part, they are independent contractors who are in control of their own financial destiny. You can be confident knowing that your real estate agent is motivated to find you a property so you can truly live, happily ever after.

  • YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE THEY ARE FREE!

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When you hire a real estate agent to help you find your next (or first) home, you aren’t making a financial investment to do so. The seller will be paying all the fees upfront while you get a qualified professional representing you before you ever place one dollar on the offer table. This person will be working hard for you from the moment you sign an agent contract, to the moment you get the keys to your home.

We hope that you are motivated to find the right real estate agent to help you with your next real estate transaction. We suggest asking friends and family for real estate agent referrals and doing some online research to find the best agent that suits your personality or property. Some real estate professionals work within small niches that may prove to be helpful depending on the type of property you are in the market for.

Why Buyers Should Use A Buyer’s Agent:

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Home buyers should always have their own agent. Searching for the perfect home can be a very confusing process, especially for first time home buyers.  Your mind will most likely be racing with all sorts of questions.  What is my price range? Where should I be looking? How do I know how much to offer? What happens after my offer is accepted? Using a buyer’s agent will ensure that all of your questions are answered and put your mind at ease. Unfortunately, a lot of buyers make the mistake of calling the listing agent to show them homes that they are interested in. Here is why buyers should use a buyer’s agent:

The number one reason to use a buyer’s agent is because they are FREE! You do not have to pay a dime to hire a buyer’s agent. Just for that reason alone, why wouldn’t you use one? Most buyers assume that they will have to pay a fee to use an agent.  However, in a residential real estate transaction, the seller pays the full commission which the listing agent and the buyer’s agent split. So, the service of a buyer’s agent is completely free for the buyer.

They Are Representing YOU And Your Best Interests

A seller’s agent is hired by the seller to list their home, promote their best interests, and to protect the seller’s confidences. So, why wouldn’t you want someone to do the exact same things for you? When you hire a buyer’s agent, you get the expertise and experience of an agent who is professionally trained in finding you the perfect home. And they will have your best interests in mind when submitting an offer, not the seller’s. They are there for you every step of the way. Typically, when you work with a buyer’s agent you will sign a form that outlines the relationship you have with the agent. This is called a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. Some of the responsibilities it outlines are: loyalty to the buyer, promoting the buyer’s best interests, and maintaining confidential information from the buyer.

Additional Benefits:

1) Buyer Representation

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Real estate agents are required by law to have their buyers’ best interests in mind when trying to strike a deal, and this is their fiduciary responsibility. A buyer’s agent will serve as your advocate as you interact with sellers and their listing agents. A home purchase is often the largest financial transaction that a person makes in life. With that said, it’s important to have an expert on your side that can advise to help you obtain the best outcome.

2) Negotiation Experienc

Real estate deals have many moving parts. When it comes time to negotiate, you will want a neutral, third party advocate in your corner. Even if negotiation tactics are a strength of yours, it helps to have an understanding of the current market standards to know what you should be requesting from the seller. An agent will know things like: How much are sellers generally paying in closing costs? When low-ball offers, bidding wars or contract contingencies come into play, your agent will bring their expertise to the table to provide the best outcome.

3) Market Knowledge

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When shopping for a home, it is crucial to understand the market values on homes and how to compare properties. An experienced agent will be able to conduct research and present you with plenty of data on the current state of the market. Additionally, they will be able to advise you if a home you’re looking at is priced way above market value or below.

4) Neighborhood Expertise

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A real estate agent can provide up to date information on utilities, schools, zoning, traffic patterns, and other characteristics that will help you decide if a particular neighborhood is the right fit for you. Finding a great house is just one piece of the puzzle; a local expert can help you narrow down your search to find a community that adds to your overall quality of life.

5) Home Search Support

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If you want to supercharge your home search, a buyer’s agent can help you get a head start. First, your agent will set up a consult to gain a good understanding of what characteristics and features of a home are important to you, and help you prioritize those factors to narrow the search.

Once those factors are determined, the agent will sift through all available listings to find the options that are worth scheduling a showing for the buyer to see in person. While this may seem like something that’s easy enough to do on your own, it can be very time consuming, and without the help of a real estate agent’s inside scoop, you may waste your time on a outdated listing.

Think of your buyer’s agent as an extra set of hands that can help you with the legwork of the research, fact check the findings, and coordinate appointments for showings.

6) Access To Experts

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The are several professionals involved in the home buying process, including mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title companies, and more. Your agent likely has a good idea of which partners to recommend to help ensure that you receive excellent service every step of the way.

7) Paperwork Management

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Buying a home involves more than picking a home and signing on the dotted line. If reading and comprehending 15-page-contracts and their addendums and disclosures sounds like something you’d dread, hiring a real estate agent will come in handy. Your agent can help you gather, prepare, and understand all of the documentation that is required to buy your home.

8) No Out of Pocket Costs

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A real estate agent’s commission is paid for by the seller and not the buyer. The commission is based on the final sale price of the home, and the seller’s agent typically splits that commission with the buyer’s agent once the purchase is complete. Therefore, there are no out of pocket costs for the buyer.

REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. When you’re buying a home, here’s what an agent who’s a REALTOR® can do for you.

  1. Act as an expert guide. Buying a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. A knowledgeable real estate agent will know what’s required in your market, helping you avoid delays and costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  2. Offer objective information and opinions. A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. Agents are also a great source when you have questions about local amenities, utilities, zoning rules, contractors, and more.
  3. Give you expanded search power.You want access to the full range of opportunities. Using a cooperative system called the multiple listing service, your agent can help you evaluate all active listings that meet your criteria, alert you to listings soon to come on the market, and provide data on recent sales. Your agent can also save you time by helping you winnow away properties that are still appearing on public sites but are no longer on the market.
  4. Stand in your corner during negotiations.There are many factors up for discussion in any real estate transaction—from price to repairs to possession date. A real estate professional who’s representing you will look at the transaction from your perspective, helping you negotiate a purchase agreement that meets your needs and allows you to do due diligence before you’re bound to the purchase.
  5. Ensure an up-to-date experience.Most people buy only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years between purchases. Even if you’ve bought a home before, laws and regulations change. Real estate practitioners may handle hundreds or thousands of transactions over the course of their career.
  6. Be your rock during emotional moments.A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most buyers, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you when emotions threaten to sink an otherwise sound transaction.
  7. Provide fair and ethical treatment. When you’re interviewing agents, ask if they’re a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Every member must adhere to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism, serving the interests of clients, and protecting the public.

More Listing Benefits Via Direct MLS Access

Using a buyer’s agent will get you access to the most up-to-date and accurate information on houses for sale. Sites like Zillow are great for browsing for houses. Unfortunately, the information on these sites is often inaccurate. With houses now selling in a matter of days and multiple offer situations, you need to find out immediately when a new home hits the market that meets your criteria. Your buyer’s agent will have access to the MLS and will be able to get you set up with an account so that you will have all of the same information at your fingertips that they do. The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service. This is the site that listing agents use to promote their listings to other real estate agents.

Schedule More Showings With Our Agents

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Access restricted gated communities and view more listings in the same amount of time with our expert real estate agents vs doing it yourself. How convenient would it be to have someone else plan and schedule a showing for every house that you want to see? This is what a buyer’s agent does.  If there are 5 homes that you are interested in, it is your buyer agent’s responsibility to plan the best route and schedule each showing with the listing office. They will then either drive you or meet you at each home. Not only is this convenient for you, but this gives your buyer’s agent the opportunity to really get to know your needs and wants in a home.  They get to see first hand what you love or hate about each home that you view. This will help them with finding you more homes to possibly look at. Wouldn’t you love an email or phone call in the morning from your agent saying “Hey, there is a new house on the market and it looks like something you would love?” If a listing agent shows you a home, they don’t know anything about you or what you are looking for. They are basically just there to let you into the home.

Someone To Explain The Entire Buying Process

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Buying a home is most often the biggest purchase a person will make in their lifetime.  There are many steps involved between getting a mortgage pre-approval and signing the closing papers. The process is much more complicated than people often think. It is extremely important to find someone who will take the time to sit down with you before you begin your home search and outline the entire process from start to finish. Buyers should know how the process works before prior to looking at homes.  Once your buyer’s agent knows what you can afford, they will let you know what price range to stay in. They will also help to explain how showings work, the details of writing offers and the importance of an inspection.

Buyers should interview Realtors just like sellers do. This is a person who you will be spending a lot of time with and who will be representing you in one of the largest purchases you ever make. It is necessary to make sure that you not only choose someone qualified, but also someone who you wouldn’t mind spending a lot of your time with! Your agent should be familiar with and knowledgeable about the area that you are looking to move to. You should also do some research by checking out their website, looking up their qualifications and reading their reviews. Even if a friend or family member refers you to an agent, you should still follow through with an interview and some research of your own. We hope this helps you understand why buyers should use a buyer’s agent when searching for the perfect home!

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