What Does a Buyer’s Agent Do?
The process of searching for a home can be quite daunting to new buyers and many of them wish to seek out help but are unsure about who they should work with. It is normal to be wary of accepting help on such a major decision in your life, however, buyer’s agents can take a huge amount of stress off of the buyer during the entire process. Not to be confused with a real estate agent (they represent the seller), buyer’s agents are there solely to assist the buyer.
Buyer’s Agent Vs. Seller’s Agent
From a real estate agent’s perspective, since they are representing the seller, the goal is to market the home by making it appear as if it is the best choice for the buyer and get the house sold for as much money as possible. Seller’s agents receive a commission off of whatever the house sells for, therefore their goal is to get the home sold, not consider the needs of the buyer. This is where a buyer’s agent comes in. It is their job to help their client by representing their interests in a way that the buyer cannot do on their own. A buyer’s agent is experienced in this area and they will be able to provide valuable insight into the good and bad of any home and assist you in negotiating a fair price based on its market value.
What They Can’t Do
While you might want to hand everything over to the professional to minimize your stress, it is important to know everything that they are not able to do for you. Your buyer’s agent can assist you in negotiating a fair purchase price, however, they cannot guarantee you a cheaper deal. They do not have this power. It’s worth mentioning that buyer’s agents also receive a commission just as seller’s agents do, so the closing of this deal is very important to them as well. While they are trained to represent your interests, they still are inclined to encourage you to close on the home. You can negotiate a fixed rate to pay your agent as opposed to their normal rate. Many agents are very flexible, and you are likely to find one who’s commission guidelines are a great fit for you.
What You Need to Do
It is up to you to be knowledgeable about the mortgage process and everything it entails. Your agent can provide guidance and represent you in a professional capacity, however, at the end of the day the decision is up to you. In order to make an informed decision, you need to have all of the facts. An agent will typically agree with what lender’s say that you can borrow and what your monthly payments throughout the loan term will be. You are in control of where your money goes, so if your agent and lender are proposing a plan that you don’t see being practical in the long term, you can decline. Taking out a loan at the highest amount you can simply because you are encouraged to do so and you are able to get approved, is not a good idea. Stick to your budget and don’t push its limits at anyone else’s request. Educate yourself on the entire process from start to finish so that you will be able to ask the right questions and not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Your agent also cannot guarantee that you will be able to refinance your home in the future, this is something you will have to take up with your lender. Overall, A buyer’s agent can be very beneficial to have during the home buying process. They can represent you professionally and level the playing field with the seller who likely has their own agent. Regardless of if you have an agent, you should inform yourself about the process so that you are fully aware of what is happening at all times. Not to mention, the more information you have, the better you are able to carry yourself in conversations with the seller and their agent. An informed buyer is able to negotiate better and make more practical decisions. Your agent is there to support your interests, but you have the final say on whether you close on the home or not.