Whether you started your home search by browsing Zillow on your lunch break or looking up that house for sale that you see on your way to work, the one with the perfectly fenced yard, it’s likely you’re going to end up completing your home purchase with the help of a real estate agent. According to NAR in 2018, 87% of all buyers used an agent. Even though technology has completely changed the way we start the buying process, it doesn’t mean that the value of a buyer’s agent has decreased. So you’re probably wondering now, what does a buyer’s agent do that has everybody using one?
Sure, you could look up the average home price, average days on market, school district, and association dues for every neighborhood you’re considering, but do you really have the time for that? A buyer’s agent has a ton of information at their fingertips, and they’re more than willing to do some of the legwork for you. If you’ve hired the right one, they’re even familiar with the areas you’re looking in from personal experience.
Using the criteria you’ve given them on what you’re looking for in a house, your budget, and a general location, a buyer’s agent should be able to educate you on the current market and make suggestions, some of which you may have not considered previously.
Guide you to the right home.
It’s not impossible to find a home on your own these days. After all, they are right at your fingertips 24/7. However, someone has to let you in when you’re ready to see it. In addition to relying on your agent to show you homes that you’ve picked out, they can uncover other unrealized needs and wants for your new home, and help you refine the search even further.
Have you ever seen a home online that begged you to buy it? You knew it was the one before you ever stepped foot inside. Even once you did get inside, it was easy to ignore it’s downfalls because you had been picturing yourself living there for days. A good buyer’s agent can objectively assess a home’s qualities whereas you may be blinded by emotions.
You may think your negotiation skills are on point, but you’re probably underestimating the value of someone who does this for a living. A buyer’s agent not only provides the legal paperwork needed for your offer and any subsequent negotiations, but they can advise you on how to fill in the blanks. You’re about to make the biggest financial decision of your life, you might want a second opinion.
Once your offer is accepted, the clock starts ticking. You have all these things to get done- top to bottom inspections, an appraisal, surveys, and only a matter of weeks. Your buyer’s agent (or their transaction coordinator) will help you coordinate everything you have to get done with plenty of time to spare and be able to provide you names and phone numbers of vendors if you need them. Sometimes googling “inspectors near me” can be more overwhelming than helpful. Let your buyer’s agent provide you with a couple reliable resources that you can pick from in minutes.
Coach you through unforeseen circumstances.
You wouldn’t be the first buyer to cry when you find out that your dream home has a leaky toilet, a termite colony in the garage, and enough radon to send you running. But, you shouldn’t need to if you have a buyer’s agent to coach you through it. Whether negotiating repairs, credits, or anything else, an agent always serves as your calm and experienced advocate with the seller party even when things don’t go as planned.
In the end, you may still run from the house, but at least you had an agent that helped you compare all the options and make the best decision for you and your family.
Attend the closing.
All your ducks are in a row and you’re ready pop the bubbly, but first you have to sign A LOT of paperwork at closing. In case you have any questions about what you’re getting yourself into at the last minute, your buyer’s agent will be right there with you at the closing table, still protecting your interest in the transaction. If you’re lucky, they’ll get you a little something to show you their gratitude for being such an outstanding buyer or maybe even offer a buyer commission rebate.
So, it’s not impossible to buy a home without an agent, but don’t underestimate what a buyer’s agent can do. Buying a home can be overwhelming and stressful if you’re the average buyer doing it once every ten years, so it might be worth it to have someone there guiding you along the way, advocating for you and your dream home.