If you're thinking about buying home, but you've heard a lots of confusing talk out there about whether or not you should use an agent, this is a good place to think about that. Full disclosure, I'm an agent. Super full disclosure, before I sold real estate, I didn't think I needed one to buy a property. There are a lot of truths, half-truths, and not-so trues out there, but these top 10 Reasons for using a QUALIFIED BUYER AGENT should hold true. What's a Qualified Buyer Agent (QBA)? See below!
A Buyer Agent can save you time Finding Your Next House
There are many ways we can save you time; (driving, searching, and researching, for example), and time is an enormously valuable item. How much is your time worth? Think about what you make as an hourly wage. Now the average buyer in my experience looks at 20-50 houses over a six month time frame. That's about 60-100 hours. If we can cut your search time in half (we can!), how much is that worth to you? Probably a lot. It's not that hard to figure out that someone who has seen 2000, or 3000 houses, probably has learned a trick or two compared to someone who has seen only 10 homes. Think about your own profession. Could you be replaced by someone who'd been doing in for three months? I doubt it very much.
Buyers Agents Are Usually Free
In Massachusetts, 95% of the property is listed in MLS, and generally all those properties pay buyer agents upon successful sale. Think that by going it alone you can "cut out the middle man" and save the buyer agent co-broke? Not likely. Listing agents have contracts with sellers, and they have no obligation to cut their collected fee (which typically includes the buyer agent fee), just because you came direct. Many agents will keep the whole fee, and some may even tell you they cut the fee, and then do no such thing (and that is legal if they are the seller's agent in Massachusetts in most cases). Even whey they do cut the fee, it is rarely by the entire co-broke fee. In all likelihood, you will be doing more work, taking on more risk, for little-to-no savings.
A Buyer Agent can save you Money on that next home purchase
We can't always save you money, but where we tend to help the most is to keep you from OVER paying. It's easy to identify desirable housing. But each buyer may have things that you care about (Nice kitchen) and things that don't bother you (steep driveway). The market doesn't overlook anything, (at least not twice) even if you are willing to, and generally that's where I see buyers make mistakes. Remember, the homes value is not a reflection of your personal values, but of the market place as a whole. Since we work with lots of buyers, we generally have a good "sense" for what "the market" will pay for, and what it won't. It's a good sanity check for any buyer.
Buyer Agents know house styles strengths and weaknesses
I'm always surprised at how many buyers aren't really familiar with stock housing styles. Right here, by explaining the pluses and minuses of each floor plan, we can greatly simplify your search, and improve your outcome. Do you live in your master bedroom? Most ranches and splits won't work - the bedrooms tend to be the smallest in these homes. Need lots of open spaces? Maybe you should look at contemporaries. Got kids? I bet you need a mudroom. These and many other basic truisms of stock housing can help us help you project into a house that meets your needs today - and tomorrow.
Ballpark Repair Estimates
"Upon my word," said Dantes, "you make me shudder.
Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?"
"Yes; and remember that two-legged tigers and
crocodiles are more dangerous than the others."
Edward Dantes to the Mad Abby
in "The Count of Monte Cristo"
You don't have time to bring contractors along everywhere you go, but budgeting is a key factor of any home purchase, and 80% of homes need something right away. Want to know what the range of costs to do that work might be? We can help. At the very least, we can help you separate a cheap project from a money sink hole.
We generally have people that we have done business with that are trustful, diligent, and useful professionals. Attorneys, home inspectors, mortgage reps and loan officers. I strongly advise against just letting your fingers do the walking and get someone at random. Referrals are accountable, and done right they save everyone time and effort.
We know what other people find popular
Why does that matter? Well, first, it means we know when to say "hurry up and go see it!" So that it doesn't disappear before you have a chance to decide on it. Second, don't you want your house to be popular when you sell it? Of course you do. You may not be thinking about that now, but you should.
Every Real Estate Deal has Problems
Can't avoid it, almost every deal has problems. If you're not prepared to deal with septic paperwork, negotiations, insect damage, mold, construction issues, repairs, contractual obligations, radon, wells, unusual building materials, floor plans, styles, and the personality issues of your transaction partner, you should work with someone who is. I'm fond of saying that every deal has problems, I just can't predict which ones you will have. But when you have them, it's likely a QBA has encountered them before, and can assist you in the resolution.
Agents can help you SELL IT
You aren't thinking about selling today, but sooner or later, everyone sells a home. You will too! Working with an agent today is a great way to see if you have a good personality fit, feel that you have a knowledgeable person, and a trusted advocate when you get ready to sell. Don't try to figure it all out in a one-hour listing presentation. Use that purchase opportunity to fully qualify your pro. Besides, we're available for questions in between transactions too. Hey, it's only going to be the most expensive thing you ever sell, do it right.
Buyer Agents know traffic patterns
If your moving to a new area, you may not know how difficult or convenient an area is. A QBA will, and lets face it, that can be a big deal. The number one reason most people pick a town is commute.
Buyer Agent Summary
A Buyer Agent is an agent that works EXPRESSLY for the buyer, and holds their financial and other interests at heart. It is their job to protect buyers money, advance their interests. To be a Qualified Buyer Agent, you need to have the requisite experience to assist your buyer in the given search area. If an agent can't help with the 10 items I've outlined here, I would suggest that they are not fully qualified. Here's a hint: many are not.
Do Good Things Today!