Buying your first home is guaranteed to be like no other experience you’ve ever had, so why would you try it alone?
Working with a buyer’s agent can help you navigate the home buying process quicker and more thoroughly, but you’ll still end up having to pay for this helpful service. If you are on the fence about whether or not to work with a buyer’s agent, measure the positives and negatives below and see if it’s the right decision for you.
Finding The Right Property
There are countless websites available to prospective home buyers searching for local properties, so why do you need a buyer’s agent to help? Unfortunately, many of these sites aggregate their listing data from elsewhere or rely on agents to update listing information – which means data and availability can be far out of date. As of March 2017, the median listing time for homes was just 34 days – when homes are moving fast, they may not even make it to public listing sites.
Instead, a buyer’s agent will be able to access an up-to-date database of listings, ensuring that you only see what is available and what actually fits your needs. Your agent will also be able to help you look at available listings in the context of surrounding neighborhoods and the local market, so you only buy at the right price.
Making An Offer And Negotiating
Another benefit of working with a buyer’s agent is that they will help you prepare any and all required paperwork when it comes time to submit offers and negotiate contracts. With their knowledge of comparable local sales and the greater housing market, your agent will be able to guide you to negotiating the right price. Should there be ongoing negotiations or the need for a counter-offer, your agent will help you stay within your budget and will be your advocate.
Assisting With Inspections And Repairs
Once the offer is submitted and accepted doesn’t necessarily mean you can handle the rest of the process on your own. In fact, a buyer’s agent can be the most useful for first-time buyers who are not sure what to expect from now until closing. You’ll need to perform inspections, and your agent can recommend an inspector and help follow up with any needed repairs or issues.
A Friendly Face At Closing
If you’ve never purchased a house, then the closing experience can be intimidating. You’ll need to have accurate information regarding your financing, funds dispersal, inspection results, home insurance, and more. When closing dates have to be pushed back due to missed deadlines or missing paperwork, the process can end up dragging on endlessly, making everyone at the closing table less agreeable. Your buyer’s agent, on the other hand, will make sure everything stays on track and will have the industry relationships to ensure you are well supported.
So, What Is The Downside To Working With A Buyer’s Agent?
All of the support you get from a buyer’s agent won’t come for free. Typically, a set commission of 5-6% is built into a home’s sale price and is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents, with each typically earning between 2.5% and 3%. Keep in mind that you may also be asked to sign a contract with your agent, so it’s crucial that you understand how you can break the agreement if needed and whether your agent will really be doing what they say they will.
When you’re ready to start looking for your dream home, it’s in your best interest to prepare even before you start working with an agent. Applying for financing before your search gives you the time to find the best mortgage rates and the terms that work for you. Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you.