It’s a fair question and one that’s running through a lot of buyer’s heads. Is it worth using a buyer’s agent when purchasing a home or should I just go through the listing agent? Though there is no law that says you must use a buyer’s agent to represent you when purchasing a home, here is the type of added value you can expect from a knowledgeable, experienced, buyer’s agent.
A Good Buyer’s Agent Will Not Sell You
Buying a home is the biggest financial investment most people will make. As buyer’s agents it is our job to help you make an informed decision about the home you’re buying, not try to convince you the brand new stainless steel oven will really be helpful when you have guests over during the Holidays or (and this one is my favorite) “here is the kitchen.” We know you can see the pretty things and you definitely know what a kitchen looks like, so we don’t waste your time pointing those things out. Instead, we focus on things that will hurt your resale value, things about the property’s condition that pose red flags and things that will cost you money.
A Good Buyer’s Agents Will Help You Make an Educated Decision
There’s a lot that goes into deciding which home is right for you. We’ll help you analyze your family’s living situation and help you determine which home is right for you. A good buyer’s agent will present all the pros and cons of the neighborhood, the market and the specific home. Armed with all the facts, you can decide what home is the best for you and your family.
A Good Buyer’s Agent Will Point Out Potential Resale Problems
The best time to think about selling a home is before you buy it. A good buyer’s agent will point out potential resale problems of a home before you are even thinking about buying it. When you work with our team, we go through every single house and show you what’s going to bother other buyers and what about the property is going to make it difficult to resell. Before you put your money into a home, we want you to understand what obstacles you might face when the time comes to sell it. This doesn’t mean don’t buy a home with any potential resale problems, this just means understand them and make sure you don’t overpay.
Good Buyer’s Agents are Expert Negotiators
A good buyer’s agent is a great negotiator. They know how to craft and present offers that get accepted in any type of market. A great negotiator can mean the difference in thousands of dollars to your bottom line or losing the house of your dreams.
A Good Buyer’s Agent Can Evaluate the Local Market
All real estate is local. The real estate market in Austin as a whole is not the same as the real estate market in a specific neighborhood. A good buyer’s agent will show you the numbers, explain what they mean and help you understand where the market is going in the short term. Buyer’s agents are out everyday and have a good sense for how much activity the market is seeing. This goes way beyond reviewing recent sales. Good buyer’s agents help you use their market knowledge to craft offers and save you money. If the market is trending down, but recent sales support a higher price, a good buyer’s agent will recommend offering a lower price. In competitive, multiple offer markets, a good buyer’s agent will help you make your offer the most appealing and that doesn’t just mean throwing money at a seller.
Recommend Professionals Who Can Evaluate the Property’s Condition
A good buyer’s agent will have a long list of professional home inspectors, roofers, plumbers, chimney inspectors, septic inspectors, pool inspectors and any other type of inspector that will help a buyer evaluate what they are buying. We call our inspector the “deal killer” because he can write a 20+ page report on a house that has nothing seriously wrong with it. We got on our hands and knees the other day for him to show us a hairline crack in a foundation. One small, cosmetic crack that could not be seen standing up. At the end of the home inspection, the buyer knew exactly what he was buying, knew the homeowner maintenance tasks he needed to do when he moved in and walked away confident the house was in good shape.
Good Buyer’s Agents Will Protect Your Interests Above All Others
When you hire a buyer’s agent to represent you, their job is to protect your interests above all others in the transaction, including their own. You’ll have their expertise at your disposal and someone who is working to get you the best deal, help you know what you’re buying and protecting you through every step of the process.
Better Service from Your Buyer’s Agent
Committing to working with one buyer’s agent (or team of agents in our case) will ensure you get the best service. When we decide to work with a buyer and they commit their loyalty to us, we commit 100% of our resources and expertise to find them a home and negotiate the best possible deal. A good buyer’s agent will only work with buyer’s who are committed to them.
The Listing Agent’s Job is to Get the Best Price for the Seller
Remember when calling listing agents, their job is to get the highest price for their seller. They cannot point out potential resale problems or do anything to undermine the seller’s bargaining position. Their job is to sell you that specific house, like a used car salesman, not help you understand what you’re buying and help you make the best possible investment.
How Do You Find a Valuable Buyer’s Agent?
Of course, all of this is dependent on you finding a good buyer’s agent, one that will add value, not just put you in their car, drive you around and say “do you want to buy this one? what about this one? or this one? this one?”. Our recommendation would be to interview buyer’s agents and find one that you trust. Here are 10 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Buyers Agents. Also, ask them what credentials they have. Are they an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) or a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)? Credentials show buyer’s agents are doing everything they can to educate themselves and better serve their clients.
Looking for a Good Buyer’s Agent in Austin?
We have a combined 55+ years experience representing buyers. Raymond was the first Broker in the San Francisco area to represent buyers at a time where every agent represented the seller. Both he and I have our CRS and ABR designations and continue to improve our systems and procedures so Austin home buyers have the best home buying experience possible. If you couldn’t tell, buyer representation is something we feel very strongly about. Check out our Buyer Representation Program to learn more about who we are and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.