Purchasing a home is a big step and a big decision. The average couple spends around one third of their income on their home. The home that you choose has a big impact on your life and can have a big impact on your finances as well. It always surprises me when Buyers attempt to “do it themselves” because of the possibility of mistakes that can be very costly. A good Agent is invaluable to a Buyer and can be the difference between a wonderful transaction experience and a nightmare.
Full Access to the MLS - The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a powerful tool that only Realtors have access to. When the listing agents market homes for sale, they typically allow any Realtor to present the home to potential buyers and to present contracts for purchase. The MLS is a database of all homes listed by Realtors and represents roughly 99% of the homes for sale in any given market. As technology advances, so does the MLS. It has evolved into an extremely powerful search engine that allows your buyer’s agent to enter in search criteria and returns only homes that match those specific parameters. Buyers can find a lot of this information online through IDX feeds available on many websites, but this information is a “watered down” version of the MLS because the IDX search engines aren’t quite as powerful and don’t return as detailed profiles as the MLS.
Maximize Your Time - While driving neighborhoods is an excellent idea to help you decide which locations you prefer, it’s not a very efficient way to find your new home. Gas is expensive and your time is valuable. Your Buyer’s Agent will listen to your needs, make fantastic suggestions based on your likes & dislikes, and provide you with a list of homes that ALL match your wants and needs or come very close. Your Buyer’s Agent has helped MANY new homebuyers through MANY purchases and will help you better organize your search and decision making process, in return, saving you valuable time.
Representation - Listing Agents enter into legally binding agreements that require them to ALWAYS act in the best interest of the seller. They are the seller’s “coach and/or negotiator” and will make sure that their clients’ best interests are looked after. Your Buyer’s Agent is there to make sure YOUR best interests are accounted for. With your expert Buyer’s Agent in your corner, you can rest assured that you’re on, at least, even ground with the home seller. A football team would be at a pretty significant disadvantage without a coach, just as you would be without a Buyer’s Agent.
Negotiating Power - The MLS maintains a record of, not only all homes listed by Realtors in a given market, but also the sales price of those homes. Your Buyer’s Agent will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine a prospective home’s Fair Market Value (FMV). In simpler terms, your Realtor will look at similar homes in the same neighborhood that have sold recently. This way, you will know whether or not the seller has their home priced fairly. If the home is priced over Fair Market Value, your Buyer’s Agent can present your “under asking price” offer with plenty of firepower – and a greater chance that the offer will be accepted.
Experience - The average person buys 3-5 homes in their lifetime. A good Buyer’s Agent will assist in 3-5 home purchases every month. What might seem complicated and intimidating to you is fairly common and familiar to your Realtor. Your Buyer’s Agent will know what to expect and will know when to alert you if anything out of the ordinary occurs. Your Buyer’s Agent is your local area expert, knowing the neighborhoods, communities, schools, economy, market condition and more. The Buyer’s Agents knowledge and experience are essential factors in finding the right house at the right price and in the right place for you.
Industry Contacts - It takes a lot of people to close a real estate transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Loan Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, Insurance Agent, General Contractors and sometimes more! A good agent will come with a strong closing team that has performed in the past and will continue to perform. A transaction is only as strong as its weakest link – with your strong Buyer’s Agent and their closing team, you can rest assured that you will have plenty of support.
Peace of Mind - If you are like most people, your home is the largest purchase you will ever make. The average person spends around 1/3 of their total monthly income on their home. This is a big decision and you don’t want to go at it alone. When you use a trusted Buyer’s Agent, you know that your best interests are accounted for and that you can feel confident in your purchase.