Most people don’t think twice about hiring an agent when they’re trying to sell their home but are reluctant to sign up for a buyer’s agent when looking to buy a home.
With so much information now available online, it’s understandable that people looking to buy a home might ask themselves if they really need a real estate agent.
Choosing not to use a real estate agent for your house purchase is a bit like going to court without an attorney. You’re free to represent yourself, but generally speaking, it’s not in your best interest to do so.
It is a listing agent’s job to get their client the best deal possible. If a house is for sale by the owner, self-interest can also be assumed. Having a buyer’s agent ensures that you have someone in your corner to recognize any red flags and get you the best deal possible.
Here are five advantages a good real estate agent will bring to the table for home buyers.
1. THE EXPERIENCE OF A BUYER’S AGENT
A buyer’s agent has the expertise that can’t be learned by googling. Realtors spend their days, evenings and weekends viewing houses; talking to sellers, buyers, and realtors; and negotiating deals. They know what comparable houses have sold for, why houses did or didn’t sell quickly, and which amenities add value to a property.
Two properties that seem comparable to you might have quite different valuations based on factors that a realtor will recognize. That kind of experiential knowledge can only be acquired by putting in the work, day in and day out.
Realtors have seen and heard it all. They know why deals fall through and how to minimize that risk. They’ve made mistakes in the past and learned from them. That knowledge can work to your benefit, so you don’t make those same mistakes.
2. THE COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE OF A BUYER’S AGENT
A buyer’s agent should guide you to properties and neighbourhoods that match your requirements. Finding an agent who knows the area well – ideally, one who lives in the community – can provide you with ‘insider’ information about schools, neighbourhoods, and the community vibe.
Which areas are populated by young families? Which neighbourhoods are mostly empty nesters? This kind of information is particularly important if you’re buying in an area you aren’t familiar with yourself.
3. NEGOTIATING TACTICS
Some people like to negotiate. Others…not so much. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s important to recognize that a house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime and negotiating errors can be costly.
As the song says, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. Your agent has negotiated in buyer’s markets and in seller’s markets and knows which strategies work best in each.
Buying a home can be an emotional process. Your agent doesn’t have the same level of emotional investment in the decision, so can point out factors that your own emotional bias may prevent you from seeing.
In a seller’s market, buyers often need to make potentially life-altering decisions in the heat of the moment, with little time to think it through. Having an objective outsider to help you weigh the risks, flag areas of concern, and guide you through that decision-making process can make the whole ordeal less stressful.
A good agent will also help you with the home inspection process, being present for the inspection and helping to negotiate any post-inspection price adjustments or repairs.
4. A NETWORK OF TRUSTED PROFESSIONALS
Buying a home, in most cases, is not something you do regularly so chances are you don’t have a real estate lawyer on your contact list. Your agent will be familiar with professionals in the field and know which ones are reputable.
They know which home inspectors do a thorough job and which ones are just phoning it in. They can explain the financing options and provide recommendations for mortgage brokers, lawyers and even tradespeople if you’re planning to have work done after the sale goes through.
5. CROSSING THE T’s AND DOTTING THE I’s
When you’ve chosen your home and agreed to the purchase, your agent will walk you through the documentation and explain what the various clauses mean. If, for whatever reason, you decide to go it alone and not use an agent, be sure to retain an experienced real estate lawyer who can review the documentation for you.
Your realtor’s work doesn’t end when the purchase agreement has been signed either. There are a lot of dominoes that need to fall into place between signing on the dotted line and receiving the keys to your new home.
A good agent will be communicating with you during this period and, if necessary, your lawyer and the seller’s agent, to make sure everything goes smoothly right up until you’re happily settled into your new home.
CHOOSE A BUYER’S AGENT YOU TRUST
Don’t be afraid to interview a few agents and select the one you feel most comfortable with. Buying a home is a huge financial and emotional investment so you want an agent you trust to work in your best interest.
Buy and Sell with Confidence. Choose The MacDonald Property Group.
At MacDonald Property Group, we have a dedicated full-service team under one roof ready to provide the expertise you can trust. With over twenty-five years of experience in real estate, we have sold and bought over a thousand homes. We’re proud to say that we’ve helped thousands of clients in Barrhaven and across the Ottawa area close a deal with confidence and satisfaction.