When buying a house, whom should you work with? The listing agent or a buyer’s agent who represents you?
You might think, “I should call the listing agent. Maybe we can make a deal.” But is that the right move? Think twice before you make that call.
There are several reasons your best option is to use your own buyer’s agent when you want to buy a home.
For starters, consider that the listing agent works for the seller – not you. The listing agent priced the house. She or he will tell you all the appropriate BEST facts about the house. They may know more about a house or condo than your buyer’s agent, but they are ethically prohibited from telling you something the owner would not wish disclosed. If the seller is desperate to sell, if the home is overpriced, if it is in a difficult area, if a massive home is going to be built next door, etc. – these become your problems. The listing agent isn’t going to tell you.
On the other hand, your buyer’s agent represents you and looks out for your best interests. They will get you the best possible price and terms. Their market knowledge and experience can help them uncover facts about the home that the seller may not want disclosed. Having your own buyer’s agent working for you may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars or keep you from getting into a home that you can’t sell when you are ready.
A buyer’s agent also can be valuable in negotiations. If your agent has been in the business full-time for several years, they will be able to find out a lot about the issues confronting the seller as well as how the listing agent negotiates. They can help you present an offer that protects your interests and is attractive to the seller. Buyer’s agents can dispassionately evaluate counteroffers and suggest mutually agreeable solutions. This is how you make the best deal.
A listing agent, being legally and ethically obligated to work on behalf of seller, will always try to get the best possible terms for the seller – which could work against you.
Here are a couple of other scenarios in which you would benefit by using a buyer’s agent vs. a listing agent:
- You’re a first-time homeowner. You definitely need a buyer’s agent! First-time homebuyers often find the whole buying process overwhelming. A buyer’s agent can help you navigate the procedure and ensure the seller’s side doesn’t take advantage of you.
- You don’t have the time or inclination to do your own research into the market. A buyer’s agent will search through a wider list of properties to show you.
Using a buying agent doesn’t cost you more than using the listing agent. The seller pays the agent’s fee, which means you get a professional on your side for free.
Buying a home is a major decision. Having a buyer’s agent can give you peace of mind knowing that you have someone looking out for your best interests. By having your own agent, you can ensure that you have a dedicated professional working on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for the purchase of your home.