Advantages of Using a Real Estate Agent
With the abundance of resources available online it can be tempting to find and purchase a home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Gaining a better understanding of the real estate purchase process will highlight the advantages of securing your own personal buyer’s agent.
How Does the Real Estate Agent Get Paid?
The first misconception with regard to using a real estate agent is that the buyer can save money by working without an agent. The truth is that both the buyer’s and the seller’s agent are paid by the seller. The buyer will pay the same amount for the home, with or without representation.
Real estate agents serve in one of three capacities. The seller’s agent will represent the seller and the buyer’s agent will represent the buyer. If the buyer does not have an agent then the listing agent will act as a dual agent, meaning they represent both the buyer and the seller. This puts the agent in a more neutral capacity, but not one where the agent is actively working for the buyer.
When the seller lists the home with an agent the agency fee that will be paid by the seller, is negotiated. Sometimes the seller’s agent might discount their fee, other times the fee to both the buyer and seller’s agent will be discounted. This is strictly a seller negotiation. Generally the real estate transaction fees range from 5% to 6% of the sales price and is divided between the buyer and seller’s agent.
What Are The Responsibilities of The Real Estate Agent?
Finding Properties. A buyer’s agent is working for you. A good agent will take the time to get to know you and the needs of your family. They will then search for listings that meet those needs.
Online MLS listings makes it easier for buyer’s to complete this task as well. A buyer’s agent however, knows the market they serve. They can steer you towards neighborhoods in locations where schools and amenities are what you are looking for. They will also know about listings that are about to hit the market, but not yet active. This can give you a key advantage of being the first to see homes that meet your needs.
Valuable Resource. When moving to a new city, the right resources can make the move a lot easier. Agents are well connected within the community and can provide valuable resources. They know the best neighborhoods, how long commutes take in real time and have an understanding of property values and neighborhoods of interest. They will be able to guide you to information like new construction projects or scheduled road upgrades. They can provide historical and neighborhood data which will help you assess location and other elements that impact real estate values. There is more to a home purchase than a great floor plan. Buyer’s agents are plugged into all of the moving parts that impact a neighborhood and home values.
Negotiations. Along with providing recent sales comparisons, a real estate agent may have contacts with inspectors and repair men that can give you accurate estimates on improvements you want to make or repairs that are needed. These cost estimates will help you negotiate a fair price for the home you want to buy. The better the real estate agent knows the current market and the price trends, the better you can negotiate a price on the house you have fallen in love with.
A good real estate agent will be extremely valuable in helping you to obtain a home with strong resale potential. As you start your career and purchase your first home, you will want to consider resale value. As your physician’s practice grows, you will eventually want to upgrade to a larger home. With the agent fees paid by the seller, there is no reason not to utilize this valuable asset.