This is a topic we feel strongly about, having worked in the mortgage industry for years. We’ve worked on transactions where the buyer doesn’t have a real estate agent to represent them and instead just worked directly with the listing agent. In some cases, the arrangement worked just fine. For the remainder of instances, however, the buyer didn’t have a good experience and felt like there was no one to help them.
Before we delve into the reasons why buyers may not want to work directly with the listing agent, we’d like to discuss the benefits of having a buyer’s real estate agent.
Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
In our experience, real estate agents save our buyers time, money, and a lot of headaches. If those reasons aren’t enough to convince you, they also provide the following:
- Agents often have access to homes before or right when they’re listed.
- They communicate with the seller’s agent on all matters so you don’t have to.
- Real estate agents stay on top of the process and remind you to complete certain tasks.
- They are skilled negotiators that can help you get the best price.
- They’re able to put together a contract properly, helping you to avoid legal disputes in the future.
- Above all, they do this every single day, meaning they have more experience than you. Experience that they’re more than willing to share to make the home buying process as seamless as possible.
Many buyers looking at new construction homes don’t think they need to hire a real estate agent to represent them, but we definitely recommend doing so. Working with an agent from the beginning will help you stay on budget and ensure a smooth transaction.
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When choosing an agent, look for someone with new construction experience. They will be more familiar with the building process, meaning they will be able to navigate you through the plans and specifications phase. An experienced agent will also review the builder allowances to make sure there is enough money for each item. Carpet, plumbing, and lighting are the areas where buyers tend to have the most overages.
Listing Real Estate Agent
The listing agent of a property can have what’s called dual agency. That means they can represent the seller and the buyer. Since the listing agent’s primary concern is selling the home, they tend to have the seller’s best interest in mind.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to suggest a listing agent will try to deceive buyers into a worse deal or anything nefarious. We’re just saying that when push comes to shove, they represent the seller first. Because of that, we’ve had many buyers, especially those purchasing new construction homes, who feel like they have no one to talk to or help them once the contract has been signed.
The way we look at it, you don’t have to pay for a real estate agent either way. Sure, you may see a fee for a few hundred dollars, but that’s charged by the real estate broker, not your agent. So, you can either use the listing agent or hire your own agent, the cost is the same. And when you hire your own real estate agent, you know that their primary interest is protecting you as a buyer and ensuring you get the best deal possible.