Before we get too deep into the need to hire your own agent to purchase a home, you should keep in mind that there are several variables in any real estate purchase and every transaction is different. However, a majority of real estate transactions have more than one agent involved and there are several reasons why that is the case.
The idea of “Agency” in real estate is that each agent will represent either the Buyer, the Seller or Both! Some buyers believe they may have some benefit in using the seller’s agent in writing up an offer but this is, often times, not true. It’s important to recognize the many benefits of using an agent to represent you exclusively as you search for a home. We’ve outlined a few of the things that our buyers have experienced as benefits to using us as their representative.
You know your agent and your agent represents you. - Relationship is a big part of the process but you must be selective. Once you’ve identified your criteria, disclosed your priorities and laid all of the cards on the table, your agent can help you find the right property. Skipping around to multiple listing agents (or buyer’s agents for that matter) looking for a slight upper hand can lead to you retelling the same story over and over again and wasting quite a bit of time. Retraining an agent on what is important to you and viewing houses that don’t fit your needs can be time consuming and annoying. Spend a little more time selecting your Realtor and then remain committed to them.
Your agent is committed to you. - Many buyers don’t understand that it is not only the buyer that commits to the agent but your Realtor also commits to you. They get to know your specific needs and can identify properties which would be a good match. Being in the business, they may hear of something that hasn’t yet hit the market, come across a For Sale By Owner or preview a property that is a good fit and they will think of you. You won’t get this without a commitment on both sides. Agents can only sell each home to one person and handle so many clients at once. If you are a committed buyer, they’ll think of you first and make an extra effort to get you to the finish line. Ultimately, you’ll end up working as a team to identify the best property so don’t hesitate to sign a commitment letter for both sides once you’ve found your agent.
You have a choice. - Don’t decide on an agent on a “first come, first served” basis. You should select your agent based on their qualifications and not solely on your relationship outside of your home search. Though you may have a friend or family member who is licensed, they may not be the best fit or most qualified. How are they the right fit for you specifically? Do they know the area, have the time and provide the professionalism you need to access the properties you want to view? Can they negotiate the best deal? Do they have the resources and experience you need to get to the finish line? You should feel comfortable requesting references and getting to know them.
Your Realtor is a resource for you in all real estate matters. - You are not a Realtor and you have your own professional skill-set. People hire you based on that skill-set just as a Realtor is hired for their specific set of abilities. You should depend on your agent to advise you on what they do best...Real Estate! They’ve been through this process before and know the market conditions, documentation needed, offer process and know adjacent professionals to refer to you as needed. You’ll need that as you navigate this process together.
Your Realtor is on your side. - When you have an agent on each side of the transaction, you have someone looking out for your best interest. That’s critical in this professional climate because there is a lot that can go wrong in a real estate transaction. Your Realtor can help you navigate the process and timelines for acceptance, closing, home inspections, earnest money, possession, purchase price and lending. This is one of the more compelling reasons to use your own agent as opposed to working with the seller’s agent. A Realtor who has no relationship with the seller can properly advise you on possible property deficiencies, drawbacks to the home and opportunities for negotiating price and terms. They are your partner in this process and you should use it!
A buyer’s agent is cheap if not free to the buyer. - In the Portland-Metro area, it is common for the seller to pay the commission for both their agent and the buyer’s agent. This is called “Buyer’s Agent Commission” or the “Cooperating Broker’s Compensation”. The reason behind this is that buyers have more expense associated with the closing of the home such as lender fees, title fees, escrow fees and pre-paid taxes and insurance. It is also more likely that the seller has equity in their home so the impact on the seller’s out-of-pocket expense in paying commissions is less. As a buyer, free is good….until it costs you. A “free service” can cost a buyer quite a bit if the agent you pick is the wrong agent. Be selective but realize that you really do have an advantage in having someone in your corner who is licensed, regulated and committed. Be willing to pay for the right representative who provides value and assists you on the biggest investment of your life.
Buyers who have their own Realtor are at an advantage overall. Real estate is an industry which allows you an opportunity to have professional representation at a very affordable rate. That is not the case in all industries so buyers should take advantage of that. Search for the right Realtor and be selective. Once you make a decision, be loyal and expect a mutual commitment.
If you are looking for a Realtor who knows the business and is committed to their clients, we hope you will consider our team. We have hundreds of real estate transactions under our belts and are excited to help our buyers get the most out of their real estate buying experience. We’re ready for the challenge and committed to helping you find your next property. Call or email us today!
Bison Properties Team
w/ Garcia Group Real Estate Services