How important is a buyer’s agent, and why do you need one to help with your home buying process? A designated buyer’s agent actually offers some distinct advantages that can help you make smart decisions in the search for your next property. Finding a committed realtor before you start looking for a property can save you time and money and streamline the process to work for you.
Working with a Buyer’s Agent
A buyer’s agent is a realtor who works to help an interested buyer find a home to purchase, negotiate a good offer and provide support throughout the entire home-buying process. Your initial home buying search may have you looking at listings online. Many real estate websites will often list the contact information of an agent who can show you the property. While this is a convenient feature, it’s important to know that this does not guarantee that that agent will be able to help you make an offer or that they are working in your best interest.
Why is having your own buyer’s agent important?
It might seem like the easiest and most cost-effective solution to look for homes on your own, but beginning your search without a designated agent could cost you time and money.
When a property is sold, the commission typically goes to the agents who helped broker the deal. It’s important to know that whichever agent shows you the property you decide to buy will typically be the agent who receives the commission fee, even if they don’t help you write up an offer. This means that before you start the process, you want to be working with an agent that you know is obligated to look out for your best interests.
A Buyer’s Agent works explicitly in your best interests
While it’s convenient to schedule showings online with whatever agent is available, this doesn’t ensure that you have a committed realtor working by your side. A buyer’s agent will do more than show you the properties you want to see. They will collect potential listings, track price reductions, assess market conditions in the area and know enough about the type of property you’re looking for to enable you to make a good offer.
Finding a designated buyer’s agent to help you through the entire home-buying process ensures that you will have an agent who is contractually obligated to represent your best interests and who is an expert on prices and trends in the area.
A buyer agent’s contractual obligation
When you find an agent to represent you through the buying process, you may be asked to sign an Exclusive Buyer-Broker Agreement. This ensures that you will only use one agent for your search, but also promises that the agent and her or his brokerage will always represent your best interests. In the complicated world of real estate, this is important: it means that your agent is obligated to alert you to any potential problems and that they will help you make the best offer possible.
Local real estate insights
Find a buyer’s agent that you like and trust, and make sure they are well-versed in local real estate trends and insights. An agent who works explicitly for you will help guide your search and make offers that make sense based on a property’s location and history. Advice like this can help you save time and potentially thousands of dollars.
A buyer’s agent stays involved throughout the process
What you gain in the convenience of scheduling with agents online, you lose in the benefits that come with an established relationship. Agents assigned online might be able to show you a home on a given day but might not be available later that week when you want to look at another property. Without knowing about your financial situation and the properties you’ve already seen, an agent may not have a firm grasp on what you’re looking for.
It’s important to find a buyer’s agent and sign an agreement before looking at properties. A buyer’s agent that works exclusively for you will make sure that you are kept up to date with new listings or price reductions. Since they are working in your best interest, they will do everything they can to negotiate the best offer on your behalf on an efficient timeline.
Your buyer’s agent knows how to communicate for you
There are multiple components to a real estate sale: offers and counter-offers, financing, inspections, and more. Your buyer’s agent will keep everything on track for you, ensuring a smooth transaction to a successful close. Your buyer’s agent is dedicated to get you the best price possible on the property you wish to purchase.
Your agent will provide due diligence through the entire process
Since a buyer’s agent is obligated to act in the best interest of the buyer, your agent will help ensure that all potential problems are dealt with and accounted for in the selling price and closing process. If you start the buying process without a dedicated agent, you run the risk of losing track of these details, some of which can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs after the sale.
Making a good offer
Making a good offer isn’t just about price. It takes into account recent repairs, financing options, and the timeline of the entire process. A buyer’s agent knows how to make an offer that reflects your financial constraints while appealing to the seller’s needs as well. This can include how they want to receive financing on their sale and how quickly they want to sell their property, which are big motivators in the selling process.
How to Find a Buyer’s Agent
It’s tempting to approach buying a property on your own or without a designated agent. If you’re experienced with the process, it might make sense; However, the expertise of a buyer’s agent working exclusively for you will save you both time and money.
Before you ask an agent to show you a property, make certain that they are someone you trust. Remember the realtor who shows you the property you want to buy will receive that commission fee. Find someone who will represent your interests and help you stay one step ahead throughout the buying process.
Sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement
An Exclusive Buyer-Broker Agreement can sound intimidating since you are committing an expensive decision to one realtor, but it also ensures that your agent will have your back and bring you properties that work for your unique financial situation and goals. A trustworthy agent with years of experience will help you navigate the real estate market to find the property that works best for you.
Looking to Buy a Property in Chicago?
Our agents at Chicago Real Estate Source have years of experience representing buyers and sellers throughout the neighborhoods of Chicago. Whether you are looking for a condo downtown, a single-family home or considering investing in a multi-family, we are happy to answer your questions and help you begin your search. Contact us or check out our Advanced Search feature to look at new listings for all property types throughout the city.