Open Houses are great for a lot of reasons: Showing off your clients’ home, promoting the neighborhood, and meeting potential buyers. As an agent running the open house, I also pick up on the little things. Now more than ever, I see potential buyers walk through open houses without a buyer’s agent. I overhear conversations as I run errands, in coffee shops, even at my own office talking about representing themselves for their purchase. I have even had people buy my listings without an agent.
Yes, the amount of information online is so great and powerful that one can assume that they get all the facts online or on television regarding buying a home. Although you may be picking up on a few things, there is SO much to the entire process that you may miss. What you get in a buyers agent is access to a network. This network holds years of experience regarding different aspects of the real estate transaction. This includes assistance with the real estate lawyers, inspection, appraisal and lenders, the art of negotiation and much more. Similar to the old adage, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Now you are probably thinking, “It’s easy to say for a real estate agent.” Well, let me tell you a story: I bought and sold a home by myself years and years before I was licensed in real estate. Although we pulled it off, it was not the smoothest of transactions. We were dealing with a builder on the sell side that naturally had their own best interest in mind and an irrational buyer moving from across the country. Having a trusted and experienced real estate agent by my side would have made life much easier and fewer mistakes along the way!
Buyers also don’t understand that many agents take both sides of the deal and get twice the commission essentially. Listing agents are legally contracted to help their client, not the buyer. So in essence, a buyer is paying that listing agent to help the other side. Listing agents love when a buyer comes in unrepresented. There is a huge upside for the seller and the seller’s agent because more often than not, the buyer will not have the experience of the deal or the deal process. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Having said that, should you choose any buyers agent? One that you find online from various sites that recommend agents? Absolutely not. A buyer should thoroughly research the agent for experience, reputation, knowledge of the buying process and familiarity with the location of the property or properties that you are looking at. Also, what is the reputation of the company that the agent works for? If new construction or rehabs are a consideration for purchase, that buyers agent should have new construction and rehab experience because it is a whole different playing field. If you are looking at landmark buildings, that agent should have some knowledge of vintage buildings and rules for landmarked properties and so on.
In the big picture, you wouldn’t do your own physical because you took an anatomy class in college or represent yourself in court because you watch Judge Judy. It is the same for real estate. Think about it!
And if you need a good agent that will work in your best interest, all day, every day. Give me a call!