In American real estate, buyers’ agents have been a fairly recent phenomenon dating to the early 1990s. Before then, homes were listed with a listing agent and advertised, and buyers went directly to the listing agent, buyer beware!, to buy homes. They themselves had no representation.
In time, it became more and more customary in America (though not other Western countries, like the UK) for buyers to have their own representation in the form of a buyer’s agent. These agents would represent the buyer’s interests and be able to work with them throughout the process, irrespective of which home they ultimately chose.
Commissions. The decision of whether or not to hire an agent should be extra simple for the buyer, because it’s usually free.
Almost everywhere, almost every time, the seller in the real estate transaction has already agreed to and budgeted to pay both agents’ commissions, the listing agent and buyer’s agent. There is no cost to you at all to use a buyer’s agent.
My Steps to buying a home includes talking to a Realtor® first. That is because a quality and experienced agent will be able to get you almost every resource that you will need to get started exploring buying a home. A Realtor® will help accomplish the following:
- Quickly narrow down options and areas based off of your price range, needs and wants.
- Get you in contact with all the resources you will need in the process, like lenders and inspectors.
- Present a fresh and experienced perspective and be able to recommend neighborhoods, homes, or builders you may have not been exploring yourself.
- Create a market analysis to ensure you are not overpaying for the property you fall in love with.
- Work through the paperwork and help with the due diligence to ensure what is likely the most expensive purchase of your life is going smoothly.
And again, it’s almost always free.
Buying from a Builder.
Buying from a builder is exactly no different. You should use a Realtor®.
Many buyer’s I run into who are interested in a new home with a builder do not understand this, and, frankly, are worse off for it, in my opinion. Buying from a builder is a little bit different than buying a preowned home. There is a builder’s sales agent, probably sitting in the model, and helpfully walking you through all the builder incentives and options. But they are still an employee of the builder, and do not represent you. A builder’s representative will never recommend you get the home inspected prior to closing (which you should do), nor will they present lender options other than their own lender affiliate. They won’t note that, sure, they cover $2500 of your closing costs, but other builder cover $5000. Also, an agent with experience may know about what kinds of offers builders will accept – some may be more flexible and throw in more, and other may even compromise on the price.
Any questions or reservations about using a Realtor® for you home search? Share them below anonymously, or contact me for more information!
Brian E Adams, REALTOR®
StarPointe Realty Central Texas LLC
Licensed in the State of Texas
Photo of Phil Dunphy, sitcom dad and real estate agent from USA®’s Modern Family