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Home Buying 101: Finding A Buyer’s Agent

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Finding A Qualified Buyer’s Representative 

How many real estate transactions do you plan to make in your lifetime? One, two, maybe three purchases over the course of 30 plus years? So it would be a lot to ask of yourself to understand all the ins and outs of a real estate deal, manage the transaction, and stay on top of your day-to-day activities in work and life.

That is why the expertise and knowledge of a buyer’s agent will be your secret weapon in getting the best possible outcome on any real estate purchase, but finding the right one is the challenge.

What Is A Buyer’s Agent And Why Should I Use One?

More than likely, the seller of the property you wish to buy will be represented by a Listing Agent who has pledged to be an advocate to the seller – not buyer – in a real estate transaction. That listing agent works to keep the seller’s best interests in mind while pledging loyalty, confidentiality, expertise, and fiduciary (legal) duties to the seller throughout the real estate transaction.

A buyer’s agent, however, is the advocate for the buyer – not seller – and pledges those very same duties to the buyer. A buyer’s agent can provide expertise obtained through certifications, training, and a wealth of experience. Real estate buyer’s agents, like the Accredited Buyer Representatives and Certified Negotiation Experts at 3930 Group, are responsible for protecting the best interests of their clients and will guide you through every step of the process from choosing a lender, to arranging the move to your new home.

 Issues To Discuss When Choosing An Agent to Represent You

  • Experience and Credentials– How long have you represented buyers? What certifications do you have that will benefit me as your client?
  • References – Can you share the names and contact details for three past buyer-clients who can provide references?
  • Knowledge – What are your areas of specialized knowledge? What types of housing or which neighborhoods do you know best?
  • Representation – What representation choices do I have as a buyer? If I hire you, what duties will be owed to me?
  • Services Provided – How you will assist me at each stage of the transaction? Do you have a written buyer representation agreement that details our obligations to each other?
  • Compensation – How will you be compensated?
  • Finding Properties – Do you have full access to the multiple listing service (MLS)? Will you try to find suitable properties beyond the MLS?
  • Personal Support – Will you personally handle all aspects of my transaction, or will I be working with assistants? Who will explain and complete the various forms, agreements, and steps required to reach closing?
  • Negotiating – Do you have any negotiation certifications? Will you counsel me on a negotiating strategy and appropriate contingencies? How will you present my offer to the seller?
  • Financing – Will you provide guidance on affordability, mortgage options, and choosing a lender? Why should I consider a mortgage pre-qualification or pre-approval?
  • Related Service Providers – Can you supply referrals for providers of other services related to my transaction, including home inspectors, surveyors, movers and other service providers?

How Is My Buyer’s Representative Compensated?

Typically, buyer’s agents are compensated through a share of the commission, expressed as a percentage of the final sales price, that the listing broker has prearranged with the seller. In other words, the seller pays your buyer’s agent’s fee out of their closing costs.

However, in some situations the commission split that is offered by the listing broker is less than what is you arranged with your buyer’s agent in your representation agreement. In other situations (a Property that is For Sale by Owner may be an example), the seller may not offer any compensation to the buyer’s agent at all. In either of these cases you would be responsible for paying your buyer’s agent’s fee based upon the agreement you signed.

If you find a house that you think is the perfect fit for you, but the offer of compensations is less than what is required by the buyer’s representation agreement, talk with your buyer’s agent about your options. Your agent may be able to come up with a creative solution to the commission problem that is a win-win for everyone involved.

What’s Next?

Once you have chosen to work with a reputable buyer’s agent like those at 3930 Group, you can begin working as a team to find and purchase your home. As you prepare to find that home, ask your agent to help you identify a reputable lender so you can determine what home prices you can afford.

Sam Wardle

Realtor

703-296-5255

703-533-0054

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