Whether you're buying your first home or investing in real estate, purchasing property can be both exciting and stressful. Unfortunately, finding the right property and negotiating prices can feel like a daunting, overwhelming task. This is where a buyer's agent can help.
But what is a buyer agent and how do you find one? Here are four things you need to know about buyer agents.
What Is a Buyer's Agent?
A buyer's agent is a licensed real estate professional who helps buyers find the right property at the right price. Essentially, they act as a real estate agent for buyers.
The primary benefit of using buyer's agencies, such as Unicorn Buyers Agents, is that they work for you and in your best interest.
Buyer's agents are independent, and they offer a wide range of services, including:
• Locating properties that meet your criteria
• Negotiating the lowest possible price
• Overseeing inspections and the transaction process
• Gathering written appraisals
• Bidding at auction on your behalf
When you work with a buyer agent, you enjoy many benefits, such as:
• Having access to properties that aren't listed or off the market. In competitive markets, having access to these properties is invaluable.
• Saving time and stress. A buyer's agent will do all of the hard work of finding properties that meet your criteria, so you can focus on attending inspections and making a final decision.
• Saving money. Buyer's agents will work on your behalf to negotiate the lowest possible price on a property. They'll even bid at the auction for you.
A buyer's advocate will save you time, stress, frustration and money on your property purchase.
How They're Paid
The benefits of a home buyer agent are enticing, but how exactly do they get paid? That depends on the agent.
Some agents will charge an engagement fee before they even start looking for properties. But generally, you can expect to pay either a flat fee for their service or a percentage of the sales price (usually 1-3%).
Some buyer's agents work on a tiered pricing model that's based on the property price bracket. Fees will be higher for properties in higher price brackets.
A few other things to know about fees:
• If you're only using a buyer's agent to bid at auction, the fee is typically much lower because less work is involved.
• If you're purchasing an investment property, the agent's fee will likely be tax-deductible.
Who Pays the Commission?
As you may have guessed, it's the buyer who pays the buyer's agent's commission. Buyers are responsible for paying the fee, whether it's a fixed fee or a percentage of the sale price.
In most cases, this fee will be paid out of your own pocket and won't be included in the loan.
Hiring a Buyer's Agent
If this is your first time working with a buyer's agent, you may be wondering how to find a real estate agent buyer.
A great place to start is with friends, family and other people you trust. For example, if someone recently used a buyer's agent to purchase a property, they may be able to provide a recommendation. If a trusted friend or loved one had a positive experience with an agent, there's a good chance that you will, too.
When looking at potential agents, considering asking the following questions:
• Can you provide references? Speaking to past clients about their experience can help you determine whether an agent is a good fit for you.
• Do you have any industry contacts? Their connections can be a good indicator of experience and reputation.
• Have you made any recent sales in the area? Their answer will give you an idea of their local market knowledge and experience.
The agent's reputation and track record are of the utmost importance, so check online reviews and testimonials to see what other clients have to say. Also, make sure the agent is properly licenced.
A buyer's agent will save you time and help you find the best property for your needs at the best possible price. When hiring an agent, take the time to vet their credentials and experience to ensure you're choosing the right professional for the job. Check references and interview agents. If you don't feel comfortable with an agent, move on to another one.