What is a buyer’s agent?
Do I really need one? How much does it cost?
Can’t I get a better deal when I deal directly with the listing agent? So many questions about buyer’s agents, so let’s get you some answers.
Contrary to popular belief, a buyer’s agent is not just somebody who opens the door for you and finds you a house.
A buyer’s agent is LEGALLY OBLIGATED to represent your interests and negotiate with the seller on your behalf when you are buying a home.
When you deal with a listing agent or a sales agent at a model home sales center for new construction, they represent the seller/builder. Even when they tell you that they can help you, they don’t have your interest at heart because they have the loyalty to the seller. If they help you, it’s a conflict of interest.
And according to Georgia law, a real estate agent cannot perform any of the services a buyer’s agent performs without an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Representation agreement. You are best served if you have your own buyer’s agent. The signed agreement establishes a fiduciary relationship with the agent.
Here are some more reasons why you need a buyer’s agent.
Buyer’s Agents Advise You on Purchase Price
Buyer’s agents are there to make sure that you not overpay for your new home. They can pull the comps, the comparable properties, and show you exactly what that house would be worth. If there are no comps at all that support the asking price, they can show the listing agent that, “Hey, this is what we’re offering, because we feel this is what it’s worth and here’s why.”
Buyer’s Agents Negotiate
Buyer’s agents don’t only negotiate on price. When they write the offer, they know what to ask for that you may not have thought about, anything from a termite letter, a termite bond to a home warranty. If you’re on septic, they make sure that it is pumped on the seller’s dime. There are a lot of things that you may not even think about that your buyer’s agent will ask for you.
Buyer’s Agents Protect Your Interests
Buyer’s agents also protect your interests by using the correct legal forms and contingencies and exhibits, just so that everything stays on the up and up and legal. They track all the deadlines in the contract to make sure that they do not pass without the legal obligations being fulfilled. If any deadline passes without it being contractually fulfilled, you could not only lose your earnest money but the house as well.
Buyer’s Agents Negotiate Repairs
Buyer’s agents also negotiate repairs during the due diligence period, because you want to buy exactly what you think you’re buying. If there’s anything wrong with the house, you want to know, so you want to always do an inspection on that. Your buyer’s agent can negotiate those repairs during the due diligence period.
If there is anything major wrong with the house, you want to make sure that that is taken care of. Your buyer’s agent can advice you on the best things to ask for. If the sellers don’t cooperate or if you cannot come to an agreement, your buyer’s agent will make sure that they terminate the deal before the due diligence period ends. Otherwise you could be on the hook for your earnest money. Your buyer’s agent protects your earnest money and protects YOU in the transaction.
Buyer’s Agents are FREE!
The best part about buyer’s agents, they are free. You don’t even pay for them. The seller pays for them. So that is an extra bonus.
Just because you called an agent to show you a house, does not make them a buyer’s agent. In fact, a real estate agent cannot give you any advice without a signed exclusive Buyer Brokerage Representation Agreement, according to Georgia law. Make sure that you have your own buyer’s agent.
To learn more about the steps involved in the real estate buying process, download my FREE buyer’s guide.