How Can A Buyer Agent Help Your Home Search?

So…you’re ready to buy a home here in Virginia Beach / Hampton Roads…you start looking at listings for sale on some different websites online…maybe you’ve already found a few you like…what’s next? Who do you call to get more information? If you’re not aware of what a Buyer Agent does, you might just call the agent whose name is on the sign in the front yard – the agent hired by the owner of the property to help them sell it – the Listing Agent – and you might be making a BIG MISTAKE.

How A Buyer Agent Can Help You Buy A HomeWhat’s wrong with calling the listing agent?

First, let me explain a bit about the agency relationship between the real estate agent and their client. As a potential buyer, when you speak to an agent who has listed a property (their name is on the sign in the yard, or in an ad in a newspaper possibly…), you need to be aware of this: that agent is obligated by law to look out for their clients’ best interests and negotiate the best deal….FOR THEIR CLIENT…NOT YOU. Anything you discuss regarding your financial situation, time-frame for your move, your motivation for buying, etc., will and should be used by the agent to get their client the best deal possible.

At this point, it would be good for me to point out again that the listing agent is doing nothing wrong. In fact, this is the agents responsibility according to agency law – they’re doing nothing dishonest as long as they’ve made it clear who they’re representing.

So as you can see, the real problem here is that you, as a buyer, have nobody looking out for YOUR best interests and negotiating on your behalf.

What can you do about this situation? Here’s where a Buyer Agent comes in.

When you have a Buyer Agent representing you, they will do the negotiating on your behalf. AND…A Buyer Agent’s commission is paid by the seller…NOT BY YOU. This means 99% of the time you’ll have an experienced agent representing you by law, and will not have to pay a commission (Real Estate Agents get paid solely on commission…no hourly wage…no 40 hour work week).

Here are a few other benefits of using a Buyer Agent:

  • You’ll have one person to whom you can direct your questions.
  • They’ll tell you which websites to use when you search on your own, and set you up to receive listings using your own custom criteria – you’ll get an email when a new listing comes onto the market.
  • They’re obligated by law to represent YOU during your search, negotiation, and through the entire process.
  • When you find listings you want to see, they’ll arrange showings for you in person, and get you any additional information you need.
  • As I touched on above, they’ll know what details to reveal to the listing agent and seller, and when. In other words, they’ll understand how to negotiate on your behalf.
  • They’ll explain to you your options every step of the way, and will make sure you know the possible outcomes of the decisions you make, and the consequences.
  • When other professionals need to be involved, they’ll know who to recommend: Lawyers, Inspectors, Title experts, mortgage officers, etc.

As I’ve hinted at above, the real advantage of using a Buyer Agent comes AFTER you’ve found a home on which you want to make an offer. Buying a home is not a one step event…it’s an on-going process, and can get fairly complex at times – especially with short sale listings and foreclosures being so prevalent in the Hampton Roads Real Estate market right now.

By all means…don’t go into what could be the most expensive purchase of your life without someone looking out for you…hire a Buyer Agent and put them to work. Here at The Brian Duncan Group, we do this day in and day out for our clients. We have 4 experienced, FULL TIME Buyer Agents that are in the field every day, and we’re always willing to sit down with you to explain the process.

Let us know if we can help – Contact us at 757-802-3004, or just contact us using the form to the right.


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