7 Reasons to Have a Dedicated Buyer’s Agent
Thursday Aug 25th, 2022
Buying a home is a big deal, and having a dedicated real estate agent represent you throughout the process is highly beneficial for several reasons. Seller or listing agents are just that. They are under contract with the seller and therefore primarily focused on representing the seller's best interests. Having someone on your side of the transaction that you can trust is the best way to protect your interests.
What is a Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who is legally licensed to represent the buyer’s interests in a real estate transaction. A good buyer’s agent will do much more than simply search for properties for you and schedule showings. These fundamentals, as well as negotiating contracts on your behalf, are just the surface of what your buyer’s agent should be doing for you.
If you’re considering buying or renting a condo without professional representation, or are simply curious to learn more about the benefits of having a dedicated Realtor, here are seven reasons why it's a good idea.
7 Reasons to Have a Buyer’s Agent
1. Inventory advantages
A buyer’s agent can help you navigate through a sea of inventory and narrow down your search to properties best suited for you. Agents are equipped with tools and strategies to access inventory and provide you with a list of potential homes within your budget and area of interest. They’ll also ensure that the properties they present you with meet your criteria for space and features and come with any must-have amenities to suit your lifestyle. Take advantage of the time a buyer’s agent can save you and trust them to present you with a list of options to evaluate and consider.
In a tight market, as we have been experiencing for many years now across Canada, an agent’s inventory expertise is even more useful when inventory is limited, demand is strong, and everything happens quickly. A reliable real estate agent is invaluable in a hot market.
2. Local knowledge
Working with a buyer’s agent who knows the area you’re interested in will make the buying or renting process more productive and enjoyable. Agents know the ins and outs of the areas they represent and can help you identify good investment opportunities, pre-construction projects, the right buildings for your lifestyle - whatever is important to you. Make a list of your wants and needs and go over them with your buyer’s agent. No piece of information is too small.
Buyer’s agents can also help introduce you to local contractors and service providers, should you need any assistance throughout or after the home buying process. Agents have large networks of trusted contacts ready to help you every step of the way, from mortgage brokers and real estate lawyers to contractors and interior designers.
3. Experienced market analysis
Submitting an offer, given the state of our current real estate market, can indeed be a daunting task. You want to be sure you're not overpaying but you want your offer to be accepted. Understanding current market conditions, recent sales in the area, and the sellers’ motivations, all play a role in writing a solid offer. Agents do a thorough market analysis to look at active listings and recently sold comparables, allowing you to analyze and reflect on recent trends and prices.
In a market where bidding wars and offer deadlines are the norms, your buyer’s agent will have experience in all kinds of markets and can help guide you to an offer that will be taken seriously, without stretching you beyond your comfort zone.
4. Help with offer conditions
An important discussion you'll have with your buyer's agent is regarding the conditions to include in your offer and the condition removal process. Working with a real estate professional ensures that you have an expert on your side who is looking out for your best interests. A buyer’s agent will help you submit conditions that keep you safe and protected when making offers. In a fast-paced market, your agent will explain the upside of a condition-free offer and how best to prepare.
The sale will only be final once any conditions have been met within the set timeframe. Talk to your agent about the options available and work with them to submit conditions that protect your interests. This will give you peace of mind throughout the inspection of the home, status certificate review, or while you secure financing.
5. Negotiation skills
Good agents are good negotiators, and having your buyer’s agent conduct negotiations with the seller’s agent is in your best interest. An experienced agent understands leverage, when and where to use it, and how certain conditions can be used in your favour. Agents also benefit from having conducted dozens if not hundreds of similar negotiations, which means that they understand the process and all of its potential challenges. In such a high-value negotiation, trust someone that knows the ropes.
If you’re evaluating agents, ask about their experience representing buyers and for examples of their successful negotiation efforts. This will help give you confidence that you have a skilled negotiator on your side.
6. Take care of the unknown
Agents are a wealth of knowledge, not just on inventory and market analysis, but also on less frequently broached topics. Agents have an understanding of the industry that is well beyond the average home buyer or seller, and they can often point out potential pitfalls or roadblocks before they come up. It all comes down to experience, which is one of the most important things you should look for in a real estate agent. Experience can help you estimate closing costs or any additional fees you may not have considered, spot any potential neighbourhood issues, and help you come out on top should you be contending for a property with competing offers. Sometimes the task that a buyer’s agent will help you with the most is one you didn’t anticipate.
7. There is no cost to the buyer
It may come as a surprise to many, but it’s true. As a buyer, you won’t have to pay any real estate commission to your agent.
It works like this: when a home is listed, the seller and their agent enter into a listing agreement. The agreement pre-determines the buyer agent’s commission, which the seller pays. Working with a buyer’s agent is of no cost to you in almost all cases - it’s entirely free.
Working with a buyer’s agent has significant advantages over buying a home without professional representation, so finding a great real estate agent should be a top priority. Start interviewing agents before you begin your home buying journey. Having a good agent will help you from day one all the way until possession day.