HOW TO CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Choosing an agent is a highly important task. Your real estate agent can greatly influence the number of homes you have to choose from, the quality of the information and guidance you receive, the price you pay, and the quality of the home you purchase.
Over 90% of homebuyers use an agent. Not only can an agent can gain access to the most homes possible by using the Multiple Listing Services (MLS), he or she can also help to guide you through the process of buying your home. However, there are many different kinds of agents, and it is important that you choose one to suit your needs.
EXCLUSIVE BUYER’S AGENCY – (100% FOR BUYERS)
Very few real estate brokers work exclusively for the buyer’s interests. This type of agent is very important to a buyer because unlike listing agents, they aggressively search all homes listed with all companies without bias and negotiate exclusively on the side of the homebuyer to ensure you pay the lowest price. These agents not only guide you through the professional home inspection, but, find the toughest inspectors available. If you are a homebuyer, EBAs are the agents you need on your side, but they are hard to find. Less than half of the real estate agents are Exclusive Buyer’s Agents.
EXCLUSIVE SELLER’S AGENCY – (100% FOR SELLER)
When you call an agent directly from an advertisement for a home, he is a “listing agent” and is working 100% for the seller. Traditionally, all real estate agents worked for the seller’s interests, but today, unless the agent is the listing agent, real estate firms do mixed business for both buyers and sellers.
DESIGNATED (MIXED) AGENCY – (50/50 DEAL MAKERS)
Most firms today are “deal makers,” meaning they work for both the buyers and the sellers. Sometimes, this situation can lend itself to a conflict of interest, however, as the agents often work for the buyers and sellers simultaneously. When a conflict arises, and the odds are great that it will, the buyer assumes the greater risk. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, but especially if you are a buyer, the best approach is to use an exclusive buyer’s agent.
ADVANTAGES TO WORKING WITH A BUYER’S AGENT:
- Arranges property showings.
- Provides accurate information.
- Explains forms and agreements.
- Monitors closings.
- Prepares a property value study. (Dual agents do not.)
- Keeps your financial position confidential. (Dual agents do not.)
- Promotes and protects your best interests. (Dual agents do not.)
- Negotiates the best price for you. (Dual agents do not.)
- Points out reasons not to buy. (Dual agents do not.)
- Passes on information to enhance your bargaining position. (Dual agents do not.)
- Assists in writing the offer in the buyer’s best interest only. (Dual agents do not)
- Exposes you to the entire market, both listed and unlisted, including FSBO homes. (Dual agents do not.)
- Provides anonymity if needed. (Dual agents do not.)
- Researches the seller and property. (Dual agents do not.)