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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

Here’s Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent to Secure Your Dream Home and How to Choose the Best One

The buyer's agent is supposed to put your needs first at every stage, from finding homes to closing the deal.
PUBLISHED APR 24, 2024
Cover Image Source: It's crucial to find an efficient buyer's agent (representative image) | Photo by Thirdman | Pexels
Cover Image Source: It's crucial to find an efficient buyer's agent (representative image) | Photo by Thirdman | Pexels

The National Association of Realtors and certain house sellers struck a big $418 million settlement. However, this hasn't happened yet, and many people are wondering how much commission they will have to pay later. People will continue to purchase homes no matter what and the majority of them will consider seeking assistance from a buyer's agent. If you fall into that category, read on for information on what a licensed buyer's agent should do (respecting the law, acting honorably, providing useful advice, etc.) and how to choose the best one.

Image Source: Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels
Finding a buyer's agent (representative image) | Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels

When you're buying a house, your buyer's agent is like the leader of your team. They're there to put your needs first at every stage, from finding homes to closing the deal. According to RE/MAX, LLC CEO Amy Lessinger, "They should always think about what's best for the buyer. Your needs come before theirs." What does that mean? Well, first, they'll show you houses that match what you're looking for and fit your budget. Sometimes, they might suggest something a bit pricier but they need to explain why. Lessinger pointed out, "It's a problem if they only show you houses you can't afford."

A top-notch buyer's agent also knows a lot about the local housing market. They can talk to the seller's agent to help you get a good deal. They should also have a list of reliable folks you might need during the home-buying journey – like lawyers or inspectors. According to Lessinger, ideally, they will give you a few options for each service. A skilled buyer's agent knows all about the local housing rules, from utilities to renovations. They should be able to tell you stuff like what happens if there are trees near power lines or how much it'll cost to get city water hooked up to your new place.

Image Source: Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels
Finding the right house (representative image) | Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels

Your buyer's agent owes you six crucial legal and moral duties.

1. Loyalty: They support you. They ought to be devoted to you and your requirements.

2. Confidentiality: Anything you share with them remains private. That covers the reasons you desire to buy a house as well as your budget.

3. Disclosure: They are required to provide you with information about a home, such as any problems. Having an experienced agent who can identify issues is beneficial even if they are not experts.

4. Reasonable care and diligence: Your agent has to be knowledgeable about everything, from drafting proposals to understanding the local market. They ought to streamline the entire procedure.

5. Obedience: You can get them to listen to you. They will do it if it is lawful.

6. Accountability: They must maintain a record of any funds you provide them, like deposits or inspection fees.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) are two important federal laws that real estate agents must comply with. According to the FHA, no one can be evicted because of race or religion. When you obtain a government-backed mortgage, RESPA ensures that you will be properly informed about the cost of buying the property. Additionally, it prevents agents from receiving hidden bonuses for referring you to specialists. It’s a good idea to review the agent laws for each state. Check the website of the real estate board or real estate commission you intend to buy from. And if your agent is a Realtor, you must follow NAR’s code of ethics. If they don’t, they have to join another group with their own rules.

Image Source: Photo by Thirdman | Pexels
Finding the right houses (representative image) | Photo by Thirdman | Pexels

Choosing a buyer’s agent should involve more than just finding an experienced one; You also need to have someone you can communicate with and trust and for this reason, it’s a good idea to talk to a few agents before making a decision, Jason Abrams of Keller Williams Realty Inc advises. You can look for someone who has a lot of experience in the region you want to buy from. Discuss your needs with them and ask them what they can do to help. David Kent from The Real Buyer’s Agent suggests confirming that their policy matches yours as well. Checking their names is also a wise move. Kent urges you to do your homework. Make sure it’s in good shape, read reviews, and see if it’s licensed where you plan to buy it.

Once you have chosen an agent, you may need to sign a buyer-merchant agreement, which is a very important document to read carefully. “Whatever you and your agent agree on will be written into this contract,” Abrams explains. This document will outline what your agent should and should do for you. It should include such things as that agent only agreeing to work with the company in a specific location for a specific period. It can also tell you how the agent gets paid – like if you have to pay them directly. Make the words work best for you, so don’t be afraid to share them. “You can negotiate anything,” says Abrams.

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