What is a buyer’s agent?

by | Jul 11, 2020

Buying a home is no easy task. For most prospective owners it means a long and emotional journey, filled with difficult decisions. Buyer’s agents exist to guide you along that journey as smoothly as possible.

Most people work closely with a buyer’s agent throughout the complex business of purchasing a place to live. Good agents are experts in real estate. The right professional will not only save you headaches, but money and time also. They are your representative in your corner, achieving the best deal and leading a thoughtful house search.

Here’s how they do those things:

Finding a House

Buyer’s agents know houses and neighborhoods. After discussing your needs, interests, and budget, they can provide options that suit you. An active and effective buyer’s agent knows where to look and why, making your home search as seamless as possible. 

Identifying problems

Beyond just knowing where to look, the right buyer’s agent will know what to look out for. Buyers, especially on their first time out, are unlikely to know all of the pitfalls to watch for. A buyer’s agent has been through the ringer. They know the questions to ask seller agents, and the problems that befall many homebuyers.

Devising solutions

What’s more, a buyer’s agent is an expert in finding solutions to those problems. While a buyer may fantasize about finding their dream home out of the gate, most will encounter some issues with their final selection. A buyer’s agent asks the right questions and ensures a hassle-free negotiation based on your discoveries.

Negotiating

An agent is your advocate at the negotiating table. That’s why it’s so important that you build trust before signing with a broker, and that you communicate all of your wants and needs to them before a deal is struck. If those two things take place, a good buyer will direct negotiations to save you time, stress, and money!

More Questions About Buyer's Agents

What do they get paid?

Buyer’s Agents typically take 2.5% or 3% of a home’s final purchase price. Luckily for buyers, the seller is usually responsible for paying the buyer and seller agents. 

What are buyer’s agent agreements?

Buyer’s agent agreements are contracts between the buyer and the buyer’s agent. These contracts have terms that vary from short (the negotiation period) to long (the multiple month search for a home). The agreement protects agents’ commissions, and prevents buyers from switching agents last minute. Find more information about buyer’s agent agreements here.

How do you choose an agent?

A vast majority of shoppers go with the first agent they speak to, and/or a recommendation from a friend or family member. Don’t be like them! Take the time to get to know a handful of agents. It’s very likely that this person will find you the place where you are going to live, and every agent will bring you different options, so who you choose is important. Here are some questions to consider when picking:

What areas are they familiar with?

How many years have they been active?

Do you get along and can you work with this person for an extended process?

What is a double agent?

In many states including Illinois it is legal for one agent to represent both the buyer and the seller. Think of the buyer’s agent mainly as an advocate for the buyer’s interests, and the seller’s agent as an advocate for the seller. If you do that, it is very hard to imagine how a buyer’s agent could effectively do their job while representing both parties. In sticky negotiations and arduous inspections, you’ll want to have an exclusive and knowledgable representative on your side of the mat. Take care to pick the right buyer’s agent, and that’s exactly what you’ll get!