Pros and Cons of Using a Real Estate Agent when Buying
Buying a home and being a homeowner is a big event, and even more especially if it is your first home or first experience. There will probably be many things you don’t know if you haven’t been through the home buying process before. One of the most common questions of first-time homebuyers is whether they need to hire a buyer’s agent.
A buyer’s agent is not necessary when you are buying a home, but having someone with experience on your side can make your home buying experience a more pleasant and potentially less expensive one. There is nothing that requires anyone to hire a buyer’s agent. You can find homes for sale on your own and work directly with the seller’s agent.
The problem with that is that the seller’s agent has the seller’s best interests in mind. He or she will naturally try to get the highest possible price for the seller and is, in fact, contractually bound to do so. They are also obligated not to share any confidential information about their client with you.
Working with a buyer’s agent gives you the advantage of having a knowledgeable and experienced agent looking out for your best interests. Your agent could help you find property that meets your needs and assist you in negotiations to help you get it at the lowest possible price.
You can work with an agent without signing a buyer’s agency contract. In fact, it’s a good idea to do so for a while until you’re sure that you want that agent to represent you. This gives you the time you need to determine whether your needs are being listened to and whether you get along.
An agent is not legally bound to keep information, such as the highest price you would pay for a property, confidential until you sign a contract with them. If they are a dual agent that also represents sellers and you want to buy a home that belongs to one of their clients, they have to share that information unless they are legally representing your interests. So keeping such things to yourself until there is a written agreement is a good idea.
No agent should pressure you into signing an agreement right away. If, after a while, you’re still unsure, you can talk to the agent about signing an agreement that only lasts for a short time. You can opt for a non-exclusive agreement, which allows the agent to represent you but also allows you to work with other agents.
In many cases, your agent and the seller’s agent will split the commission. That means that you can have your own agent without having to spend more money.