Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. It is very important you take the process serious and choose the right agent to help you find and buy the best home for you and your family. Many people do know exactly how it works using a real estate agent or the advantages of using a real estate agent when buying. If you are a buyer, it usually costs you nothing to use a real estate agent and the right agent can help you pay less and get more house.
Why is it free for most buyers to use a real estate agent?
The house selling process has evolved over time in the United States to allow as many people as possible to purchase a home. The more people who buy houses, the better our economy does. Most people do not have a lot of cash saved up to buy a home. That is why low down payment loans are backed by the government and why the seller pays for real estate agent commissions.
When someone sells their house, they usually have more money available then the buyers because they can use proceeds from the sale of their home. When the property closes both the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent are paid by the seller. This allows the buyer to use their cash to purchase a house and not pay the real estate agent. Most real estate agents will not charge the buyer’s anything to show houses or help with the home buying process. The real estate agents only get paid when the house sells.
Do you have to use the listing agent to buy a house?
Some buyers think they have to call up each listing agent to see houses for sale. This is not the best way to buy a house, because it takes time and gets frustrating calling 20 different agents. In Colorado a buyer’s agent can show and sell just about any house for sale. The listing agent works for the seller of the home and the buyer’s agent works for the buyer. If you hire a great buyer agent they can show you all the houses you want to see and work in your best interest, not the seller’s.
Can you save money by using the seller’s agent?
In some cases you may be able to get a slightly lower price on a home if you use the seller’s agent. However, this is not always the case and most problems with real estate transactions arise from one agent representing both sides of a sale. Whose best interest do they have in mind?
In some cases the listing agent might reduce their commission if they represent both the buyer and the seller, but not always. After all, the agent has to do much more work and takes on more responsibility when working with both sides. If the listing agent does reduce their commission it will usually only be a couple thousand dollars at the most.
That couple thousand dollars may reduce the sales price, but it doesn’t result in thousands of dollars of immediate savings for the buyers. Because most buyers are getting a loan, the down payment and monthly payments may go down slightly, but you won’t see the total savings until you sell the house.
How can a buyer’s agent help you with the house buying process?
Here is the basic house buying process:
- Get pre qualified to know how much house you can afford
- Begin looking at houses in your price range
- Make offer on house you like
- Once under contract, you will need to schedule an inspection
- After the inspection comes the appraisal
- Finally if everything goes smoothly, you will close on the house
If you are using your own buyer’s agent, that agent will be familiar with your needs, your lender and be working for you. If you use the listing agent that agent probably knows the seller and may not have your best interests in mind.
For the inspection you need a good inspector who will check out the house and many times the real estate agent recommends inspectors. I can guarantee the listing agent would prefer no inspection issues pop up. The buyer’s agent will help the buyers understand what is a serious issue and what the buyers can ask for from the seller.
Many times the appraisal comes in low in a hot market. The buyer’s agent can help the buyers negotiate a lower price if there is an appraisal issue. The listing agent will want to get the most money for their sellers.
Your buyer’s agent also will make sure you have a great lender lined up and ready to go. If you wait to get qualified until you talk to a listing agent, you might miss out on a house because someone else is already qualified and can offer quicker.
Do you need a buyer’s agent to send you house listings?
With Zillow, Realtor.Com and other listing services many buyers feel they don’t need an agent anymore. While it is true you can see most listings online now, there are problems with online listings.
- Zillow and other online listing services do not show all houses for sale. Most people do not know this, but not all officers let Zillow list their houses online.
- Zillow and other sites can be very slow updating listings. New listings and houses that go under contract may not show up for days after a status change. I don’t know how many times buyers ask see a house from Zillow, but it is already under contract and Zillow did not update the site.
- If you are relying on only online sites to find houses you could be missing new listings, price changes or houses coming back on the market. A buyer’s agent can see all listings, new listings, price changes as soon as they happen. A buyer’s agent can also set up alerts that are emailed to the buyer’s as soon as new listings come on the market, prices change or other events happen.
If you are searching for a home, try to pick an awesome real estate agent and stick with them through the process. By using one agent you will have someone on your side helping you find houses and helping you through the home buying process. As a buyer you usually do not have to pay your real estate anything since they are paid at closing by the seller.
If you need a great real estate agent in the Northern Colorado area, give us a call! (970) 573-6441