With so much information online these days, clients sometimes ask, “Why is it necessary for us to hire a real estate agent to buy a home?” Well, for starters, it’s the most expensive investment you’ll ever make in your lifetime and being properly represented is critical. So, what’s an agent going to do for you? Well, sit back as I explain why it’s necessary to hire a REALTOR®️ now.
Hey, y’all, Abby Husbands here, I’m a realtor in Austin, Texas and today I’m going to talk about the importance of being represented by a real estate agent if you’re a buyer, particularly if you’re a first-time home buyer. I think it’s becoming more and more common that home buyers think buying a home is easy & they can purchase a home without a real estate agent. They can, they totally, absolutely, can but one of the biggest misconceptions is that they will have to pay the buyer’s agent’s fee or compensation and that’s just not true. The seller pays the compensation or the commission for both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.
Another misconception is that if you’re an unrepresented buyer you are entitled to the commission that would have been paid to the buyer’s agent and that’s not true either. That seller’s agent gets the full compensation, well the seller’s broker gets that compensation. The buyer does not.
Something else to keep in mind is that listing agent represents the seller and has the seller’s best interest in mind. So, it makes sense as a buyer to get your own representation because the listing agent represents the seller and the seller’s best interests. A buyer’s agent also has a plethora of information available to them that you, as a consumer, do not.
Texas is a non-disclosure state which means if a house on your street sold as a consumer you will know the listing price, you won’t necessarily know the sales price because that information is not public knowledge. For example, if a house is listed for $365,000 and it sold, do you know how much it sold for? That information affects the comps in the neighborhood. Which also affects your offer or asking price for a home that’s currently on the market. A realtor can put together a CMA, which is a Comparative Market Analysis, of all the homes within a certain radius of the home that you are wanting to purchase and can tell you A, if that home is priced competitively, or if B. it’s overpriced, underpriced and what you should be offering for that home.
We also act as buffers. There are times … I know this might sound crazy … that there are very difficult agents to work with. There have been many times that I have worked with other agents that are very challenging but my clients never know it. I absorb all of the stress for them. I do all of the negotiating behind the scenes, sometimes we go back and forth for four and five days, multiple emails, multiple phone calls & my clients never know it. Try working full-time & negotiating your own deal during business hours. It can become a total time suck.
We also have a huge network. I have information of other real estate agent’s pocket listings or off-MLS listings that I can pull from. I have handymen, carpet installers, plumbers, painters, tile setters at my fingertips & I can call them at a moment’s notice. If we’re in the option period, the inspection report came back and you need A, B and C fixed and you need a price or an estimate, I can get it for you quickly. Real estate agents have huge networks that we’ve built over the years and we can refer to you so you don’t have to spend your time on Angie’s List or Nextdoor hunting down a subcontractor.
My advice is to hire a real estate agent, someone to represent you on the purchase of your home. However, do your due diligence. I was a general contractor and remodeled homes for 11 years and it was not uncommon for a homeowner to interview multiple contractors. So, I’m just floored when it comes to hiring a real estate agent, people typically go with the first one they find. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just do your research. The best way to find an agent is to ask your friends and family for referrals. If you’re moving to a new city and you don’t have a network, just get online. Look at reviews on Google, Realtor.com, Zillow, Facebook, see if they have a Facebook business page, call them up and talk to them. Interview them, like you would interview anyone else. See if you’re going to be a good fit because this is going to be a working relationship and it’s best that you get along.
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I’m a full-time Realtor®️ with a background in design & construction & I love all things real estate related. I’m lucky enough to live & work in Austin, TX and am married to a touring musician. Check out more of my website & shoot me a message if you need help buying, selling, relocating, or investing in Austin real estate.
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