Nowadays, sites like Zillow and Trulia make it possible to find homes, connect with sellers, and even schedule showings right from the comfort of your couch. So, do you really need an agent of your own? The short answer is, yes! Of course you do! A good buyer’s agent can be the difference between finding the home of your dreams and overspending on a home you don’t love.
Why Choosing a Good Buyer’s Agent Is Critical
Finding homes online might be easy enough, but it’s actually only a very small fraction of the home buying process! There’s a whole lot more that goes into a real estate transaction—offers, paperwork, negotiations, scheduling with inspectors and lenders and attorneys, arranging the close… It can become a very complicated and messy process if you’re not sure what you’re doing. And that’s where a good buyer’s agent comes into play.
Here’s why you need an agent.
Your agent will know what’s going on in the market.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a buyer’s agent is for their local market knowledge. A good agent will know if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market (i.e. if conditions are in your favor or not). They’ll know if homes are overpriced, which neighborhoods are hot, and whether it’s a good time for you to buy.
A good agent with experience in your area will also be able to make recommendations for everything from lenders to home inspectors to real estate attorneys.
Your agent can help you narrow down a location.
Do you know where you want to live? If you’re not sure, your agent can help you narrow down your search based on your budget, needs, and wants. This is especially helpful if you’re new to the area or have only lived in one neighborhood, but even long-time locals can benefit from the market expertise of an agent.
Your agent will offer valuable advice about homes.
See a home you think you love? Your agent may agree… or not. And that’s actually a good thing! Your agent’s job is not to help you find a home but the RIGHT home—and a good buyer’s agent knows that. He or she should know what you’re looking for in a home so they’re able to offer advice on whether a home is a good match for you.
Your agent might help you see value in a good home that needs a few aesthetic tweaks. They might discourage you from investing in a home in need of a lot of major repairs. They might point out that a particular neighborhood holds its value—or doesn’t. And they’ll know how to look for signs of underlying issues, like a cracked foundation or water damage.
Your agent can help you make an offer.
When it comes time to make an offer, do you know how much to offer? Or what contingencies should be included? What about dates and deadlines? Earnest money? Fear not; your agent’s got you covered.
Starting with the price, your agent will help you complete a Purchase and Sale Agreement to submit to the seller’s agent. This way you know you’re making a competitive and fair offer, you’ve included any necessary documentation, and you’ve got your bases covered in terms of contingencies.
Your agent will handle negotiations and communication.
Communication between your agent and the seller’s agent actually starts long before you submit an offer, but even more happens afterwards. Should the seller wish to negotiate on price or terms outlined in your offer, your agent will take care of all the back-and-forth involved with counteroffers.
Additionally, your agent will coordinate outside communication, including scheduling inspections, appraisals, and any other surveys or testing you might need. In fact, when you work with a good agent, you shouldn’t need to do much more than pick up the phone and call your agent now and again.
That’s right; as the buyer you don’t pay a dime for your agent. Traditionally, the seller pays the commission for BOTH agents. So instead of asking why you should use a buyer’s agent, the better question is probably why you wouldn’t use one.
Looking for a Good Buyer’s Agent in Pittsburgh?
Are you thinking of making a move to or buying a home in Pittsburgh, PA? Let us help! Contact Century 21 Frontier Realty today to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect home in just the right spot.