Should You Choose A Buyer’s Agent?

Should You Choose A Buyer’s Agent?

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Searching for a home can be nerve wracking, especially if you aren’t sure if the home you want is worth the price being asked or if you really should go ahead with the deal. Your real estate agent could be pressuring you to make a decision, one that can have ramifications that will impact you for several years to come.

home sellSome buyers are skipping the usual home buying process and are dealing directly with the seller, particularly if the home is being sold FSBO. This method of home transaction has been growing rapidly especially as the internet proves to be an excellent source for bringing buyers and sellers together. Unfortunately, FSBO isn’t without some risks, particularly for the buyer or seller who doesn’t fully understand the legalities of a home transaction.

Another possibility for the home buyer is to choose a buyer’s agent. This agent isn’t working for the seller, rather she is working directly for you.

A buyer’s agent can still receive a commission from the seller of the home, but you can also pay the agent a fee for their services. This takes the pressure off of the agent who really must sell homes in order to make a living — if you don’t buy or aren’t rushed into making a decision, your fee will cover some of their expenses while allowing you to carefully weigh all options.

Though a buyer’s agent can work on your behalf, she isn’t all-powerful or all-knowledgeable. She cannot:

  • Help you find a bargain, but she can help you get a fair price.
  • Advise you on a mortgage or your personal finances even if trained in that area — you’re still responsible for getting the mortgage that is right for you and making monthly payments.

What a buyer’s agent can do is help you find a home at a fair price in the neighborhood you want. This may sound like an easy task, but if she must serve two masters — the buyer and the seller — then matters are complicated considerably.

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Categories: Home Buying

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".