When you are deciding to buy a home, there are a thousand things running through your head, and without a doubt one of those things is "Wow, this is a lot of money". In an area like Greater Boston where towns well outside of the city itself, towns like Arlington, Belmont, Wellesley, and Needham (not to mention ones closer in like Brookline and Newton) are selling at insanely high prices, it's compelling to try to find a way to "get a deal". One of the biggest myths in real estate that I've seen buyers subscribe to is the notion that working with the agent selling a particular home is the way to "get a deal". Today, I am going to address why this is misguided and often costly, and tell you 5 reasons you want to work with a dedicated buyer's agent. So, let's get started!
First, the Seller's Agent, the person you likely met in an Open House for the property you are interested in has one goal: to sell that property at the highest price and best terms possible. They also sometimes angle to sell to a buyer who is "unrepresented" by an agent because it brings in a larger commission for them. Make no mistake, even if an agent is writing up an offer on your behalf in this situation, they are 95% of the time, representing the interests of the seller alone. If you sign on to work with a dedicated buyer's agent, you are contracting an agent to work on your behalf and get you the best house for you, at the best price and best terms possible while protecting your money. You lose nothing, and stand to gain a lot by doing this:
No financial cost to you! Many buyers don't realize that they, in most cases, do not have to pay their agent directly for their services. The fee structure is arranged such that the seller pays the seller's agent, and the seller's agent pays the buyer's agent for bringing along a qualified buyer.
Make your search as effective and as efficient as possible. The internet-warrior days of searching for a property should have died a long time ago. Sites like Zillow are often outdated and misleading when it comes to pricing and availability. Having an agent with access to the Multiple Listings Service is crucial to making your search timely and efficient.
Localized market knowledge. We are out here representing buyers every single day. We understand the market, pricing, timing, and nuance that goes into selling and buying homes. We understand what value certain homes and features carry, and whether that value is inflated or deflated in certain locations or neighborhoods.
Extensive process knowledge. A good buyer's agent will have overseen dozens and dozens of transactions, making the offer-to-close process as smooth as possible. With every closed sale, that knowledge deepens and becomes more nuanced, helping each new buyer anticipate bumps in the road and pivot accordingly. A seasoned professional will also have more negotiating power than a buyer will on their own.
Local network of other industry professionals. Once you've found your dream home and negotiated a price and terms that work for you, you're going to be forming relationships with other real estate-related professionals. An experienced buyer's agent will be able to recommend trusted mortgage lenders (before you start searching), real estate attorneys, home inspectors, contractors, etc. You don't want to be looking for these people on Angie's List.