Should you have a buyer’s agent when you are shopping for a house?
Here is a question I get often: Who need’s a buyer’s agent? Why do I need a Realtor? Can’t I find luxury homes online by myself and not worry about being hassled?
Heck yea you can. But… you can also represent yourself in court. We all know there is an advantage to using an attorney, what is the advantage of hiring a buyer’s agent.
First, even though you hire a buyer’s agent, they work for free! The only time they get paid is when a house closes and the Seller agrees to pay them for brining their client to the house.
Hiring a buyers agent to work for you:
- Does not cost you one penny.
- Does not increase the price you pay for the property.
- Can save you a lot of time.
- Offers you much needed protection during the process.
But I saw it on TV
More and more home buyers I run into watch a lot of home buying shows on HGTV and other cable stations. During the complete home buying process from the time we first meet, all the searching and driving around, then negotiations, inspections, working with lender, making sure everyone is staying on track, through the paperwork, a good buyer’s agent will probably spend 20-40 hours working with a client. Much greater than the 23 minutes that is actually broadcasted on the half hour show.
Then they will get paid at the end of a successful transaction. And that is only if the house closes. Many times somewhere along the way buyers change their mind and the buyers agent never makes a dime on their time there.
We are not there to help you “see houses”
When you hire a buyers agent, they are not there to help you “see houses.” You can very easily search for houses on your own at phoenixrealestateguy.com or Zillow or Trulia for free and find a house. Our value is not in helping you see a house, our value is in helping you get that house you want. We can save you a lot of time by refining the search in the MLS with controls you don’t have on other search portals, and that can save you a lot of time. But some people love searching for themselves, and we get that.
Finding the house is the easy part though. Any 8 year old with a computer or smartphone can log in and find a house. The real value that an agent brings to a buyer is walking them through the process, watching out for their best interest and giving them advice on how to best structure a deal to reach their goals.
I purchased a home before, I know what I am doing.
Most people will buy 2-4 houses during their lifetime. But you need to remember, we will often help our clients do that in a week. We have seen just about every situation and roadblock you can imagine. We have been on both the Seller and Buyer side hundreds of times and know how to position our clients to have the best chance of reaching their goals.
We don’t want you to make a huge mistake that you will regret later. Buying a house is the largest financial decision most people will make in their life.
Home buying is not like buying a new camera on Amazon. What happens if you end up getting a house that doesn’t really meet the needs you were hoping for. What if you get caught up in the moment and didn’t have the vision to look at every angle of the deal and you later regret the terms that were worked out? You can’t just ship it back or return it to the listing office later for a full refund.
There are many mistakes that can be made during the home buying process. It is the buyers agent’s job to provide you the best real estate services by protecting you in the process and always looking out for your needs.
You are just salespeople looking for a commission check
I have been in the business long enough to have a hard time arguing that point about many agents. That is why when we formed the phxREguy team, we made sure we were all like minded. We had worked together for years on different deals and we knew and respected each other.
The truth that most real estate agents refuse to accept is, real estate agents are one of the least respected industries in the country. There is a reason for that. It is not because we are just misunderstood, and admitting the problem is the first step in hopefully some day finding a way to fix the problem we have as an industry.
How can we show that we are really different?
With our business model here, we get most of our business from repeat clients and referrals from those past clients. There is a reason that when we rent a movie theatre that holds 400 people we get clients lining up to join us. It is because they know we care and we are really trying to protect them. When we fail to do that, clients don’t refer their friends and family to us. And when we go out of way to protect our clients best interest we develop raving fans as you can see from the Zillow reviews and we get a lot of shout outs on social media platforms.
A good buyers agent vs an order taker
You can find agents that are like order takers. They take your order, execute them, and don’t really provide anything more than that. Kind of like a kid behind the counter of a Dunkin’ Donuts. Then there are agents who are professionals, who are going to give you advice and feedback, and help you see things that you had no idea were even options. That is where our real value comes in.
Can you imagine walking into a doctors office and say Doc, I saw this show last night on Hemoglupinflogin and I know by the symptoms I have it. I want you to treat me and here is how I would like you to do it.
I get it, but I can just find the house and use the Sellers agent
Sure you can, and you can also wait until your former boss who wrongfully fired you to hire is attorney and then just hire them to represent you too, sounds like a great idea right? After all, they can represent you both.
This is called single-agent dual agency. In my opinion, it is almost never good. You will get agents jumping up and down, but you don’t understand, I can do my job and represent both parties just fine. Well, maybe you can do it in a way that legal and ethical. I do not doubt that. BUT… that does not mean they are representing you as best as they can. I have a story on this that I need to do a blog post on later.
Here is the thing. If I represent the Seller, and you want to use me for an agent. I have a fiduciary responsibility to always look out for the Seller’s best interest. If you come to me as a buyer and want to put an offer on the house, I cannot give you advice on how to get the best deal possible. Why? Because then I wouldn’t be representing the Seller and their best interest. I can be an order taker quite well. And if you want me to take your order I will, but that could cost you tens of thousands by the time it is all said and done.
So there you have it. I guess you can not hire an agent to represent you if you want now that you know at least what some of the risks are.