If you're the type of person who likes to do everything yourself and save money, you may want to buy a home on your own so you can save on real estate agent fees. However, this could be an expensive mistake that winds up costing you more than your agent's commission. So, when you are ready to hunt for a house, consider enlisting the help of a buyer's agent. Here's why it's a good idea.
An Agent Can Access Hidden Listings
You can use the internet to search MLS listings, but not all homes are placed in that database. The perfect home for you could be in a listing you can't access but that is available to real estate agents. Plus, it often takes a few days before listings show up in the MLS system. An agent knows about new houses on the market right away, and that gives you the first chance to see the properties. Plus, if you're moving to an area you don't know much about, an agent can help you find a home with the specifications you want in an area with good schools and low crime because matching you to the right neighborhood is just as important as matching you with your dream home.
An Agent Keeps You From Being Taken Advantage Of
A lot of negotiating goes on when you buy a house. If you've not been through the process several times before, you may not know how to protect yourself. An agent is trained in negotiation and works hard to get the deal you want so he or she can get the commission. Also, agents are networked in the community and know who to call when you need an independent inspector or real estate attorney. You greatly reduce your risk of being scammed or buying a home that turns into a money pit when you have an experienced agent guide you through the process of buying a home.
An Agent Helps With Legalities
An agent isn't a real estate lawyer, but he or she can help you fill in all the forms associated with buying a house. If this is your first time buying a home, you'll probably be overwhelmed with all the paperwork involved. However, it is all routine to a real estate agent. Your state may require you to use an attorney to buy a home, but if it doesn't, then working with an agent is the next best thing. It ensures you won't sign something you later regret. An agent helps you understand what you're signing so you have peace of mind that you're doing the right thing when it comes to handling the documents associated with the purchase of a home.
If you've decided using a real estate agent is the way to go, then look for a buyer's agent rather than calling the listing agent who is working for the seller. If you have your own agent, you know your best interests will be protected. You won't need to pay anything upfront—both agents are paid a commission when the home sells, so you don't really have anything to lose, and you have a lot to gain when you buy a home with the help of a real estate agent.