You’ve decided to purchase a home and the agent seems really nice, so you must be getting the best deal possible, right? Not necessarily. The agent you’ve been talking to is most likely the seller’s agent, and that means they work for the seller. So you may wonder if there’s someone you can hire on your behalf and the answer is yes.
What is a Buyers’ Advocate?
A buyers advocate works for you, the buyer. They have access to all of the same tools as the seller’s agent. They know what the going rate for properties is, can find high-growth markets, and they’ll have access to properties not on the market.
Buyers’ advocates have intense networks of fellow advocates and agents. They also have satisfied customers, which helps them through word-of-mouth advertising. A home is listed when it goes for sale, and agents from all over have access to the information. This means people from all over will want to see the property, enter it, and possibly create complications for the current resident.
It can be beneficial for a seller’s agent to contact a buyers’ advocate directly. The advocate can then show you homes that aren’t yet listed to the general public.
A Market Professional Working for You
Having an advocate work for you is a great asset, as long as they are good at their job. When looking at getting an advocate, consider:
- Experience – Make sure they’ve been in the business for several years.
- Fixed Fee vs. Percentage – A fixed fee is a better option for high-priced homes, percentage-based for lower priced.
- Off market Listings – Verify they have them.
Not only does having your own representative help you find more houses, they also act as top-notch negotiators. They want the sell to go through quickly, so they can get their money, but it’s more important to them to have a happy customer. Never know when you’ll be in the market for another home, or when one of your friends will start looking.
A Buyers’ Advocate May Wear Several Hats
Some advocates do more than they appear. They may purchase homes to sell to their clients, manage tenants, or work for investors. The broader range of experience they have in the real estate market place, the better they can help you with your new home.
Are They Worth the Money?
A buyers’ agent isn’t cheap, but when you consider the amount of time and money they can save you in the long run, most people consider the price well paid. A buyers’ agent may cost 2 – 3 percent of the selling cost, or charge a flat rate or $10,000 or more.
Also, if you use an advocate for an investment property, the cost of the agent is tax-deductible.
How Do You Find a Good Buyers’ Advocate?
Word of mouth is probably the best way. If someone you know has had a good experience with an advocate, then you’re already off to a great start.