The old saying “no one has your best interest at heart except you” is often true, but in a real estate transaction it does not have to be that way.

In fact, buyers have an opportunity to sign a buyers agency agreement (it outlines the services provided by the agent, their compensation, exclusivity details, and how they will work on your behalf). It is logical to want to work directly with a real estate agent who can provide a wealth of information they otherwise would not be able to divulge to consumers.

Things like school district questions, neighborhood details, and even specific details about a property are all available to you under this arrangement. Your buyer’s agent clearly has your best interest in mind and will do everything possible to provide quality service while answering your questions as intimately as they possibly can. It is a win-win, because the more quality information you have available to you, the better home buying decisions you can make. The better decisions you make, the better chance you have of getting a great deal.

Whether you are a first-time, next time, or last time buyer, you want to know you are getting a good deal and will be safe, secure, and happy with the property you choose. All the more reason to do some upfront homework and choose an agent to represent you that has the qualities you are looking for.

Here are 4 reasons why buyers need their own agent when looking to purchase a home.

Market Knowledge

No one knows the local real estate market better than an agent! They are hitting the streets to check out the existing and new inventory, they have seen the neighborhoods, know which homes are likely to sell fast and those that may require some tender care to get under contract, they have a good understanding of the school districts, may know details about upcoming commercial construction in the area, and have a wealth of other information readily available to them.

While you may glean a few tidbits from the large national real estate websites, there is absolutely no substitute to discussing home details with an agent who has physically been inside the house and can tell you specific details about the property. Trust their market knowledge, and ability to discern what you need, to parlay that into a viable home viewing list.

Help with Hazards

While some buyers are very astute and have keen attention to detail, many walk into a home with rose colored glasses on and fail to see some of the hazards that could end up being red flags or deal breakers. It is understandable you are excited and want to see if this house is “the one” and in doing so you may miss some of the finer points of the property.

Did you notice the roof, structure, and yard while walking up to the home? Your agent should be on alert to spot any imperfections or potential issues before you cross the threshold. Did you spot any leaks? Notice cracks in the floor, walls, or ceiling? You may have noticed all those things but chances are you were too busy checking out room sizes, trying to figure which room would be the office, determining if there was a place for your prized bar stools, helping the kids decide which rooms they may get, or you were mesmerized or appalled at the current owners “stuff”. No worries, an agent worth their salt should be pointing out all the intangibles so you can concentrate on the details important to you.

Your Own Representation

It is sometimes overlooked just how important this can be for buyers. Without your own buyer representation you are either being shown homes by an agent who legally cannot divulge information to you, or worse yet, you call the agent on the sign to see their listing. The listing agent works for the seller and will ALWAYS have the sellers best interest in mind, not yours. Remember, when you think you can get a better deal without having your own representation, it rarely works out in your favor.

The local agent is the local real estate expert so it makes good sense to utilize their expertise by getting their opinion about the area, crime, schools, each home you visit, specific pricing options, whether the property appears to be a good or bad deal, neighborhood nuances, and anything else that comes to mind. The point is, when you have your own buyer representation, you have an advocate in your corner who will share everything they can to help you make the best home buying decision.

Negotiation Power

This is one of the likeliest real estate areas where not having your own agent can cost you a lot of money. Unless you are skilled at determining which property imperfections or home inspection issues typically equate to a lower price, or know when the time is right to ask for additional assistance (i.e. closing costs, maintenance, updates, warranties, etc.), it is best to let a skilled agent handle this for you. Sometimes making a small concession in one area can reap big benefits overall, such as foregoing getting appliances updated and instead netting a lower sales price.

Agents will typically keep their emotions in check during the negotiations and may have additional insight about the home, listing agent, seller, or builder they can leverage to get you the best terms possible. Staying calm and collected reduces the likelihood of making a rash decision or snap judgment which could cost you in the long run. Getting the best deal on the home of your dreams is what you should be after!

Final Thoughts

In short, a buyer’s agent is much more than someone who just opens doors to let you view houses. They want to help you get a great deal, close quickly, and be happy with both their service and your new home. The better job they do on your behalf the more likely you are to refer them to your local sphere of influence and utilize their services again when you decide it is time to sell your home.

Whatever your reasons are for buying a home, there is no better option than working with your own buyers agent. Do your homework, choose a great agent to represent you, and begin the journey towards owning your dream home. It really is that simple…happy house hunting buyers!