Should a Buyer have an agent?

Real Estate Corner

Q. Should I have an agent when buying a home?

A. My immediate response to that question is "Why wouldn't you?" For one thing, many people don't know that a buyer doesn't pay an agent; the seller does, so the services of a real estate agent are essentially free to the buyer.


Also, a buyer's agent has access to historical price data for home sales in the area, which means he can recommend a bidding strategy based on real market data. Even though a lot of this kind of information is now available online, agents are much better able to analyze and interpret the data.

Many buyers will contact the agent listed with the property or walk into an open house thinking the listing agent will be working in their favor. But the seller's agent is contractually obligated to act in the seller's favor and get as close to the asking price as possible. They are not working for you.

Then there is the process of actually making an offer and handling all the details of a purchase contract. Aside from the fact that an agent is probably better at negotiating an offer than you are, there's a lot more involved than just making an offer.

There are many questions that a buyer just wouldn't ordinarily think to ask - things that could affect the outcome of the transaction. What should be included or excluded? How much time should be allocated to inspections, financing and closing? Are there any other conditions that could affect the sale?

Buying a home is a legal transaction for a great deal of money involving a whole host of local and federal laws and regulations. You will be much better off having someone in your corner who deals with these things every day.

I'd be more than happy to discuss this further or answer any questions you may have about real estate. Just give me a call.


"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay