It’s a common practice for buyers to make a list of what they want in a home during the search process and to explain it to their agent. However, maybe the first list they should make would have the skills they want their agent to have.
The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers identifies what buyers want most from their agents and as you’d expect, help with finding the right home was ranked highest most often. While it is important, it may not be the most unique of the desired area of expertise.
Equally essential to the success of the transaction are the combination of help with price and terms negotiations and assistance with the paperwork, comparable sales, qualifying and financing.
To summarize the responses in the survey, Buyers want help from their agents with two things: to find the right home and to get it at the right price and terms. Some agents are actually better equipped with tools and acquired knowledge to assist buyers with financial advice and negotiations.
Since an owner’s cost of housing is dependent on the price paid for the home and financing, a real estate professional skilled in these specialized areas can be invaluable in finding the “right” home. An agent’s experience and connections to allied professionals and service providers is irreplaceable.
Ask the agent representing you to specifically list the tools and talent they have to address these areas.
About buyer agents: While any licensed salesperson or broker can call themselves a "buyer agent or broker", only an agent who has earned the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation AND is a current member of the Real Estate Buyer Agency Council (REBAC) has the extra training and knowledge, and experience to properly represent a buyer. It is important for your agent to know the area where you are looking and to know more about the houses than you do from looking at photos on the Internet. Knowing the area is more than knowing where the schools and restaurants are; your agent should know about zoning, land, septic and wells (if the town is not served by municipal services.), and more.
Marilyn Messenger is an ABR and has been providing buyer representation for 20+ years in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, and the towns west of Boston. Call 508-596-3501 to find out more about buyer agency.