How to Work With Real Estate Agents When Buying
As a Buyer you actually have three basic choices when working with Real Estate Agents.
1. Do- it- Yourself Approach - You can basically go it on your own and use the internet, newspapers, open houses, etc. to do your own property search and then work with one agent for the offer, negotiations, escrow process oversight, and closing.
2. Shotgun Approach - You can give out your name and “want” information to several agents you come in contact with and let multiple agents try to find properties for you at the same time. You can then work with one agent (the one who found the final property) for the offer, negotiations, escrow process oversight, and closing.
3. Dedicated Approach - You can select a single Buyer’s Agent to work with early on in the process that will advise and guide you through the entire process to closing.
Most Buyers start out as do-it-yourselfers and then move to the shotgun or the dedicated approach.
Actually, all of the members of the Chivers Coastal Properties Group have worked successfully with Buyers in all of these categories and will most likely continue this as long as Buyers continue to operate this way.
An experienced Buyer’s Agent offers many benefits and capabilities to the Buyer at no cost. You may already realize that Buyers pay nothing for the services of the agent serving and representing them. Buyer’s agents are paid a commission offered by the Seller as published through the MLS. The commission is paid out of the proceeds of the sale only after the successful transfer of title to the Buyer. If, after weeks or months of searching, the Buyer decides not to buy a property the agent is out their time and any expenses. All Agents know this up front and accept this as just a part of this profession.
Based on our years of experience we feel that the dedicated approach is, by far, the best approach for all parties. Below is the logic behind this opinion and the benefits to both parties.
1. It really does make a difference who you chose to represent you. The do-it-yourself and the shotgun approach will locate a property but is not the best way to carefully select who represents you in the offer and negotiation process and through the escrow process. The standard contracts and disclosures are complex and things can go really wrong in the poorly executed transaction. You want years of real estate experience on your side along with strong negotiation skills and contract knowledge. It does not cost you more to have a team on your side either. In the case of the Chivers Coastal Properties Group you will receive very high service levels and the benefit of years of experience with hundreds of escrows.
2. Most Buyers take considerable time searching for their ideal property and their needs and wants usually evolve considerably over time as they see and learn what they want and don’t want. A dedicated agent working closely with you will evolve their thinking along with the Buyer with the benefit of less wasted time, less Buyer frustration, far better communication, and no duplication of effort.
3. The agent in a dedicated Buyer relationship knows they can invest the extra effort and the extra time on behalf of the client and will very likely get a return on this effort. The shotgun agent knows that they may not get a return on their time and effort and are very likely taking a risk if putting forth extra effort. The client with the dedicated agent benefits from a higher service level and the agent benefits by satisfying the client to a very high level which can lead to referrals and repeat client business in future years for the agent. The true professional agent with a services orientation receives a lot of personal satisfaction from providing the highest quality service. Real estate service is what we do and we feel better doing it really well. Our goal is to “delight” every client.
Selecting Your Buyer’s Agent:
Your dedicated Buyer’s Agent will represent your interests first and foremost. The Agency Relationship Disclosure describes in detail that the Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the Buyer’s interests only. This is described in our Code of Ethics as a responsibility of the highest level of trust. Signing an Agency Relationship Disclosure and a Buyer's Representation Agreement protects your interests and legally binds the agent to this fiduciary level of responsibility. Professional Agents want their clients to understand The Agency Relationship and it’s benefits to their clients.
Select an agent who is willing to commit to a detailed service level and has a detailed methodical approach to the business of servicing Buyers. See proof of their methodology or Buyers services plan. A professional Buyer's Agent will have such a plan and will be proud to explain it and commit to it.
Select an agent with a service oriented mentality and someone you like and trust. Speak to several of their past clients about their results, skills, communication, professionalism, etc.
Pledge your loyalty and be loyal to the agent you are dedicated to. However, do not hesitate to end your relationship with a selected agent if you feel they are not serving your needs as you expected.