Stewart Real Estate Company: Buyers Broker
Providing the highest level of service to our clients.
WHAT IS A BROKER?
A broker can also be an agent, however, the broker has attended further education and has a broker’s license granted by the state. This license gives him the right to open and operate a Real Estate Agency. An agent that is not a broker cannot operate an agency. The broker is really the boss and the agents work under the broker.
THE BUYERS AGENT: 7 REASONS WHY YOU NEED ONE
The buyers agent works for you, the buyer?
A Stewart Real Estate Buyers Agent works for you, and not the Seller. And yet, the Buyers Agent is almost always paid by the Seller, at closing.
Want to pay too much for your home?
Sure, you can find a lot of houses on-line, or on the weekends by trolling Open Houses. You can also find them by driving around looking for FSBOs, or for houses that aren’t in the MLS. You can do all of that work yourself, and in the end, you will likely save yourself a whole lot of….
Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. What? Not save money by doing work for myself instead of hiring someone else to do it for me?
7 Reasons Why You Need a Good Buyers Agent?
At least once a week someone asks me, “Why do I need a Buyer’s Agent?“.
Let me get right to the point: why would you pass up a service that is almost always free – the Sellers pay the Buyers Agent commission in almost all transactions, even though the Buyers Agent represented only the Buyer!
Here is what that service will get you:
• Listings found for you, sent to you, of the types of houses you like, in the areas you want to live in.
- Custom tours, planned and chauffeured by the Buyers Agent. If you want, you can drive yourself and follow your agent so that you can talk over the houses privately between showings.
- Someone to explain the whole process to you, from making the offer to getting the deal closed.
- Research the property for you, Especially in today’s Real Estate Market with all the REO/Bank owned properties for sale you need a good buyers agent to help you with the due diligence before you buy. Bank owned properties have little next to no information about the property. With the help of a good buyers agent/broker they will be able to get you the information you need to make a decision on the property before you buy.
- Someone to help you understand what you must do to protect yourself in a real estate transaction so you don’t end up with a subpar piece of real estate that you paid too much for.
- Someone to buffer you from pushy Sellers, pushy Listing Agents and anyone else who is not obligated to look out for your best interests.
- You get a well proven network of professionals to help with your transaction every step of the way.
- A highly qualified negotiator to get you the best terms for the house you want.
- And, and this is a big one . . . someone who can pull together all of the information about what other houses are selling for like the one you want to buy so you don’t pay too much, or get into a contract that can’t close because the house isn’t worth what the Sellers want for it.
You might think you can get that info on-line but you can’t: the sales data for California is pubic record, BUT it is extremely hard to find if you don’t know where to look – it’s in the MLS but for individual homes, it can’t be published. Comparing houses on-line is like comparing apples and oranges – you just can’t tell what you’re getting in to without hard numbers.
Get Peace of Mind by Knowing Who Represents You.
If you don’t have a Buyers Agent, the agent or agents you talk to may not be obligated to keep your information confidential, or to help you get the best deal.
Good Buyers Agents will have you sign a contract. The contract says clearly that the agent works for you, in your best interests, and not for the seller. That contract provides evidence in a dispute that your agent was indeed your agent, and bound by the duties specified by California Real Estate Law.
Why not work with lots of agents?
Some agents will work without a Buyers Rep agreement.
These agents are willing to run around all over town, for free, in the hopes that their clients might buy a house.
Buyers that aren’t willing to work under contract aren’t buyers, they are lookers – folks who just aren’t ready to buy, yet.
Buyers who are ready to buy want to get down to business and get the plan in action. The agents that work with lookers – future buyers who aren’t actually serious now – aren’t good at representing their own best interests – they are running all over town on the hope that their clients are serious.
If those agents can’t negotiate what is in their own best interest, why would you think that they will be able to negotiate for what is in your best interest? Are you a Buyer or a Looker?
Have your transaction completed right.
When I agree to work with a client as a Buyer’s Agent, we execute a Buyer’s Representation Agreement at the beginning of the home search process.
This agreement spells out the responsibilities I have to the Buyer in straightforward language and makes sure that there are no questions about where my loyalties are.
It also offers you a choice with regards to how you would want the situation to be handled if we find the perfect home and that home is listed by an agent in my office (or even by me). Up-front disclosure is key – you have a right to be informed of your rights with regards of representation in a real estate transaction!
If you have any questions about Buyer’s Representation, please give me a call at (530) 255-4133, or send me a note via the contact form on this site.
A good buyer agent can save their clients both time and money. A good buyer agent can protect their clients from legal and financial disaster. A good buyer agent can even make the home buying experience more fun and lower their client’s stress levels. There are lots of very compelling reasons to use a buyer agent. 87% of all home buyers who used the internet to search for homes also choose to use a buyer agent to assist them.
Just in case you’re one of the 13% who choose to go it alone, I thought you might like to read a little about what a buyer agent does.
Locate homes for you to view So all homes are listed online, right? Why do you need a buyer agent to help you find what you can find yourself? If you’re local, and have days and days (or maybe weeks) to research and drive by homes, many of which you will not want because of one thing or another, I guess you could do this all by yourself.
Or you could sit down with your buyer agent, discuss in detail what you need in a home, and let the agent do the entire leg work for you. It’s our business to know which neighborhoods appreciate the best, have the best builders, have low crime rates, and contain homes with the awesome kitchen you have always dreamed of, or have the perfect back yard for your kids or pet. Chances are a good buyer agent has already seen the home you are describing to him or her. At the very least, they know exactly which neighborhoods have what you are looking for.
If you are determined to look at homes, all by yourself, without a buyer agent, what do you do when you find one you want to consider? Hmmm, you could call the number on the sign or the online listing. Did you know that person has a contract with the seller to get them the most money with the least concessions possible? Will they tell you how that home stacks up against the ideal of the dream home you’re searching for? Or will they use their highly polished sales skills to talk you into buying the one home they are paid, and contractually obligated, to SELL to you?
A good buyer agent will always advise you about how close a particular home matches what you are looking for, relative to everything else that is out there. They can do that specifically because they do NOT represent the seller. A buyer agent represents…you.
Make sure you don’t pay too much
A good buyer agent will do hours and hours of behind the scenes research on the market value of homes you are interested in and share the documented results with you. This is huge when it comes to understanding what kind of deal you are getting. How else will you know? If you are looking on your own, who will do this for you? Maybe you could ask each and every listing agent, who represents the seller, if the home that they priced is a good deal. They probably would not be too interested in telling you of a better value in the home down the street.
Your buyer agent wants you to get a good deal. They want you happy. They want you to use them the next time you buy or sell a home. And they want you to refer all your friends and family to them. There is plenty of incentive for your buyer agent to help you get a good deal. There is no incentive for the agent who represents the seller to do this.
Keep you out of legal trouble
Did you know that you could enter into a real estate contract, decide to back out, and be forced to buy the home anyway? Did you know there are circumstances where you could lose your earnest money deposit, even if you do not qualify for a loan after entering into a contract? Did you know that a builder could take your deposit money, promise to deliver your new home in two months, and then take two years?
You guessed it. A good buyer agent will warn you of all these situations and offer you choices on how to avoid them.
Lots of other reasons too… I could go on about how important it is to choose the right home inspector so that you don’t buy a money trap. How to use pre-approval to actually get you a better price on your home. How to structure your offer so that you can SAFELY walk away for any reason whatsoever. But I have to address what I think is the real reason 13% of home buyers choose to go it alone.
Afraid of an Exclusive Buyer Agency agreement
The few times that I run into someone who doesn’t want to use a buyer agent, the words “I don’t want to sign anything” usually come up somewhere in the conversation. That’s fair, but hey, you’re going to have to sign something to buy a home at some point. And if you are signing a legally binding contract, and giving someone (the seller agent) who does NOT represent you thousands of dollars to hold for you, why not sign an agreement with someone (the buyer agent) who could actually help you and protect you from the endless list of mistakes unrepresented buyers typically make?
The way I do buyer agency agreements is that you can cancel any time you want. For any reason, or for no reason at all. I put that right in the agreement. Hey, life’s too short. I have plenty of clients who appreciate the value in what I do for them.
We meet, we interview each other, and if we decide we are a good fit, we sign a buyer agency agreement. You don’t pay any money. You don’t even pay any money to me at closing. That’s right. It doesn’t cost you anything to have professional representation. The seller of all those homes you see online has professional representation. Why wouldn’t you want the same? At no cost to you.
Would you go into a court of law to defend yourself without representation? Would you show up at the hospital to have surgery with ever having met with your doctor and discussed what was going to happen? Would you show up at church for your wedding without ever having discussed it with the minister or a wedding planner?
There’s no risk with the way I do buyer agency agreements. You get an experienced consultant, on your side, helping you with the tough choices, finding you your dream home. If it doesn’t go as planned, we can part ways at anytime.
Reasons Why You Really Need a Buyer Agent When Buying a New Construction Home
Buying a new construction home is exciting and stressful, all at the same time. New home builders are of course in business to make money. Once you sign a contract, a new home builder is not likely to do anything for you that will cost him money.
The trick is to make sure the entire process is designed, up front, to give you what you want from your new construction home.
Over 35% of my clients have purchased a new construction home this year. That’s pretty consistent with our market which is currently about 39% new home construction listings. Many of my clients understand how important it is that they be represented by a buyer’s agent regardless of the type of home they are buying. Occasionally, however, I run into a prospective client who asks the question: “Why would I need someone to represent me when I am buying a new home?” That’s a fair question. Here’s my take on the advantages of having an agent working for you when purchasing a new home.
#1 – The On-Site Agent Works For The New Home Builder Remember who benefits from pleasing who. The nice on-site agent in the model home works for the builder, so naturally they will be working to protect their employer and look out for their best interests.
Real estate transactions are complicated and it is just a good practice to have someone who is with you every step of the way making sure you are aware of all the conditions and potential risks of the large purchase you are about to make.
#2 – The Builder’s Contract Favors The Builder This is a really big one. New home builders typically do not use the standard CAR Offer to Purchase and Contract. This standard Realtor contract was created jointly by the California Association of Realtors and the and includes lots of CA real estate law in a way that protects buyers and sellers from harm.
The builder, on the other hand, usually has their own contract created by their own lawyers. Who do you think this contract favors? You need someone who can at least explain the risks involved with the builder contract and possibly negotiate with the builder to add some additional protection for you. A good buyer’s agent will do this for his clients.
#3 – Knowing The Sales History Can Get You A Lower Price It is very important to know what the new home builder has been doing with regards to discounting and what he is faced with regarding market conditions. If you are coming from a market in another part of the country where deep discounts are common due to market conditions, which may or may not be the situation here in the Redding real estate market. In either case, you are in a better position to get the new construction home of your dreams if you know exactly which set of conditions apply.
A good buyer’s agent can do several things to help you here. First, many builders put their sales in MLS. A good buyer’s agent will look at this and the tax records to try to get an idea of the discounts that have been given to other buyers.
The other thing a good buyer’s agent should do is to apply current market conditions to any offer you choose to make. If new construction home inventory is building and sales are flat or slowing, that is a good sign the builder may be willing to negotiate. On the other hand, if the builder has inventory, but it is selling very close to completion dates and has not been discounting, you could lose the home you really want by haggling over a few thousand dollars.
This is actually rather complicated to figure out. There is wisdom in knowing when to negotiate and when to offer full price. There is a time for both. It is practically impossible for an unrepresented buyer to interpret on their own the sometimes subtle market signs that could signal potential savings.
#4 – New Homes Sometimes Need The Most Repairs This is going to sound a bit strange to some of you, but my experience is that many times new construction homes need more repairs than a resale home. This is typically due to miscommunication with subcontractors.
I have seen things like propane gas water heaters installed on a natural gas system, a huge fire hazard. Tub drains that leak when filled and then emptied by the home inspector. This one would not be noticed in normal usage unless you crawl under the house right after taking a shower or bath. The result over time could be thousands of dollars in damage to the floor system.
The new home builder, and their agents, certainly will not recommend that you have a home inspection. Most builder contracts do not even mention a home inspection and provide no language to determine what, if anything, to do about items discovered in the inspection process that need repair.
Also, I do not ever recall a builder’s contract giving the buyer the right to have a radon test done and promising to mitigate this deadly gas if high levels are found. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. A simple test can tell if the home you are about to buy puts you at risk.
In North Carolina the only valid real estate contracts are the ones that are in writing. If you wish to have a contract that gives you adequate protection in case something goes wrong, choose a good buyer’s agent who can help you navigate your way to a fair, written contract that gives the builder what they want and gives you what you want.
What is Earnest Money?
Earnest money deposit is an up front cost that is required when buying a home. When making an offer to buy a home in North Carolina, this is quite possible the first money a home buyer invests in his or her new home. As a home buyer, it is very important for you to understand the benefits as well as the risks before you write that check!