Do I Need a Buyer's Agent?
This is probably one of the most common questions homebuyers have. Even if you've purchased a home before, the idea of having your own representation or a buyer's agent might be a little foreign to you. After all, you see a home you like, you contact the listing agent and… Boom! You buy the house. But when you think of the logistics, it might seem smart to buy the house through the listing agent because the listing agent can answer any questions and facilitate the transaction all in one fell swoop. But, if you let the listing agent represent you on the buyer side of the deal, your needs and confidential information may not be the priority, in fact, it probably won't be.
What Does an Agent Do?
When a homeowner decides to sell their property they enlist the help of the listing agent. They find a qualified real estate agent to help list the property, market it, help stage, and offer suggestions on getting the home sold for the right price. The listing agent and the homeowner negotiate a commission for the sale of the property, typically around 6%. That commission is usually split between the agent listing the property and the agent that brought the buyer or the buyer's agent, also known as the selling agent. This means that both real estate agents can get 3% of the purchase price of the home as their commission for facilitating the transaction. If the listing agent facilitates the entire transaction, they will get the full 6%, which is pretty nice for the listing agent. But you can easily see that while the listing agent certainly wants the buyer side of the deal, it doesn't always benefit the buyer.
Related: 10 Simple Steps to Buying a Home < - Start Here!
Each buyer should have their own representation to protect them throughout the process. A buyer's agent, regardless of which home they actually receive the commission on, really works for the buyer first, not the seller. Whether you're buying your first home, second home or vacation home, having your own representation throughout the process means that your needs, your desires, and your confidential information is kept at the top of the priority list. A buyer's agent works only for the buyer, not the seller of any one particular home. The buyer's agent is not biased to sell a particular house. Their goal is to make sure their buyer is protected throughout the process, understands what they're signing, and helps negotiate for the buyer's terms and price. Plus, since the buyer doesn't actually have to pay the buyer's agent directly, it's essentially free for buyers to have their own representation. Why wouldn't you have a buyer's agent?
When the same agent facilitates the transaction for both the buyer and the seller it's called a dual agency and it's actually illegal in a lot of states. However, you can have one agent represent one party if they are selling a home and buying another. That's not considered a dual agency because it's one agent helping one client with two transactions, not one agent helping two separate clients with the same transaction.
While you don't need to have your own buyer's representation, it is free for buyers and your needs, interests, and goals are the top priority so why wouldn't you? If you're looking to buy or sell a home in West Ocean City Maryland or surrounding communities, please contact our buyer's agent today. We have agents that specialize in helping buyers find the right home, understand the process, and negotiate for their terms and price.