Thinking of buying a home by yourself? What are you really saving ? What are the potential pitfalls ?
* Remember having a buyer's agent is in your best interest. An experienced Buyer's Agent can help you:
- Locate homes for sale in your desired area & price range
- Help determine the best offer price range
- Learn current market conditions
- Suggest terms and conditions for the offer
- Write the contract offer
As a homebuyer, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced real estate agent first.
This is due, in part, because of the lack of accurate public information on homes for sale.
Buyer's Agent Representation
Remember, as a homebuyer, you usually do not pay commission, the seller traditionally does! So having a real estate agent help you locate and guide you throught the purchase process for the home of your dreams usually costs you no commission.
Locating homes for Sale
If you were searching by yourself to find homes for sale, you would have to search the Internet, read newspapers ads or drive around in order to find houses. You would end up with less available homes to choose from. (More choices mean more options and ultimately a better match on your dream home.) You can locate your home this way, but typically you would waste time and effort. Many signs stay in front of homes long after they already have contracts. Newspaper ads cannot be pulled after the home is under contract and so may not be current. Internet listings may not always be updated frequently so the information can be outdated.
As your Buyer's Agent, I will use all of the professional information that I have to access quickly the homes that match your speific requirements. As a Licensed Real Estate Agent, I have access to the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS) and am able to locate more actual active, available properties than appear to the general public. Because of this, I can react much more quickly than you can on your own and have complete access to all active properties (and their selling agents & showing instructions) available for sale.
For Sale By Owner
When you look at a home that is for sale by the owner, (often referred to as a FSBO) the home may be priced a bit lower than some others nearby. This difference is normally the amount of the commission the seller would have to pay to real estate agents to sell the home. This can look like a savings for you.
However, while you may feel that you are saving money, you actually may end up paying more than you would if an agent represented you. This is in part because neither the Seller, nor you, the buyer have professional, accurate methods for researching market prices based upon actual sold competitive market analysis of properties in the neighborhood with similar options and conditions. Research is the key and without accurate information you are not making an informed purchase decision. Also the owner is looking for the highest sales price and is not working with your best interests at heart to discover all of the properties potential defects that an informed buyer would want to know about.
Determining the Best Offer Price
As a member of the general public, you would have to keep track of newspaper sold articles or go to the county records to research properties that have sold. This is a very time intensive process and ultimately is not very effective. So, you do not have an effective way to determine if the price that you will offer is a competitve offer price.
As your buyer’s agent, I have data access to sold properties and current similar properties for sale. I also stay up-to-date with current market conditions and trends. I can quickly and easily determine a fair offer price for any home you are looking at and judge this based upon the property's condition, features, age, and other factors. And best of all, I am working on your behalf. If you do not have a Buyer's Agent, most likely you would be dealing with a professional listing agent (seller’s agent) who is working for the seller's interests only.
You could sign up for various trade magazines and track market conditions and trends, but the general public does not have access to the same information that Professional Licensed Realtors have available. More importantly, because I am a Professional, it is my full time job to keep up-to-date and track the current market.
Law is best left to the lawyers, and as it turns out, liability can shift to either the buyer or seller if things go wrong with the contract. So unless you are insured for the specific types of liability issues that can arise, you may be on the hook for a costly settlement error.
As a Real Estate Professional, I have to maintain liability insurance and errors and omission insurance. This protects you, the buyer, along with me your Buyer’s Agent.
Also, because you are unaware of all of the requirements of real estate sales contracts, the laws can get tricky. If you are dealing with a contract where there is a lisitng agent, they may get you to agree to various terms that may not be in your best interest. Remember, a selling agent represents the seller’s interest and is trying to get the best deal for them, not you.
Contract Offer – an unfair advantage
Without a Buyer's Agent, you will have to write an offer by yourself, and present this offer without representation. Getting the terms and conditions you really want will be costly if mistakes are initially made. Typically, you will be putting an offer in front of a seasoned professional real estate agent, the seller’s agent. They can help you with filling out the paperwork, but they represent the seller, and are trying to get the best terms, conditions and price for the seller – not you. So, if you omit or forget something, it is too bad, it is not a part of the offer.
As a Buyer's Agent, I put your requirements above all else, and am dedicated to making the offer as good as it can be for you, the buyer. And best of all, you will end up saving your time and money as well as getting the house you want.
BOTTOM LINE – You will get a better purchase price and terms by purchasing your home through my professsional services.