Most home sellers reach out to an agent first thing, usually long before listing. Buyers should engage an agent too, though, because the process is no less complex and littered with pitfalls. There are in fact real estate professionals who work only (or at least primarily) with buyers – hence the term “buyers agent.” And such an agent can make the process of buying a home safer, more easily navigable, and usually more financially advantageous. So let’s take a look at the 7 benefits of using a buyers agent in Los Angeles.
1. No Cost
Most of the time, buyers don’t pay anything when using a buyers agent in Los Angeles. “Typically, it’s the seller who pays the commission for both the buyer’s agent and listing agent. The usual process by which real estate agents are paid is important because it means that buyers get the benefit of working with buyer’s agents for free. If buyers are unable to find a home to purchase, the buyer’s agent doesn’t get paid.”
The typical agent commission is about 6% of the purchase price (a big chunk of money indeed) and is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Even though the buyer’s agent gets a cut of this commission, it is still paid by the seller. For this commission (the agents’ fees) is deducted from the sale proceeds.
2. Trust and Confidentiality
The important elements of trust and confidentiality make up another important benefit of using a buyers agent in Los Angeles. “Your real estate agent has your back . . . Agents have what’s known as a “fiduciary” responsibility to their clients. They are legally obligated to put their clients’ best interests first.”
Besides allowing you to trust your agent to do what’s best for you, this fiduciary duty also means that your Los Angeles buyers agent will keep you sensitive information confidential. This is, in fact, something your agent is legally obligated to do.
3. Negotiating Expertise
One of the major benefits is the negotiating expertise your agent can bring to the deal. Your buyer’s agent will have the training and experience (and keep in mind the fiduciary duty as well) to negotiate the best possible price and deal for you.
Consider this regarding your buyer’s agent in Los Angeles: “Agents are trained to negotiate well, if only from experience. They know what normally works and what does not. Most have tried-and-true techniques all their own. And, most importantly, they have no emotional stake in the outcome that can cloud their thinking.”
4. Local Market Knowledge
In addition, most buyers agents have knowledge and understanding of the local market and its unique conditions. Markets can differ widely even from neighborhood to neighborhood. And your Los Angeles buyers agent will have a good handle on the intricacies and peculiarities of the local market where you want to buy.
Industry experts recommend, then, that you make sure you engage a buyers agent who has extensive experience in the area. Trying to do it yourself or using an agent who doesn’t have this experience could cost you several thousands of dollars.
5. Financing Assistance
A buyers agent can also provide you some financing assistance. Although agents aren’t financial professionals, they still have a good understanding of all aspects of the business. This means, then, that your agent can help you evaluate and secure the best financing for your unique circumstances.
Choosing the best kind of mortgage and navigating the whole mortgage process can be more than a little intimidating and confusing. A good Los Angeles buyers agent can provide help in understanding your options and can even assist you in securing financing through a mortgage broker.
6. Contract Experience
Another of the major benefits of using a buyers agent in Los Angeles is the contract knowledge and experience she can bring to the table. No matter how many houses we’ve bought before, most of us are still far from legal experts. Your agent, though, will have a thorough understanding of real estate contracts.
This is especially important when it comes to the purchase offer and sales contract. It takes both skill and experience to draft a contract with contingencies and deadlines that work to your advantage as the buyer. These contracts must be well written, presenting you in the best light as the best buyer so as to be irresistibly appealing to the seller.
7. Knowledge of What to Look For
Finally, a buyers agent will know what to look for. You probably have a very good idea of what you want and don’t want in a house, and you know what you want to pay. But do you know what should be red flags?
A buyers agent in Los Angeles can provide valuable guidance here.“[Y]our agent will be alert for issues that might not cross your mind, such as furnace issues, leaks, roofing problems, and mold and insect issues. An agent will recognize the telltale signs of these problems and know how best to approach them. Again, this experience and knowledge can end up saving you thousands down the road.”
In addition, a buyers agent “can hand over-researched, current, and reputable data regarding a neighborhood’s demographics, crime rates, schools, and other important factors. That’s a lot of time-consuming research to do on your own, particularly if you don’t know where to start.”