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Real Estate Buyer’s Ed: 101

When it comes to buying Real Estate, whether you are a first time buyer or a repeat purchaser, the process is one with many ins-and-outs and it always helps to have a professional on your side.  As the market continues to evolve, many agents and companies have taken on a “TEAM” structure, with some agents designated to work with sellers while others are working specifically with buyers.  Why should a buyer work with a Buyer’s Agent, also referred to as a Buyer’s Specialist in some markets?  Please take a moment to read, below, the advantages and some common misconceptions of working with a buyer’s agent.

CONGRATULATIONS!  You are at a point in your life where buying a home is the next best step for you…now what? Who do you call, who can answer your questions, most of all, who can you trust to negotiate on my behalf? I often hear it said that many buyers plan to “just call the agent on the sign” (listing agent).  While in a team setting, this isn’t necessarily as bad of a thing as when reaching out to an individual agent, this could still be detrimental to the buyer.  Reason being is that the agent whose name is on the sign in the yard has already been hired by the sellers/owners of the property. The listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the sellers to protect their best interest and get them the most possible money for their home.  Having said that, as a buyer, would you feel like it is possible for the listing agent to put the most money in the sellers’ pockets, while getting the buyer the best possible deal and terms on the same house?  Highly unlikely.  A buyer’s agent ONLY works with buyers, and0 does not have a conflict of interest on any property that is listed for sale.  A buyer’s agent is on YOUR side.  THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT, ISN’T IT?

Another thing that buyer’s are often leery of is COMMITMENT.  Buyers will say that they don’t want to be tied down to working with just one agent.  This thinking, again, is against what is in the best interest of the buyer.  When one of my buyers signs a Loyalty Agreement, not only are they making a commitment to work exclusively with me, I am also making a commitment to work exclusively with them.  I pride myself on providing an exceptional experience, and in order to provide the level of service I want to provide, I can’t allow myself to work with everyone that calls my phone.  At the end of the day, trying to take on every buyer that walks through the door is not beneficial to the buyer, nor to myself.  I work with a select number of clients at any given time, and when I make the commitment to work hard for a buyer, I expect them to make the commitment to work with me as well.  It is the best way to ensure a “win-win” in the home buying process!  I can assure my buyers that they will get better service and stronger representation from someone that they have built a relationship with, not just someone who didn’t happen to be busy at the exact moment they wanted to see a house.

A third thing I hear quite often is that a buyer thinks that if they use the listing agent, they will get a better deal.  That one really throws me for a loop.  Again, going back to my first point, the listing agent is already employed by the seller.  I don’t quite understand what variable of the equation makes one think that by sharing another person’s representative that they get a better deal.  OJ Simpson didn’t use the state prosecution to also defend him.  If someone were getting a divorce, would they want to share the same attorney that their estranged spouse was being represented by?  I very seriously doubt it.  Each party is better off with their OWN representative, and that is what a buyer’s agent can do for you, as a buyer! Each and every real estate agent is bound to abide by the NAR Code of Ethics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone does.  Temptation is a strong thing when it is presented to the wrong type of agent.  Don’t let temptation cost you money when you buy a home.

When you are ready to purchase a home, do it with confidence!  Talk to, meet with, and interview an agent to represent your best interest.  The relationship you build may last well beyond your move in day and will definitely allow you the peace of mind of knowing that you got what was best for YOU!

If you or someone you know is looking to buy a home in the Memphis, TN metro area (including North Mississippi), please have them contact me, Aaron Edwards, at 901-685-6000.


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