Jumping into the real estate world for the first time is a little like doing your taxes for the first time – it’s something you don’t learn about in high school education so when it comes to figuring it out you are a little terrified and overwhelmed, and after about an hour of research, you are left with more questions than you had before! We hear this fear in our conversations with you….
“We don’t want to work with a Buyer’s Agent, we are just going to call the listing agent to set up a showing.”
“We don’t want to sign or have to pay you anything. Can’t you just show me the houses?”
One thing we have learnt is that education is our most important role— especially when working with first time home buyers. So, we wanted to give you a head start and let you know some of the reasons that working with a Buyer’s Agent is pretty awesome.
Let’s start with the big one…how much is it going to cost me….? Did you know that in the state of Wisconsin, the sellers pay the Buyer’s Agent commission? Which means you get the benefit of being represented without the burden of expense. I know. It’s a shocker. But it’s true and it’s such a relief when you are most likely making the biggest purchase of your life thus far.
When you call an agent out of the blue and ask them to show you a property. You probably think that they are going to have your back, give you their expert opinion and advise you on your next move. Right?
In the state of Wisconsin, if you are viewing properties with a Buyer’s Agent and you are not working together under a Buyer Agency agreement, the agent showing you the property is automatically working for the seller. Legally. In technical terms, it’s called being a “sub-agent” of the listing agent. This has real implications for you as a buyer. If you’re working with an agent who legally has to work in the interests of the seller, you are most likely not getting the full picture. But do not panic! There is something that we have in place to ensure that this does not happen.
A Buyer Agency Agreement. Yes, my friends, this is “the contract”.
**…cue dramatic movie music and a wide-eyed audience…**
LET ME EXPLAIN. What a Buyer Agency does, is allow the agent working with you to work in your best interests. It means that instead of just giving you the facts, we are legally able to utilize our experience and expertise to advise you on the best way to move forward and we can only do this if you are under contract with us. We call it “doing our due diligence” and it’s so much more fun than having to limit the information we give you.
If you’re still not convinced, remember it’s only for a limited term. The standard is a six month or one year contract – but you can choose to make it shorter if you wish!
Expertise & Teamwork
As stated above, the job of a Buyer’s Agent is to educate, inform and advise. I want to expand on this a bit.
There are many agents who work alone. In fact, this actually describes most of the agents in the industry. Don’t get us wrong, there are some incredible stand-alone agents. But I encourage you to consider another, new way. Working with a stand-alone agent means that you are working with someone who is consistently doing the job of 5 people: showing agent, negotiator, marketer, transaction coordinator and administrative assistant. Kind of a lot don’t you think?
In a team, instead of one person doing an ok job in 5 different areas, our focus is on putting the right people in the right positions, meaning that you most likely have an incredible person killing it in each position associated with your search. What this means is that the implementation of marketing strategy is left to a marketing specialist, the coordination of paperwork, post accepted offer, is left with a contract specialist and your Buyer’s Agent is left with more energy to focus on utilizing every aspect of the market to find you a dream home & mastering the art of negotiation throughout the process. Not to mention, if your team has more than one agent, you are able to harness their collective intelligence throughout the process. Pretty sweet deal given that working with a team costs you the same amount as that one stand-alone agent – absolutely nothing!
So, there you have it. The three main pointers that you need to know about Buyer’s Agents. Leave us your questions, comments and any questions you have as first-time home buyers!