Some home buyers like searching for homes on their own. I totally understand that and that's a great investment of your time. Being in the industry I also know the benefits that securing your buyer's agent early in the process can provide you. Many homes that sell in our area never hit the market which means they will not show up in the most common apps used by home buyers. These homes find buyers through agent relationship networks. Make your search efficient from the beginning. We'll work at your pace. There are no fees to you for me to be your buyer's agent. I am not here to push you. I am here to help you. Recruiting my services early on will save you time, money, and frustration.
A buyer's agent is a licensed real estate agent who represents the home buyer and works on the buyer's behalf just as the seller's agent works on the seller's behalf. Each agent is hired to secure an agreement between the parties they represent.
Always. In most home sale transactions, the seller has hired professional representation (an agent) to work in their best interest and to get them the highest sales price. If a buyer moves forward without representation and contacts the seller's agent for assistance, they are relying on the other party's representation who is hired to get the best deal for the seller... not for the buyer.
It's virtually impossible to compile all the aspects a buyer's agent can assist you with because the knowledge of each varies just as each deal does. Some examples of the most common areas of assistance are the following:
Although there are an infinite number of ways a buyer's agent can be paid based on contracts and agreements, a common way is that they are paid through a sharing system such as this: the listing firm for the seller shares a portion of their listing fee with the buyer's firm. That firm then pays the buyer's agent. In many cases where there are 4 parties involved (the listing firm, the listing agent, the buyer's firm, and the buyer's agent), the listing fee is shared among those four parties (how is determined on agreements between those parties). There are situations where there either isn't a listing firm or the listing firm is offering a lesser amount than you've agreed to pay your buyer's firm, so be sure you understand your buyer's rep agreement to determine if you'll be responsible for the balance in those cases.
Perhaps a buyer concludes they will just use the listing agent. If you recall, who does the seller's agent represent? The seller! That could put the buyer at an extreme disadvantage because the seller's agent is hired to get the best deal for the SELLER! There is nothing wrong with that because that's their job and what they're hired to do, and that's the exact reason a buyer should also have representation trying to get the best deal for them.
Yes, definitely, and the best time to get that agent is BEFORE you visit ANY model homes. Not doing so can cost you the ability to include your own representation in some cases. Going into the new construction process should include representation just like an existing home. Again, just like an existing home, the buyer's agent is normally paid by the seller (the builder). I (Shaun) am personally VERY passionate about new construction. I LOVE the process, and our family has personally gone through the building process three times including semi-custom and fully-custom homes. I greatly enjoy passing along that knowledge and expertise to buyers I work with to help ensure their new construction process is more efficient for them. If you are interested in new construction, you want me as your buyer's agent.