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Do You Need a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments

East TN Mountain ViewsBy Tom Gongola, Broker – Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace REALTORS®

Real estate agents are no longer the gatekeepers of listing information. So, do you need a buyer’s agent? What can a buyer’s agent do for you?

Protect and promote their client’s interest
When a seller lists a property for sale, the listing agent’s job is not only to find a buyer, but they also protect and promote the interest of the seller. A buyer’s agent’s job is not only to find the buyer a property, but they protect and promote the buyer’s interest.

Apply their expertise to help you
A buyer’s agent helps you avoid pitfalls, and, yes, there are pitfalls. Every experienced full-time agent has stories of the wild and crazy things that happen in real estate. Its best to first avoid the pitfall, but if something should come up, to ethically and efficiently have the knowledge and expertise to handle it.

A buyer’s agent will be your advisor. Your advocate. Educate you on market conditions. Help you make better financial decisions. Do homework for you. Reduce your stress. Help you separate the emotion from the deal. Find a way for buyers to attain as many of their needs as possible when dealing with the realities of the market and their financial constraints. In summary, apply their experience and expertise to help you.

Help you find your perfect property
Sometimes the perfect property is different than you originally had in mind. Financial considerations and the reality of the market take over. The awesome looking property you saw online turns out to be not so awesome when you actually tour it. The trick is to achieve the buyer’s lifestyle needs with a different set of features than originally anticipated.

Buyers want what they want. Sellers have what they have. As a buyer’s agent, I match them together. I go inside many for sale houses every week, week after week. I scour the MLS every day. I review every new property for sale, every price change, and every sale in the areas I work. It takes time to learn the market. A buyer’s agent can get a buyer up to speed quickly and narrow their search until they have identified their top choices.

In the early stages, a buyer researches online and browses houses for sale. At some point they need to get boots on the ground and take the search on the road. National Association of Realtors reports that in 2013, 68% of new home shoppers used mobile apps in their process. Eventually the search gets more serious, and we take to touring homes that meet price and other criteria, starting with the long list of possibilities and eventually getting to the short list of properties to visit a second time for a more in-depth look. A buyer’s agent helps you every step of the way by identifying properties, good and bad features of each property, and price comparable properties.

Online property searches are a great way buyers start their house hunt, but online searches are not complete, as they often contain errors and can be several days behind. A new listing that hits the MLS takes time to be on the popular websites. This is because it requires the agent to push the listing. It takes time. If the agent never pushes the listings, then they never make it online. That is why online searches are typically not complete.

When you’re seriously shopping and want the latest and greatest, most accurate, timeliest information, nothing beats an MLS Portal and a MLS email feed. An MLS portal is the public’s mainline access directly into the Knoxville Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It’s your way to get the data directly from the source. The only way to get an MLS Portal, login ID, and password is through a real estate buyer’s agent. The MLS email feed will send you an email when any new property or price change happens that meets your criteria. The Portal and email feed provide almost as much information as the real estate agent has.

Take you through the process
The buyer’s agent writes the contract. This is really important. A strategic, well-written contract with attention to detail is one way you protect a client. Who pays closing costs? What happens if the inspection uncovers something bad? What happens if a defect is uncovered sometime in the future? The stack of paperwork to sell or buy a house is not just a stack of paperwork; it is a legal binding contract with significant implications. You want someone experienced looking out for you. After handling the ins and outs of the negotiation process to reach a contract, there is a fury of activity leading up to closing. Disclosures. Inspections. Repairs. Title research. Loan underwriting stipulations. Final inspection. Closing statement review. The buyer’s agent is with you every step of the way, from the start to the closing table.

Why I love representing buyers
Before I was a real estate agent, I would go to open houses just because I liked looking at houses. I love searching properties, digging into the details, and finding the hot deals. Finding the perfect match to the buyer’s wants and needs is a rush. My technical and detail orientated background makes my contracts rock solid. Attention to detail protects from every missing a date. I love the negotiations and the excitement and the action. Shopping is fun. Shopping for houses is a blast.

When is the time to get a buyer’s agent?
Today! Now! Engage a buyer’s agent as early in the buying process as possible. Buying sometime next year? Then get a buyer’s agent NOW. Thinking of retiring to Tellico Village someday? Then get a buyer’s agent NOW. It’s never too early. What could you possibly be waiting for? It doesn’t cost the buyer any money. It doesn’t save the buyer or seller any money if you don’t use a buyer’s agent, so why not use them through the process, right from the beginning?

Tom Gongola has represented clients in more than $20 million of closed transactions, making him a top agent. If you are going to buy or sell real estate, call Tom at (865) 203-8800.

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