Importance Of Having A Buyer's Agent

Before we jump into the benefits of why you should hire a buyer's agent, let's take a moment to define what is a designated buyer's agent. A designated buyer's agent is a licensed real estate agent who is hired by a buyer to represent them during the buying process. 

Defining Buyer Agency.

In our State of Wisconsin Buyer Agency Agreement, it states: "Buyer gives the firm and it's agents the exclusive right to act as a Buyer's Agent to locate an interest in a property and to negotiate the acquisition of the interest of a property for a buyer."

This Buyer Agency Agreement is not just a piece of paper to sign and be taken lightly. It's a legally binding agreement between the buyer and the agent - both parties agreeing to the terms of the agreement and owing responsibilities to the other. Namely, the buyer is relying on the agent to act in a way that conveys their best interest during their search and property acquisition, and the buyer to commit to working exclusively with one agent during the term of their agreement.

What Are The Benefits of Having A Designated Buyer's Agent?

1.) Advice and feedback. When you hire a buyer's agent, your agent can give you advice in terms of how a home is priced (is it underpriced, in-line with the market, or over-priced). Without a buyer agency agreement, the agent helping you view the home is a sub-agent of the seller - they are not able to advise you as the buyer without that agreement. 

2.) Negotiations. In a seller's market, a buyer may have questions about how they can make a competitive offer and how they can win in "a bidding war". Again, if your agent is acting as a sub-agent of the seller, they can provide general informatoin on offer strategies that are commonly used, but will not give specific advice. That will be up to the buyer to decide what they are comfortable with, versus what an experienced agent may recommend.

3.) Transaction Help. In many cases, transactions seem straightforward; however, in some cases they are lengthy and difficult to navigate. Having a designated agent ensures someone is involved each step of the process.

4.) Client Prioritization. When a buyer signs a buyer agency agreement, the agent is committed to working hard to find them a property. In terms of workload, buyers with agency agreements are prioritized by agents, as they have an agreement to work together, versus a customer who wants to look at a home, but is not committed to working with that agent. Yes, agents can still help buyers view properties at a showing or at an open house, but the best working relationship is established early on, so the buyer and agent understand the working relationship.

A few other notes that are important to mention if you are a buyer thinking about getting started on your home search. 

1.) Find an agent you trust and are comfortable working with. Don't jump into signing a buyer agency if you aren't sure you want to commit to working with that agent. Talk with friends and family, or go online and read reviews, a good referral / review goes a long way. 

2.) Agents have limited capacity to practice law, specifically in the real estate space. There are a number of legal questions that may come up during the purchasing process that your agent may refer you to consult an attorney. Don't take offense by this. Although agents are well-rounded, most are not licensed CPA's or attorneys and cannot practice outside of the scope of their licensure.

3.) The market and real estate legislation is always changing. As it changes over the years, the agency model and representation may also change. Don't worry about future change, understand the current process as it is today and when the change comes, we'll be ready to face that together.

Future Podcast Topics:

If you have a future topic you'd like to learn more about, drop our team a line. We'd be happy to feature it on one of our future episodes. 

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