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By Bruce Lynn | Broker in Coppell, TX

Nine Great Reasons for Buyers to Use a Buyer's Agent

The purchase of a home is one of the most complex, high-risk, and expensive transactions most people will ever go through, yet approximately 40 to 50 percent of home buyers go to the closing table without a representative or advocate on their side.  This startling research performed in separate studies by the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents, shows that many buyers do not understand the importance of having an advocate. Without someone representing their interests, how will these buyers ever know if they found the right home at the right price?

Why should you hire a REALTOR®? Here are nine great reasons why you as a buyer need the services of a real estate professional:

•1.   Realtors Are Real Estate Specialists.

Only a member of the National Association of REALTORS® can be called a REALTOR®.  The association provides advanced educational opportunities to its members and binds its members to a code of ethics.  Realtors will normally save you both time and money in the buying process.  They will walk you through each transaction from start to finish and you can benefit from their experiences, both good and bad.  Realtors can provide you lists of homes that specifically meet your criteria and price range as well as tell you about listings that may not be on the market yet.  It doesn't matter if you are building, buying a builder's inventory home, or buying a preexisting home; you need someone on your side to protect your interests.  Realtors will also help you think about the second part of the transaction-Selling your home when you're ready to move.  While you're buying a home, they'll help you think about some of the considerations that will affect your decisions later when you are ready to sell.

•2.   REALTORS® Lower Your Risk.

When you have a REALTOR® as an advocate, you share some of the risk of home buying.  Otherwise, it's buyer beware.  You are paying the agent to assist you, advise you, and help you navigate the transaction legally and safely.  Your agent will make sure you take appropriate steps to protect yourself.  Incredibly, many states do not have laws or regulatory bodies in place that protect all aspects of home buying.  Only 20 states currently license or certify home inspectors, for example.  Further, these and other professionals are only liable in civil suits for the amount of their fees, not for any costs incurred by the buyer for problems or repairs that were undetected before the closing.  If your agent suggests that you get a structural inspection, do so for your own protection.  She or he will know how an inspection should be performed and will attend the inspection alongside you.

•3.   REALTORS® Work For You At Their Own Risk.

It is hard to name any other profession whose members work on a contingency basis.  Even attorneys charge by the hour except for some high-risk lawsuits.  You don't typically pay for any services up front with an agent.  That means your agent incurs the costs of doing business on your behalf until you find and close your home.  Therefore, it's in your agent's best interest to work quickly, diligently, and use all his or her resources to help you meet your goals.  Most agents will ask you to sign a buyer's representation agreement, which allows him or her to represent your interests.  This will help to ensure you are a serious buyer and that they legally represent your interests.  If they don't ask you to sign one during your first visit, you should ask them for one.  Make sure you understand how the agent you choose will work with you, according to the laws and regulations of your state.

•4.   Realtors Understand The Current Market.

Real estate professionals have house-by-house, street-by-street, and market-by-market knowledge.  Their experience is invaluable and can't be learned overnight.  REALTORS® who have weathered the pendulum swing between buyers' markets and sellers' markets know that the real estate market can turn abruptly.  Rising and falling interest rates affect the number of available homes for sale and their prices within weeks or days.  All it takes is the entrance or exit of a major employer, and thousands of homes in a neighborhood can be affected.  As neighborhood experts, experienced brokers and agents can help you with home buying strategies and proposals that will get the price and terms you want.

•5.   REALTORS® Have Inventory.

Do you want to find a home quickly?  With a REALTOR® by your side, you will.  According to The National Association of Realtors, over four-fifths of existing homes in the United States are represented by real estate brokers.  So are 70 percent of new homebuilders and their products.  REALTORS® cooperate with each other through an organization called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  The MLS has the current broker-represented properties for sale in its database.  Your agent can also show you homes outside of the MLS inventory, including for-sale by owner homes, new builder homes, institution-operated homes, and homes that have not yet been listed.  However, no Realtor can be expected to show you this additional inventory without a representation agreement and an assurance of being paid at closing.

•6.   REALTORS® Have Up-to-the-Minute Information.

MLS data entry can take from one to 10 days, depending on the listing agent, his or her broker, and the MLS.  By the time the home is posted on the Internet, it could already be sold.  Clever agents don't wait that long to find a home for their buyers; they network with each other.  Your agent will tell other agents about you and your wish list in exchange for information about upcoming homes for sale.  That's how many homes are bought and sold in a hot seller's market, without a sign ever going into the yard.  If you want to be the buyer positioned to make first and best offers on these homes, hire an agent.

•7.   REALTORS® Understand The Complexity Of The Transaction.

Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two-page contract.  Now consumer-mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other liabilities have turned the home transfer into a complicated minefield.  REALTORS® work with contracts daily, and can fully understand which points are harmful and beneficial to you.  From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can also interpret information for you.  If you found out the neighbor next door to the house you are buying just built a new fence, what does that mean?  You won't have to replace the fence on that side for a long time.  To your agent, it means something else.  She or he will quickly get a survey ordered, to assure that the new fence doesn't encroach on your new property.

•8.   REALTORS® Work For You...And The Transaction.

Your agent not only represents your interests but also works on behalf of the transaction.  Does that seem like a conflict of interest?  It isn't.  Buyers and sellers are natural adversaries.  You want to buy for the least price, and the seller wants the best price.  Agents must be skilled negotiators to keep bargaining chips from turning into deal breakers.  As the buyer, remember that you are the one in control.  You can instruct your agent how far to go in negotiations on your behalf.  One day, you'll be glad your agent talked you out of walking away because the seller wouldn't leave the chandelier.

•9.   REALTORS® Are Homeowner Advocates.

Do you like the idea of deducting your mortgage interest from your income tax? Paying no capital gains when you sell your home up to $250,000 if you are single and $500,000 if you are married?  If so, you can thank the only lobbying group in the nation that looks out for the interests of homeowners - The National Association of REALTORS®.  Every year, the REALTOR® PAC perches on Capitol Hill and swoops down on legislators who try to overturn these generous government-sponsored homeowner benefits.  The result is well worth it.  These initiatives keep housing more affordable, enabling more buyers than ever before to move into a home of their own.  Thanks in part to REALTORS®, more than 67 percent of the population are enjoying the benefits of owning a home.  One of the greatest endorsements you have for using the services of a Realtor is from your lender.  Lenders are willing to finance agent commissions for buyers in the mortgage loan.  That should tell you how important it is that you get proper representation.  Many lenders agree you may get a better price for your home and better terms by having an advocate.  Put a Realtor to work for you today.  You'll soon be in the home of your dreams!

I want to be your BUYER'S AGENT.

I fundamentally believe that being able to own a piece of property is so much a part of what makes this country great.  I am also a firm believer in "The Golden Rule".  When you consider buying a home, my goal is to provide a high value-five star service experience in order to make the entire process as easy as possible. I'll be guiding you each step of the way.

I WILL normally save you TIME & MONEY and I WILL protect your interests.  It doesn't matter if you are buying a new home from a builder or a preexisting home.  Call me and I will show you how and when to save money by using a REALTOR®.  Most people don't understand how we can save you money when negotiating with builders, but I have save my clients many thousands of dollars and will assist you as well.

The combination of world class customer service management experience in such organizations as American Airlines, SABRE Decision Technologies, and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, a solid educational foundation, and several moves within Asia, Europe, and the U.S.A. allow me the ability to analyze and negotiate your transaction from several perspectives. Whether you are a first time buyer, a move up buyer, or have made several moves, I offer cutting edge, state of the art technology and you can count on me to keep your best interests in mind and deliver the results you deserve.

When you make one of life's most important financial decisions to buy a home, I'm committed to going the extra mile to ensure that all of your needs are successfully met in a timely, professional, and honest manner.

Call me now for immediate assistance at 1-800-385-9355.

This is a reprint of an article I had in my files.  Honestly I can't remember if I wrote it or someone else did.  If you are the author or you know who the author was, please let me know and I will site the reference.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
120 S. Denton Tap #305
Coppell, TX 75019

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