Is a buyer's rep recommended for Ft. Hood market?

Asked by Andrea, Fort Hood, TX Mon Mar 3, 2008

I am torn whether to go ahead and obtain a rep, or just contact the seller's reps of properties I am interested in. If I obtain a buyers rep, what are the conditions of his/her pay? (i.e. if we end up deciding to rent) Can anyone recommend an excellent buyer's rep with military/VA loan experience?
My husband and I are first time home-buyers looking in Copperas Cove and Harker Heights. We are currently in San Angelo and want to start exploring the Fort Hood market as soon as possible, but we don't necessarily know how or where to begin.

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Diantha Shaf…, , Killeen, TX
Mon Mar 3, 2008
There are several benefits a buyer receives in selecting one Realtor to represent them, and most of the time there is no out-of-pocket cost to the buyer for this level of service. A Realtor knows the communities and can help recommend neighborhoods and new construction areas that will meet your needs that you may not have known about. As part of their service they provide a market analysis for homes you are interested in making an offer on so you have guidance in making a fair offer. They will negotiate on your behalf to obtain the best price and terms and will share information on: time on market; average price homes sell for; average “discount” from original asking price; typical seller concessions; etc., all of which help you determine fair market value. The more you communicate and work directly with one Realtor, the quicker he/she will be able to get a feel for what you like and be able to identify homes you will be interested in. I do not charge my buyer-clients if they decide to rent instead of purchase. My buyer-clients will always know what a seller/builder is willing to pay towards the buyers agent commission and if the fees will be covered. None of my buyer-clients have ever had to pay out of pocket for my services. As an Accredited Buyers Representative, ePRO Internet Specialist, and a Military Market Specialist, I would be happy to speak with you about the services I have to offer.

Diantha Shaffer, Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
(254) 338-2192
1 vote
Jose Latorre, , Copperas Cove, TX
Sat May 10, 2008
Andrea buyers representation is always good to have in any area that you intent to purchase. Under buyers representation the agent/REALTOR can provide you with his opinion and advice. You do not get those two valuable items without a Buyer's representation. The commission arrangement will be discussed in the representation documents, normally, the buyer's agent will attempt to have the seller pay for the earned commissions. I can reccomend myself as a buyer's agent. I can be reached by either e-mail or phone: 254 702-0085, jose.latorre@century 21 .com. Or visit my web site at
0 votes
Margaret T.…, Agent, Conroe, TX
Wed May 7, 2008
Kathy & Diantha have given very good answers (except fot the commercials)
Now you are in Texas now, you can contact a mortgage broker where you are or go on line and contact one near Ft. Hood. It is wise to have your financing in place. The mortgage Brokers in the areas surrounding Army Bases will have the knowledge you need for your loan.
If you find a really good deal where there may be multiple offers you will be in a better position if you already have your loan approval.
Your Buyers agent can give you some names but that is their relationship, not yours.
A buyers agent is always a good idea not only for the representation reasons mentioned before but also your buyers agent can and should contact the For Sale by Owners in the area if any of those homes meet your needs and desires. You definetly need someone assisting you then, as the seller does not always know the Real Estate laws. Most FSBO's will also pay a buyers agent. It is up to your agent to work this out.
You are paying the commission either way, You give it to the Seller the Seller gives it to the Broker.
Your commanding officer or NCO may be able to give you some advice on local Realtors.
I am way too far away for you to use so feel free to use the mortgage tools on my web site to get a feel about your qualifications and payments.
Do not give anyone your SS number until you are ready to do business with them. each time your credit is pulled your FICO goes down.

Good Luck
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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed May 7, 2008

Fees paid to buyers agents are usually paid from the seller proceeds at closing. When sellers list their properties for sale with a Realtor, a part of that listing agreement includes compensation for the buyer agent. If a property is listed on or an MLS system, it will have a buyer agent compensation offering. Sometimes the compensation offering will be lower than the buyer agent minimum fee. In those instances, a portion might come from an agreement with the buyer. Still, this can often be incorporated into the transfer of funds at the closing table. If you want your buyer agent to represent you while looking at properties offered for sale by owners, you will probably need a buyer agency agreement. Most for sale by owners will pay your buyer agent's fee.

Hands down, I recommend that you locate a buyer agent and work closely with that person. It is in your best interests to speak to several agents, let them know that you are looking for a buyer agent to represent you and ask them why you should hire them. Ask them about their experience w/ first time homebuyers, VA loans, and knowledge of the available housing in the areas of your interest. You can create a short list of potential agents by using search engines, attending open houses, and asking others in the area. Don’t be hesitant to ask questions. Some agents make themselves available by cell evenings and weekends. Some agents utilize email, carry blackberrys, and use text messaging. Discuss your preferred methods of communication and your expectations with agents you might want to hire.

If you decide to rent, your same agent may be able to help you find a rental. Most agents work on commission only (although that is starting to change), and chances are your agent will not be paid anything if you decide not to buy. That’s OK. Just be forthright with your agent from the beginning. If it is not the right time for you to buy, then you should wait. You won’t know until you go out an explore the options, and a buyer agent is the person who can help you with that. If your agent is competent and works hard for you, and you do not buy, you might end up recommending him or her to others…and you may buy from him or her at a later time.

When you see a listing, the agent who represents that property is working on behalf of the seller to secure that seller a contract at the highest and best price. For that reason, your interests are best served by a buyer agent who is looking out for you.

Best of luck. Come back and post any other questions that you have on Trulia. Along your path to home ownership, you are surely to come up with other questions.

Deborah Madey - Real Estate Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
0 votes
Greg Ruehlen, , Copperas Cove, TX
Wed May 7, 2008
I get this question a lot. Texas did not even have a Buyer’s Agency status until a fairly recently in the state’s history. Prior to that, all realtors worked for sellers, either directly or as sub-agents. The Buyer’s agency was created to provide the prospective buyer the opportunity to seek competent, licensed council who had their best interests at heart. I always put it to my potential buyers this way: “If you were a defendant in a legal matter, would you use the plaintiff’s attorney or hire your own?” Buyer’s Agency is a wonderful thing that was created to protect the consumer. Having one will likely cost you MUCH LESS than not. In the local Fort Hood area, it is customary for the seller of a property listed in the local MLS to pay the Buyer’s Agent fee (though this always negotiable, and in no way guaranteed). As I stated earlier, a good buyer’s agent can save you money, even if you are paying the fee yourself. Negotiated price, repairs, upgrades, and allowances are just a few ways they can help. Of course, the most important way is to ensure you are getting the right house in the first place.
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Jeff Kessler, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Apr 28, 2008
If you use the seller's agent they are not on your side. They are on the seller's side so you do not have any representation.
If you like you can sign and agreement for a few day to see if you like your buyer's agent and if you do then sign for a bit longer.
If you are looking at new homes let me know.
0 votes
Jose Segarra, Agent, Killeen, TX
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Always have an agents explain to you the true benefits of a buyers rep. Also have them explain to you what they are going to do for you if they are your representative. Once the agent is your representative they have a fiduciary responsibility to put your interest above their own.
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Shannon Phil…, , Copperas Cove, TX
Tue Mar 4, 2008
The simple answer is that an agent representing you as a buyer is able to give you advice, instead of just helping you purchase a home. Contacting sellers reps may get you information about a home, but they are not obligated to advise you on the area, financing, or buying in general.
Since you're new to the area and not familiar with purchasing in the Fort Hood area, it would be a good idea to choose a buyers agent first and then find a home.
If you're a USAA member, they have a great program that helps you find an experienced buyer's agent with military-buyer knowledge. Let me know if you're interested in that program and I can get you enrolled!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Kathy Fisher, Agent, Decatur, TX
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Traditionally it is the Seller that pays an agent's commission by offering any cooperating agent half of the full commission being charged. It would also be posted in the MLS what amount or conditions are being offered by the selling parties.....HOWEVER, everything is negotiable. Obtaining a Buyer's Rep does not mean that you will ultimately be responsible for paying your agent's commission. It means YOU will have representation which is a GOOD thing. If you use the listing agent , just keep in mind that they are representing the seller.

Check out different Realtors online that work in the area. Contact them and interview a few. Make sure that they are familiar with the area you are looking in. Ask questions about schools, area amentities, ect..
I am a little partial to Coldwell Banker because that's who I affliated with. You can also contact a local mortage company and they can referr you to a Realtor that is familiar with VA loan process.

Good luck in your search and GOD Bless and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!
0 votes
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