What are the advantages of buying a home with an agent?

Asked by Trulia Tampa, Tampa, FL Thu Dec 6, 2012

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Dan Simon, Agent, Charleston, SC
Sat Dec 15, 2012
Everyone has provided a lot of great information, thanks f or sharing. Keep in mind that the listing agent is working for and representing the best interests of their client – the sellers. Even the seasoned buyer can benefit from the services a buyer’s agent provides. Buying a home is generally one of the largest financial decisions a person will ever make. Put a “buyer’s agent” to work and have the benefit of an experienced professional on your side. Your buyer’s agent is your advocate, your advisor, your negotiator, and your confidante throughout the buying process.

4 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Dec 6, 2012
In a word, representation. It is a long way from search to close and a good buyer's agent can make a huge differenct to the success of the effort. I believe that is true of all resources in the deal incidentally. No reason to "go it" alone, find the best agent you can find. She will likely align herself with similarly talented resources to round out the team - attorney, title, inspector.
Web Reference:  http://www.FeenickHomes.com
2 votes
Janeth Rector, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Dec 6, 2012
Great question! There are no savings by going straight to the listing agent as you cannot negotiate their compensation on an offer since the listing contract and contract for purchase are two separate instruments. So essentially you are giving up your right to representation by a seasoned professional while working directly with the agent who is representing the seller. You may get lucky and get an agent that is impartial, but why not have someone representing your own interest? For instance, if your are under contract and missed the deadline for the Loan Commitment Letter you may loose your escrow. Typically the listing agent is entitled to part of any escrow the sellers are entitled due to a cancellation. So what is the incentive for the listing agent to make sure you do not miss this deadline? I have come across many buyers that regretted going straight to the listing agent, some lost escrow, entered into disadvantageous terms, paid more than they should have, had problems with the inspection and needed to renegotiate repairs and did get someone on their behalf to assist them. Who do you think will be best suited to give you an impartial price opinion your Buyer's Agent or the agent representing the seller? Even for new construction, it is best to use an agent. I have found errors on the HUD, cosmetic issues with the finishes of the homes, missing options that saved my clients thousands of dollars and the best part is they didn't have to pay me for my services. And this again does not affect your price negatively. It is a win win situation.

Let me know if you need assistance and I will be happy to provide you with my credentials.

Janeth Rector
Real Estate Professional, REO Specialist, CDPE® and e-Pro Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty Tampa Central
1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 231 | Tampa, Florida 33602
1 vote
Lea Lagueux, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Dec 6, 2012
Good answer Jeanne. I'm always amazed at people who want to make such an important purchase with no professional help. Would they take out their own appendix?
Seriously, the one single thing that I find buyers do not understand is that the listing agent works for the seller. And it will not save the buyer or seller one single penny to use the listing agent for both sides of a sale.
This is like being involved in a car accident and letting the attorney for the driver who hit you handle all the agreements. How well do you think that would work out?
Get a good buyer's agent. Interview a couple. When you find one you like, give them a Buyer Broker Agreement - just like the Listing Agreement that the seller has with their agent. You can always fire them if they are not doing the job as you would like.
Take a little time to sit down with your agent before you go out to look at homes. Understand the process. You will be so far ahead of competing buyers. This is not a good time to 'learn as you go'.
Just a few of the advantages are you are represented by a professional who knows your market area and can give up to the minute advice about neighborhoods, market conditions, precisely how the buying process in your state / locality works, and your interests are protected regarding required disclosures and property conditions.
Good buyer's agents make all the difference.
1 vote
Leo Meyerkov, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Sat Dec 15, 2012
Listing agent will never be fiduciary to the buyer since represents seller. Go figure then and have buyers agent who will fiduciary represent you

Leo Meyerkov
Charles Rutenber Realty

0 votes
Lynn Brock, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Dec 7, 2012
Trulia Tampa, As the age old expression goes, Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware! Real estate transactions whether, resales, new homes, short sales or foreclosures have become extremely complex.

As a buyer, you will typically view the property for its appeal, suitability, design, amenities and investment value. There pulsates an undercurrent of details, time lines, public records, disclosures, representations, mis-representations and lack of accountability on the part of interested parties in the transaction.

Submitting an offer is just the cursory beginning of the process, have all of the latent defects of the property been disclosed? what is the cost to correct them? what is the current market value of the property? will you pay too little or too much? will the offer actually close? (Usually 33% do not)

Will you be available for all of the inspections? Studies have shown that third party negotiators provide greater satisfactory results than if you negotiate the offer yourself. If buying a new home, your realtor serves as your ombudsman with the builder and can resolve last minute issues at closing.

Using an attorney to close the transaction is a terrific idea. However, using the same attorney to manage the inspections will be costly.

When you use a realtor, then a FAR or FAR BAR contract can be used. These are purchase agreements carefully constructed and reviewed by groups of attorneys and professionals. Although blanks are completed by realtors, the decision as to the information added to the blanks represents the desires of the buyer.

By using a professional realtor, they have spent hours training, attended an ethics class, conduct business under professional regulations and guidelines.

There might be a difference regarding experience levels, thus, it is wise to interview different agents and determine which one best suits your interests.

Best regards,
Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.

If you'd like to search the MLS like an agent in real time, you can visit our website and sign up for a free Listing Book account. You will be able to change the search criteria to suit yourself and received morning reports regarding new listings, price changes and recent pendings.
0 votes
Jeffery Lonas, Agent, Clearwater Beach, FL
Thu Dec 6, 2012
Hi Just Looking in Tampa,

There are several advantages to working with an agent. For starters you have someone working on your behalf. A good agent is going to be able to help educate you on the comparable properties have sold for. Which will help you when deciding on an offer price. Additionally a good agent is going to be able to negotiate on your behalf to get the best for you. Also, an agent going to be able to connect you with many resources and assist you in making sure that you know what inspections you should have complete and the time frames in which they have to be completed. Best of luck in your search. If I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact me.

Jeffery Lonas
Real Estate Consultant
Keller Williams Gulfside Realty
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0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Dec 6, 2012
Lot's of reasons:

1) You will surely miss out on bank owned bargains because working loyally with a Realtor, she will get you out to see the property the first day it comes on the market.

2) Local agents have local knowledge about extraordinary Community Development District Taxes and neighborhood issues with school rezoning potential, Toxic Chinese Drywall, Sinkhole, Radon issues, etc.

3) With a Realtor you can go and see properties one after the next and on your schedule. An agent may provide input when viewing homes about features that may make it diffficult to sell in the future.

4) Prevents time wasting contacting listing agents only to find out the house is already under contract and you cannot buy it. Working with an agent should provide you with online access with up to the minute updates on the "true" status on available properties.

5) A proactive agent can also find properties that may not ever come back on the market.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
0 votes
Molly Mooney, Agent, GIG HABOR, WA
Thu Dec 6, 2012
For one thing all of the legal disclosure your entitled to TDS, Sellers additional disclosure. The total amount fo money you wil;l need. Types of inspections you can have. There is much more but a legally binding contract is also A big bonus. For more information call me at
Molly Mooney 209 809-5365
0 votes
Molly; notice who placed the question.
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