“How Much Does It Cost to use a Buyer’s Agent”
When she asked me that question, I admit I was left speechless, if only for a second.
I was in a meeting with a potential client, an intelligent, successful, and incredibly well-informed woman who had been driving and researching the areas she wanted to live in. She knew what houses were available, crime rates, and anything else she could find. She was pre approved with a lender, and was (to a Real Estate Agent) nearly the perfect client.
I got over my shock and answered her, but it left me wondering …
“how many other people have this question?”
Why care how much it cost to use a buyer’s agent
If you’re in the market to purchase a home, it’s an incredibly stressful time. The searching, the driving, the viewings, getting pre-approved with a lender, all while trying to balance your life, job, and kids.
This is on top of the stress of money. How much house can you afford, how much are closing costs, how much can you afford to put as a down payment, plus the due diligence fee and earnest money deposit.
At some point in all this, that thought will filter in your brain. Perhaps you’ve found a Real Estate agent you like and feel you can work with, and then you wonder “How much is that going to cost me?”
Thinking back, I admit when my wife and I bought our house years ago, I thought the same thing. The old bank account isn’t bottomless, of course. Could I even afford to use an agent?
Why use a buyer’s agent
First, let’s explain something. In North Carolina real estate, everything is driven by the selling of a home. Makes sense, right? Someone doesn’t list their home to sell, there is no product for one agent to represent, and nothing for a buyer to buy!
When a home is listed, they sign a contract, and one part of that contract is an agreement to pay a commission to the listing firm. This can vary from a percentage of the sale price to a fixed fee, and is whatever that agency agrees too.
As Realtors, to use the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) we have to agree to pay a commission for any agent who brings a buyer who purchases the home.
Well, what’s critical here is that by law, every agent represents the SELLER in a deal UNLESS they have a written Buyer’s Agency Agreement with a home buyer!
What’s that mean?
If you contacted a random agent and just asked them to show you a home, but you and they do not have a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, then by law they have to be honest with you in all things, but they represent the seller and their interests, and anything you tell them can be used against you in a negotiation to purchase!
With Buyer’s Agency, you get a Professional who’s job is to represent you and YOUR interests in the deal!
So, How Much Does It Cost to use a Buyer’s Agent?
Here’s where the good news keeps getting better for you, as a Buyer of Real Estate!
Having a Buyer’s Agent work for you costs you….
Yes, it’s free. (Basically)
Remember above we said when a home is sold, a commission is paid, and per MLS rules the Buyer’s Agent must be compensated?
When you use a Real Estate Agent to represent you as a Buyer’s Agent, that’s how we get paid.
Of course, there’s always some options and that’s exclusively up to the agent and brokerage they represent.
Should you use a Buyer’s Agent?
The short answer is yes, and absolutely.
You get a professional on your side representing you, who not only has to protect your interests but also acts as the shield or buffer during the process. One of the best quotes I’ve heard is they’re the “Quarterback” for you during your buying a home.
They can help sort and add value to your search for a home. Another great quote I heard is searching for a home for a client “starts as a science, and becomes an art.” As your Realtor hears your feedback on homes you’re viewing, they’ll begin to get a deeper understand of what you’re truly looking for beyond the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but for your style and taste. This can help them tailor results for you.
You get this service for free, because often there’s no cost to you directly, as they’re compensated at closing.
If you’re considering being in the market to buy a home, I hope this explains not only why a Buyer’s Agent is critical for you, but how they can help with the search and smoothing the rough patches, and how they represent an incredible value to you.
Of course, if you’re looking to buy a home and not signed up with a Buyer’s agent, feel free to contact me and let’s have a conversation about how I may be able to help!
Mahool Nance Team