Buying properties takes more than just contacting the seller or their real estate agent. To get the most value for your money, it helps to know the many ways you can protect yourself as a buyer. To the first-time home buyer, one might get so excited going through the public listings and try to negotiate with the real estate agent or the seller himself. But without professional advice, there are many ways that additional costs can easily add up. These are costs that the new home buyer may not realize until the final transaction or closing.
First of all, it helps to know that there are different agent relationships. There are transaction brokers who are there to facilitate a transaction with neither loyalty to the seller nor the agent. Then there are those seller’s agents whose main role is to get the highest price for the seller as well as protect the seller’s interests and facilitate a fast sale. The third agent relationship is a buyer’s agent but working in a listing office. This clearly has a conflict of interest because they may have the buyer’s interest in mind but, since he/she is working in a listing office, said buyer’s agent is bound to protect the interests of the listing office as well.
These options do not really have the full buyer’s interests in mind. Yet, for a first-time home buyer, doing it on your own may present you with surprises like hidden costs in terms of repairs or closing costs passed on to the buyer. There are many other surprises that a new buyer may not realize, and your best bet is to have an agent whose interests are fully for the protection of you as the buyer. With having a buyer’s agent, you have peace of mind that you have a professional who knows the right questions to ask the seller or the seller’s agent, who knows how to negotiate, and lastly to determine the correct value for the buyer’s money.
For example, what is the current real estate market trend in the area? Are there repairs needed and what is the best way to negotiate about the repairs? When was the last time the roof was changed? Is there no past repair that still has a record of a violation?
These are just a few of the many other issues that can come up for first-time buyers. It helps to have a real estate professional, an agent whose sole motive is to protect the home buyer.