You’ve decided it’s time to buy a home! How exciting. You begin by clicking around on the internet and see a fabulous home. You can’t wait to
get inside—you just know this is the one!
You go to the open house. The listing agent tells you about the home’s amazing
features, the great neighbors, and the top-ranked schools. The mudroom is to die
for! You decide to make an offer. You get outbid. You make another. You get outbid.
In a last attempt to “win” this battle, you make a third offer with an appraisal
guarantee, letting the seller know that you’ll pay your offer price even if the home
doesn’t appraise for that amount. You love the home, though. You’re sure it will
It doesn’t. In fact, the appraisal comes in thousands of dollars under what
you just agreed to pay. Now what?
Why You Want a Contract
In the state of Michigan, unless a real estate agent is under contract with you, she
cannot disclose anything that may affect the sale of a house. So while the realtor at
the open house was happy to show you the amazing mudroom, she didn’t mention items to look for that were not on the sellers disclosure. The sellers are required to fill this out honestly; however, an experienced buyers agent may notice water stains in the basement (red flag!), and the seller may not have known there was water in the basement due to never going down there. The roof may be fine to the seller, but a buyers agent may notice there are two layers, and many are peeling back. A listing agent cannot tell you if the seller is over-priced, but a great buyers agent sure could. Keep in mind, the home is listed at is not always the price that was recommended to the seller. A buyers agent may also let you know the importance of the contingencies in the contract. For instance, the listing agent would be best representing the seller without letting you know the importance of the inspection contingency.
To be fair, she couldn’t. Her fiduciary responsibly is to the seller, not you. Only a
buyer’s agent, under contract, could have told you those things.
The Seller Pays the Buyers Agent for Bringing You to Them, Not You
Better yet, a buyer’s agent would’ve told you all of that for free because you don’t
pay commission when you hire a buyer’s agent. The seller typically pays all commissions for
both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. There’s no reason not to hire one.
She’ll guide you through what’s probably the largest purchase of your entire life,
help you negotiate the best deal possible, and keep you from making any crucial
mistakes. Best of all, it’s her fiduciary responsibility to do so — you won’t have to
worry about who’s best interests she has at heart. It’s yours.
Industry Knowledge and Guidance
Buying a home isn’t a task for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of footwork involved,
including calling listing agents, setting up appointments, and driving around to look
at each home that piques your interest. But, in my opinion, the biggest benefits of
using a buyer’s agent come from tapping into our extensive industry knowledge. The hard work, and what matters most, is not opening the doors for you. It’s helping you decide what’s the best move for you, keeping you within budget, walking you through the entire process, negotiating on your behalf, and making sure you get to the closing table on time, and without headaches.
Brooke Marie Collective advises home-buyers on the homes, themselves, of course.
We know what to look for beyond the shiny surface. But we also advise clients on neighborhood-related factors, such as what areas are typically selling for (and whether the value is consistent with the current market), and more, so clients can make the best decision for them.
We can appropriately advise clients because we meet with them for a consultation
where we learn about their hopes, dreams, and housing needs. I’d be very cautious
about working with anyone who doesn’t consult with you – how can they represent
your best interest if they don’t really know you? You don’t want an agent who’s just
there to open doors. You want someone who knows you, cares about you, and will
work hard on your behalf. Would your doctor write you a prescription without knowing what you needed first? Be sure to take on that consultation. A great agent typically knows what’s coming on the market, networks with other agents, is consistently having real estate conversations with the public, and is in “the know” of what’s coming up.
Another way buyer’s agents help clients is by vetting the homes in their price range.
We won’t waste your time showing houses that won’t work for you.
That means that if it’s a seller’s market, we won’t show you homes at the top of your
price range, when a bidding war is likely. There’s no reason to get your hopes up
when multiple offers will put the house out of reach for you financially.
If it’s a buyer’s market, we know all the tricks of the trade to get you the best deal
possible, including what requests to make based on the inspection report.
Here’s one related piece of advice I offer all of my buyers: Only take the time to look
at homes that fit your “must haves.” I’ll never suggest taking you to a home that
doesn’t look good online because, in my experience, it won’t look good in person,
either. Be patient – you’ll find your house when the time is right and you’ll be so
much happier for having waited.
Discuss Closing Costs Up Front
While the seller pays all commissions, the title insurance, taxes, and more, there are
some fees for buyers associated with getting a home loan. It’s imperative to talk to
your buyer’s agent about your budget before making an offer, so you can include any
request for seller-paid fees in your offer.
The Best Deal Possible
Negotiating is what we do. And we do it wisely, based on our considerable
knowledge of the industry we work in day in and day out. When you work with
Brooke Marie Collective, we will get you the best deal possible on the home that’s
best for you. That’s our promise!