As Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money.”
Buyers know that hiring a professional can free them up to focus their time and attention on other priorities. Yet people often think that if they represent themselves in a purchase, they can save on transaction costs and get the property at a better price. However, most times this ends up not being true.
Prospective buyers don’t want to commit, and you don’t want to waste your time helping them find “the one” (after searching through countless wrong ones) if said buyers might stray.
By entering into a buyer-broker agreement, you’ll ensure that you’re not wasting your time in the sometimes long home-search process.
But how do you sway hesitant prospects into signing? Present your case using these talking points to nudge buyers.
The benefits of hiring an agent include:
1. Proper preparation
If the buyer needs a mortgage, you can recommend a few mortgage lenders to talk to get a commitment letter. This letter is very helpful when making an offer because it can move the deal along and speed up the financing process.
If the buyer is purchasing a co-op or condo (this often pertains to New York City, but there are other areas that require submitting finances for approval), the agent can help prepare these documents properly. Again, this will expedite the process once you have an accepted offer.
2. Property vetting
A real estate agent is familiar with the neighborhood, current properties on the market and other attributes that might not be apparent on a listing (such as a house that is backing onto a main road or school for example).
One of the first things you will discuss with the buyer is what they’re looking for; prioritize those attributes, and use them that as a guide when searching for properties. Examples of this are location, having a light space versus more space and layout.
This will save the buyer time by seeing “appropriate properties.” If the buyers hear about or see a property online, they can discuss it with their agent who might have more detailed information.
3. Access to data
As real estate agents, we have access to current sales, past sales and those that are currently in contract. This is extremely useful information to have when putting an offer in and negotiating. The agent can support the offer with data from recent sales as well as what is currently on the market.
We can also tell the buyer how many days a property has been on the market — usually, homeowners with properties that have been on the market for longer periods are more willing to negotiate.
4. Routine inquiry exploration
Often, a buyer might need an expert to help them with their plans for a property. For example, if buyers want to reconfigure the floor plan and move a wall, they’d probably need an architect. As agents, we’ve built up a bench of contacts who we can reach quickly.
Buyers generally need real estate attorneys to represent them once their offers have been accepted. We know how important the buyer’s attorney’s role is in protecting their interests.
As agents, we can recommend a few real estate attorneys we’ve worked with and know will do a good job.
5. Fee decryption
It seems quite common that a buyer thinks they are getting a better deal (a better price) if they represent themselves instead of hiring an agent, however, usually the opposite is true. And as we know, the seller pays the agent fee, not the buyer. Not all buyers seem to be aware of this.
Agents can use all of these arguments to show how they can save homebuyers time, headaches and money. Buying real estate is a complex process that requires several parties to engage in a transaction.
Buyers can gain peace of mind and have an agent stay on top of it all for them by signing a buyer-broker agreement.
Marilyn Blume is a licensed real estate salesperson with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with her on LinkedIn.