While purchasing a home anywhere in the US is a significant milestone, the prices found in the New York City real estate market make this purchase an even more significant decision. Although you’ll be filled with excitement when you’re handed the keys to the new home, getting to that point can be a very stressful experience. From anxiety to stress to frustration, the emotions associated with buying a home can run the entire spectrum.

Because there is so much that you’ll go through on your journey to purchasing a home, it’s essential to have a trusted advisor who you can turn to along the way. The trustworthy advice in these situations from an expert is precious, anyone buying a condo or co-op in New York City should have their agent.

One of the many advantages of having a buyer agent on your side is they help you choose the right property and negotiate the best price and terms for you. Not only is that a very compelling service, but it’s available to you at no cost.

Investing in real estate in any community requires a significant commitment, but in New York City, potential buyers will probably be required to fork over their life’s savings, spend countless hours viewing apartments that they’ll never live in, and possibly even run into a bidding war.

The city’s market is incredibly competitive and comes with its own set of rules, which is all the more reason a buyer should not attempt to tackle the buying process alone. When it comes to NYC real estate –– regardless of know-how and budget, working with an exclusive buyer’s agent to purchase a slice of the Big Apple might be well worth someone’s while. And here’s why.

What is the Role of a Buyer’s New York City Real Estate Agent?

There’s a lot that goes into buying a home. Before you can get serious about looking at potential properties, it’s essential to get all of your financial information in order. Because it’s common to have questions during this first stage of the buying process, it’s beneficial to have someone who goes through this process on a daily basis.

Determining exactly what you can afford and ensuring you have all the documentation you need to secure a mortgage and ultimately buy your home is the first example of how a buyer’s agent can help you. Since this type of agent deals with all of these issues on a regular basis, they can help you ensure that you don’t miss out on anything significant.

The next step in this process is to shortlist and begin looking at potential homes. As you may have guessed, this can take quite a bit of time. Not only does identifying the right properties takes a lot of research, but it also requires setting up appointments to see the homes. Because you’re already busy enough juggling your professional and personal responsibilities, having an agent who can manage this process for you will save you a lot of time and stress.

Finally, the negotiation, board package for resales, closing phase of the buying process can be very tense. Since it can be challenging to stay objective when emotions are running high, you’ll greatly benefit from having a professional who can give you the right guidance.

Buyer’s agents might have access to listings that their clients don’t

They might even get wind of a hot new apartment before it hits the market, giving a client the edge to view it and make an offer before the general public knows about the listing.

Buyer’s agents can explain the minutia of the buying process in NYC, so buyers don’t miss any important details

There’s a lot to know when purchasing property in NYC, and no one will explain the details in a more concise fashion than a broker. From what neighborhoods to search in, to how soon to make an offer as well as a seamless closing process, a buyer’s agent will guide their clients every step of the way.

Buyer’s agents should advise if a property’s asking price is too high

The last thing any buyer would want is to pay too much. Establishing rapport with a buyer’s agent will eliminate the chance of buying an apartment with an inflated asking price.

Buyer’s agents will protect clients from pushy sellers and aggressive brokers

This point speaks for itself, but no one wants to be nudged into making an offer. Let a buyer’s agent handle other brokers and sellers.

Buyer’s agents will negotiate

Negotiating is never fun, and an excellent buyer’s agent will negotiate on a client’s behalf. Bear in mind, an exclusive buyer’s agent works only with buyers and does not list properties, so a client is apt to experience a more loyal and confidential relationship when working with an exclusive buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent performs a comparable market analysis to estimate the fair market value and then often recommends the offer price to submit to start the negotiating process.

Buyer’s agents should have established relationships with the NYC market

Not only will they have friends and colleagues who are real estate agents, but they’ll have a network of mortgage brokers, closing attorneys, inspectors, architects, interior designers, contractors, and other professionals to recommend as needed.

Buyer’s agents are on the real estate front lines, and in touch with the latest trends

Having an exclusive buyer’s agent enables clients to experience the market in real time and capitalize on specific areas of town that have greater potential. On the flip side, if an area in the city has declining property values, then the agent’s job is to advise the client that a certain apartment or building wouldn’t be a smart purchase. What’s more, agents often discover crucial information ahead of top media outlets.

Working with a buyer’s agent or not, a buyer will still pay the commission based on REBNY’s standard rates

Based on the Real Estate Board of New York, the sales commission is five or six percent. Either the seller pays the full commission to the listing agent, or the commission is split 50/50 between the buyer’s agent and the broker who listed the property. Regardless of the listing price, legally, that amount of commission will get paid, so it’s probably a wise idea to take advantage of an agent’s expertise and reap the benefits mentioned above.

Buyers pay to have or not have representation

A big myth about buying a New York City home is that buyers have to pay a sales commission. In reality, the person selling a home is the only one that pays a commission. So regardless of whether or not a buyer has their agent, the seller will still pay a commission.

Buyers don’t have anything to gain by not using their agent. Instead, trying to buy a home without an agent can result in a costly mistake. The only party that directly benefits from there not being a buyer agent involved is the agent working for the seller. Being involved in a transaction that doesn’t include a buyer agent means the listing agent will keep 100% of the commission that’s paid by the seller.

Not All Buyer Agents Are the Same

Although buyers can significantly benefit from working with an exclusive buyer agent, it’s important to understand that not all agents who try to work with buyers genuinely have the buyers’ best interests in mind. To ensure that you work with an agent who is going to do what’s best for you, be sure to check into the accreditations of the agent and their company.

Companies or agents that are members of the National Association of Buyers Agents (NAEBA) can deliver loyalty and fiduciary responsibility 100% of the time. If an exclusive buyer agent/brokerage is unavailable in your area, then seek out a buyer agent that has earned an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) designation. These are the two most important distinctions for a buyer agent. Finding an agent with those qualifications will give you full peace of mind that they will do what’s best for you.

Exclusive Buyer Agents are recommended throughout the media, by consumer organizations, and by HUD

It is your responsibility to search for an agent who will represent your interests in the real estate transaction. If you want someone to serve only your interests, consider hiring an ‘exclusive buyer’s agent,’ who will be working for you.
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, “Shopping for Your Home Loan: HUD’s Settlement Cost Booklet.” Rev. Dec. 2009. P. 6 http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_12164.pdf

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