There are few times as exciting as when you decide to buy a home. But with that excitement, there also come many potential headaches that you need to prepare for. There’ll be mortgages to apply for, contracts to negotiate, and slippery listing agents to deal with. That last point should be on every new buyer’s radar. A listing agent will represent each seller, sometimes referred to as a seller’s agent. Their job is to look out for the sellers and do all they can to get them the highest sales price possible.
So how does a buyer protect themselves against this? Simply by hiring a buyer’s agent to represent their own interests. The reasons for seeking buyer representation go well beyond protecting you from the listing agent. There’s actually a bunch of good reasons for hiring one. Here are 12 of them.
They know the local real estate market.They know the local real estate market.
A major reason for hiring a buyer’s agent is that they know the local market better than anyone. Each market is different from town to town and even neighborhood to neighborhood. Anyone who hopes to make a successful purchase should be represented by an experienced agent who knows the local they intend to buy.
They can help with financing.They can help with financing.
For many people, securing financing will be the most difficult part of the home buying process. Lenders like to see a good credit score and good credit history. Having a buyer’s agent can help level the playing field and improve your chances of securing financing for those with poor credit. They’re not miracle workers, but they can help with navigating the intricacies of financing options. They can also help you decide which mortgage program best suits your situation and deal with all the paperwork that any mortgage application entails.
They know the neighborhood and buildings.They know the neighborhood and buildings.
A key thing to remember about the home buying process is that you’re not just buying a home; you’re also buying the neighborhood that comes with it. This adds another layer of complexity to the buying process that a buyer’s agent can help you with. No amount of online research can replace the knowledge and experience you’ll gain from an experienced agent who knows the neighborhood.
For instance, you’ll want to know how well your chosen neighborhood caters to your preferred lifestyle. Do you rely on public transport to get around? Then you’ll need to know where the closest subway station is. If you’re an outgoing person, then you’ll want to know about the nightlife and entertainment options available there. Anyone who has children or is planning to soon will need to know what school zone they’ll fall into. These and more are just some of the neighborhood considerations that a trained agent can help you with.
This also applies to buildings, which can vary in how they’re run or organized. For instance, is the building a co-op or condo? What are the house rules, and how strict or law are they about accepting new buyers? All of these things can make a crucial difference when making an offer. Gathering all of this information on your own can be time-consuming and still won’t match what an agent can do. Elika agents can handle all of this for you, so you don’t have to.
They can help with the details and ensure you choose the right property.They can help with the details and ensure you choose the right property.
When deciding between multiple listings, an agent can help you focus on those properties that match your needs, wants, and best interests. Even at the best of times, the housing stock in NYC can be quite limited. It’s rare for a buyer to find a home that ticks all the boxes within their budget. Compromises will have to be a made, and a buyer’s agent can help steer you towards the home that best suits your needs and budget.
Additionally, they can also help with the little things like choosing apartments for you and making appointments. All of this takes time, and without an agent, it’s hard to know which apartments and buildings are worth your time.
They might have access to off-market listings.They might have access to off-market listings.
One clear advantage of having a buyer’s agent is that they may have access to off-market listings without going public yet. Known as pocket listings, these hidden properties are completely invisible to buyers who go without representation. In a cut-throat competitive market like NYC, access to these listings can prove vital.
They can help with problematic co-op purchases.They can help with problematic co-op purchases.
About 75% of Manhattan’s apartments are co-ops. This can be problematic for those who aren’t familiar with their ownership structure or purchasing process. Even for those familiar with them, buying one can still prove a long and stressful journey. Along with all the usual negotiating, offers, and counteroffers, buyers also have to assemble a board package and pass the board interview. This requires a great deal of paperwork and preparation, with no guarantee that your application will be accepted.
An experienced agent who knows the area and the board can make this step a lot easier. Along with helping you compile the perfect board package, they can coach you on what to expect in the interview. That way, you’ll be prepared and know what to expect before going in.
They can provide investment advice.They can provide investment advice.
As one of the biggest and most popular real estate markets globally, NYC is a tough market to get into for any newcomer. Hiring an agent can give you the boost you need to get started and make the right decisions. They can help you model anticipated cash flows, internal return rates, cap rates, and expected net profits. They can also put you in touch with all the right people, from lenders to contractors to property managers. If you plan to become a landlord, an Elika agent can also help you market the homes and find the right tenants.
They can handle negotiations.They can handle negotiations.
Negotiations are a key part of any home transaction, and this is where the advantage of having an agent really begins to show itself. Even if you consider yourself a good negotiator, you may still come up short compared to an agent with insider knowledge on the market. It also helps to have the negotiator be someone who can keep emotion out of it. This keeps you safe from high-pressure tactics that are designed to play on a buyer’s emotions.
Negotiations can be a tough slog, but a great buyer’s agent will know how to conduct them so you can be sure of getting a fair deal. As an exclusive buyer’s agency, you can be confident that Elika has your back throughout all steps in the buying process. They’ll also perform a comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine the right asking price to start negotiations.
They can manage communications with listing agents.They can manage communications with listing agents.
In any home transaction, emotions can run high. This is why it helps to have a buyer’s agent handle all communications between the listing agent and sellers. It puts an emotional stopgap between you and the property. Since the buyer’s agent is an impartial advisor, they won’t be swayed as much as you might be by emotional pressure.
They can handle the condo and co-op buying process.They can handle the condo and co-op buying process.
There’s a lot that goes on when purchasing a property. No matter how much research you do on the buying process, you may still be tripped up by the unexpected. Hiring an agent can make the buying process a lot less opaque. If any problems do arise, like a bad inspection report or a lien on the building, you’ll be glad to have an agent by your side that can get things back on track. They’ll be an invaluable guide through the twists and turns that you are sure to meet on your journey.
They can recommend attorneys, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and more.They can recommend attorneys, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and more.
Hiring a buyer’s agent doesn’t just give you access to all their knowledge and experience. It also gives you access to all the other experts you’ll need on the homebuying journey. There are real estate attorneys, home inspectors, contractors, architects, interior designs, and many other experts you’ll need both before and after completing your home purchase. Your Elika Agent will have a calling list of such experts who they’ve worked with and can vouch for when needed. Nothing says you have to take their recommendations, but if you can’t find a reason not to, then that’s one less thing to worry about.
You won’t pay anything out of pocket for their services.You won’t pay anything out of pocket for their services.
One final reason for hiring a buyer’s agent and the one that clinches it for most people is that you won’t pay anything extra for their services. Like listing agents, buyer’s agents are paid through commissions that come out of the proceeds of the sale. The seller, not the buyer, always pays this. In NYC, real estate commissions are about 5-6% of the sales price and are always split 50/50 between the listing brokerage and buyer’s brokerage.
If you were to go without representation, then that commission still has to be paid. However, it will then go entirely to the listing brokerage. As such, it makes little sense not to hire a buyer’s agent. It costs you nothing extra and leads to a lot of benefits that you would otherwise miss out on.