Buying a home, especially your first home, can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming! It is not something you have done before, so you aren't quite sure of where the next twists and turns are coming up and it sometimes feels like there is just so much to do to get into the house and how are you going to keep up with it all!
That is where a Buyer Agent will come in. What exactly does a Buyer Agent do? In a nutshell, a Buyer Agent helps you with everything you need to do to buy a home!
So, the easiest way to think about what a good Buyer Agent will do is to kind of break it down into sections ---
A GOOD BUYER AGENT WILL GET YOU INTO HOUSES!
This really means more than just opening up the door for you! They will provide counseling - perhaps you don't really want that house that backs to I-95 even though it is perfect in every other way! Perhaps the neighborhood is further away from the things that the kids like to do! Maybe it is not in the schools you have said you wanted to be in! And a good Buyer Agent will help you narrow down your choices of homes to see - your needs & wants list will evolve over time as you continue to look for homes - so a good Buyer Agent will continue to keep an eye out for homes that could match what you are looking for in your first home! As many buyers do when looking at homes, you will probably be looking at the room sizes to see if the furniture will fit into the house, but a good Buyer Agent will be looking for those things that could raise red flags at an inspection or on an appraisal! Finally, a good Buyer Agent is going to take personalities out of play - you and the seller will never meet and the agents will be handling everything on your behalf!
A GOOD BUYER AGENT WILL HELP WITH NEGOTIATING STRATEGIES!
When you are ready to write an offer on a house, you will want to have someone there to help you negotiate the offer! But negotiating an offer when you are the only person making the offer is different than making an offer when they are multiple offers on the table. Making an offer on a house that has been sitting on the market for 90 days can be very different than making an offer on a house that just came on the market 2 days ago! But negotiating does not stop when your offer is ratified! You will most likely need to negotiate on inspections! And even potentially at the time of the walk through! And, when you are discussing negotiating strategies with your Buyer Agent, they will want to make sure you have all the contingencies in the offer that you want!
A GOOD BUYER AGENT WILL HAVE TRUSTED PROFESSIONALS TO REFER YOU TO!
During your transaction, you will need a number of different professionals to assist you! You will need a lender - remember, not all lenders offer the same financing products - not all lenders offer grant funds, not all lenders offer VHDA financing. Even something like FHA may have different credit overlays on them depending on who the lender is! So a good Buyer Agent will be able to recommend lenders that are best for your financing situation! But you will also need inspectors to help with the home inspection! And you will need a trusted attorney or title company to do your closing! You may even need contractors if you are buying a house as is! A good Buyer Agent will have professionals they have used for many years that can help with all your needs as you move towards closing!
A GOOD BUYER AGENT IS A PROBLEM SOLVER!
There are lots of things that can happen between the time you get a contract accepted and you go to closing! There could be appraisal issues (what happens if the house doesn't appraise for purchase price, or there are repairs that will be required by the lender based on the appraisal). There could be lender conditions that have to be addressed! There could be inspection issues! There could be title issues! What about survey issues that could come up! What if your settlement needs to be delayed and your rate is expiring? What if at walk through you find that the seller has not completed all the agreed to repairs satisfactorily?
As you can see, a good Buyer Agent wears lots of different hats! If you had to do all these things yourself, without the guidance of a good Buyer Agent, it may take you a much longer time to find that perfect home, and it may end up costing you more, since we are in a real estate market of rising prices!
If you are thinking of buying your first home, or you have some questions, please don't hesitate to call me. I work with many first time home buyers in the Richmond area and would be happy to help! And take a look at my video. Each week I do a new video with a new tip for first time homebuyers, so feel free to subscribe and you will be notified when a new video is active!