Homes are listed for sale by sellers. Most sellers use a real estate agent to market, show, and facilitate the sale of their homes. The agent works for the seller and has a duty to represent the seller's best interest, NOT THE BUYERS!
The buyer chooses a buyer's agent to represent their interest. The agent works on the buyer's behalf and may be compensated by the buyer, the listing broker, or both.
Think of a buyer's agent as your resource. They will research the market for you and keep you updated on all the market changes, new listings, price reductions, etc. As an agent, they have seen many of the homes on the market and can narrow the search down quickly to just the homes that meet your needs and priorities. A buyer's agent will walk you through the search, assist with negotiations, help you obtain financing, meet deadlines, and be beside you the entire time.
Conversely, suppose you call the listing agent to see a home. In that case, they are legally obligated to represent the seller's interest. So, if you tell the selling agent your bidding strategy, they are obligated to share that information with the seller! I heard a great analogy, would you let the prosecuting attorney represent you in a trial, or would you want your own attorney? While it's not the same thing, you deserve representation that has your back, not the sellers.
What to look for in a Buyer's Agent
When interviewing buyer's agents (yes, you should interview a few, they work for you!), look for local expertise. How long have they lived and worked in the area? Are they following market conditions and aware of trends? How long have they been in business, and what is their reputation? The best agent will be the one who will take the time to get to know you. They will listen to your questions and give direct answers. They won't spend the entire time "pitching" why you should hire them. Instead, they will take the time to get to know you, your needs, and your priorities. They listen, not just talk, and they follow through with their promises. If they tell you they will have a personalized report to you by Friday, it should be there by Friday without excuses. A great buyer or seller agent manages their time effectively, meets deadlines, and returns calls promptly.
If you're interested in learning more about 360Berkshire Realty Group's buyer representation. In that case, you can watch this 5-minute video and/or call us at (413) 664-8003.
Michael Hernandez, President/Broker
360Berkshire Realty Group