Buying a home can be an incredibly stressful experience. There are plenty of things to worry about including arranging your financing, scheduling viewings, finding a good home inspector, and on and on. The experience is not made any easier when you do not have a real estate agent who is generally interested in your happiness. More than one buyer has gone through the experience only to come out the other end realizing that he/she was his/her own best advocate.
Buying and selling homes is a business. Both buyers and sellers are customers. They are just approaching the transaction from different angles. But if that is true, then who is the one serving the customers? The real estate agent.
Working for the Seller
CityHome Collective is a real estate brokerage firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. When they established their business a few years back, they committed to breaking the mold. They committed to doing things differently. They appear to have succeededbecause they are one of the go-to agencies for people looking for lofts, condos, and modern homes in Salt Lake City.
They say that the first thing every buyer should know is that real estate agents almost always work for the seller. In other words, it is pretty common for buyer’s agents to tell their clients they are committed to working in their best interests. But unless an agent represents him or herself as a buyer’s agent with a contract guaranteeing as much, the agent is really still working for the seller.
How can that be? It’s quite simple. Real estate agents on both sides of a transaction only get paid when the house sells. Guess who pays the commission to both agents? The seller. Your agent, the one who is supposed to be representing you as the buyer, is being paid by the seller. So your agent doesn’t really work for you.
You Have a Voice
There’s nothing buyers can do to change the way the system is set up. But that doesn’t mean they are completely helpless. CityHome Collective says that buyers actually have a lot of power. That power is found in their voices. As a buyer, you have a voice. Use it.
Don’t ever assume a real estate agent is telling you absolutely everything you need to know about a house you’re looking at. By law, there are certain material defects real estate agents are required to disclose. But there is a laundry list of things not considered material defects that don’t have to be disclosed. Some agents will not go out of their way to mention those things.
Likewise, don’t assume that you are protected by a sales contract your agent asks you to sign. You are better off spending a few hundred dollars to have your attorney look at the contract first. Sales contracts don’t protect buyers as much as buyers believe they do.
Take Charge of Your Purchase
There are plenty of other examples we could look at demonstrating how sellers can and should be their own best advocates. The point is this: if you are planning to buy a house, plan to take complete charge of your purchase. Go into it with the understanding that you are your own best advocate.
The more you advocate for yourself, the less a real estate agent will attempt to take the easy road. Buyer’s agents will work hard to please you, but you have to force them to do it. Advocating for yourself is the key. Let it be known that you will not be bullied, pressured, or misled.