What is a Buyer’s Advocate?
Making the decision to buy a home is a major milestone in a person’s life, and one that no doubt fills the individual with equal parts excitement and pride. However, without professional assistance, those positive feelings can often quickly turn to anxiety and fear. After all, do you have an endless amount of time to scour through listings or see a property through objective eyes? Needless to say, the entire process can be an exhausting and emotional ride.
Don’t let the experience of buying a home leave a sour taste in your mouth: instead, why not rely on the skills and capabilities of an expert who will have your best interests at heart? Enter a buyer’s advocate.
Get the homebuyers’ secret weapon: a buyer’s advocate
Many people ask, “What is a buyer’s advocate?” Simply put, a buyer’s advocate or agent is a real estate professional hired by a prospective homebuyer to research, evaluate and negotiate the purchase of a home. Unlike real estate agents who have the interests of the seller at heart, a buyer’s agent looks after you – the buyer. In an industry where the majority of services are designed to help the seller, it’s good to know that there is someone in your corner.
What does a buyer’s advocate do?
A buyer’s advocate or agent offers two types of services:
- They can search out properties that meet your criteria, and negotiate the purchase of that chosen property (whether by auction or private sale.) Depending on your needs, a buyer’s agent may search for one particular property or an entire portfolio, or
- They can bid for you, the buyer, at the auction of a property that you may have found for yourself.
This brings us to our next question: “How much does a buyer’s advocate cost?” As there is much less involved in just bidding for the property you want, as expected this type of service will carry a lower fee. On the other hand, for a full service that involves the research, evaluation and negotiation of a property, you may expect to pay a flat fee or even a percentage of the property’s purchase price.
Do I need a buyer’s advocate to buy a house?
While it’s not essential to hire a buyer’s advocate when buying a house, it’s certainly very advantageous. Here’s five reasons why you might consider using a buyer’s advocate:
- You get your time back: Searching for the perfect house can take up a lot of your time. In addition to browsing listings, you’ll also need to dedicate a part of your weekend to viewing the houses in person. When multiple listings show an open house inspection on the same date and time, it can be exhausting driving from one location to the other. A buyer’s advocate can save time by house-hunting for you, based on your requirements.
- Bidding at auctions: Those high-energy auctions can be intimidating for someone who’s never participated in them before. A buyer’s advocate can make you feel at ease and prevent overbidding, as well as employ some strategies to help scare away the competition and potentially get a better price for you at auction.
- You can potentially save money: A buyer’s advocate has likely years of experience in negotiating a better deal on the purchase price. Additionally, they can help you understand how much a property is worth. That said, the flexibility of the price does depend on the vendor’s situation.
- Better access to off-market properties: It’s a fact that some properties just aren’t advertised online, in particular those asking for a higher price or in no need to rush a sale. A buyer’s advocate has access to these off-market properties and can provide you with an opportunity that you wouldn’t have been able to discover by yourself.
- Emotional detachment: A buyer’s advocate has no emotional interest in the property you’ve selected, which means they can objectively view the home and see it for what it is. As a buyer, you may be more likely to pay over market price for something you’ve set your heart on. A buyer’s advocate can help you look at the situation more realistically.
There’s no doubt that hiring a professional to help with sourcing a property and negotiating the price of it can be helpful. If you don’t have the skills to value the property or secure a deal, you may want to look into hiring a buyer’s advocate.
Cohen Handler offers a professional buyer’s advocacy service for those looking to buy a home or property. Contact us now to find out more information.