Why do I need a Buyer’s Agent you ask? …… Can’t I just drive around and phone up the agent whose name is on the sign? Can’t I just go into any house that has an Open House sign? Well you “could” but it’s really not in your best interest to do that. As a buyer you want an agent who is representing YOUR interests. The agent whose name appears on the sign in front of a home is representing the seller – not you, the buyer.
Besides it being better for you- the buyer, you will also find that most agents in the market will only take you on as a client if you choose them to be your Exclusive Buyer’s Agent and sign a standard State of Arizona document that stipulates you are working with them. The agent wants to know that when you buy that you will be buying with them as your agent. The agent wants to be sure that the time and energy they put into helping you find your perfect home will not be spent only to have you go off to another agent to write the contract for your purchase.
When you have decided on the home you want to make an offer on, your Buyer’s Agent will be able to help you with information about what other homes in the area have been selling for, so you can make a reasonable offer.
Your Buyer’s Agent will also be able to refer you to a lender before you begin seeing homes, so you can become pre-qualified for a loan — if you are needing a loan. And your Buyer’s Agent will walk you through the entire escrow process, communicating with the needed individuals along the way, and keeping you in the loop.
What your Buyer’s Agent Cannot Do
Your Buyer’s Agent cannot help you to decide on a “good” community, nor can they suggest which community where you may want to buy a home. These are issues that are against the law under the United States Fair Housing laws.
Under Federal Fair Housing laws, your real estate agent cannot direct you to certain communities, nor discourage you from communities, as to do so would give the appearance of “steering”. Sorry, but the Feds can remove an agent’s license if an agent does this. A buyer needs to decide on the communities where they want to see homes – that has to be their decision.
Also please be aware that your agent cannot be a tour guide to area attractions. You need to plan to allocate some time to do self-guided touring and clearly decide on what community(s) you are comfortable with and would be comfortable purchasing a home “before” you ask your agent to show actual homes to you. There will be similar homes in many, many neighborhoods – but only you can decide what neighborhood(s) you are comfortable in and/or is near the amenities or activities you like to do, or is close enough for you to get to your job.
Before you plan to actually see homes, plan to do a self guided tour. Drive around to see where the dogs are barking, if that is a concern. Talk to the neighbors. Ask yourself, is this a neighborhood where I can be comfortable? Drive from the community to where you will be working to see if it’s too far. Go to the local grocery store, or other area amenities. If you have a favorite golf course or restaurant or medical facility — then drive to all these as well. Drive from the community you are thinking may work for you to become your home to anything that is important to you. Do this before you plan to actually see homes in a given community. There is no point in seeing homes if all these things that are important to you do not match the community where you want to see homes. Once you have decided upon what things are important to you and if there is a match with those things and a community is when your agent can then help you with homes.
Once you have done enough self guided touring to be sure the neighborhood is suitable for you — then is the time that you need your agent to get involved to gain access to the homes that meet your criteria and price requirements.
Generally 100% of your Buyer’s Agent fees are all paid by the seller — however, in this current real estate market and economy it is common that some sellers may simply not have the money to pay the full 100% of the Buyer’s Agent fees, or there are some cases where a bank may be involved, (ie, short-sale or foreclosed property) and they may not be paying 100% of the buyer’s agent professional service fees. These scenarios come into play when the banks have chipped away at what they will pay in the way of expenses, or the human owner has fallen on hard financial times and simply does not have enough money to pay the fees that are customarily their responsibility. But this all said, still most cases sees the Buyer’s Agent fees being paid 100% by the seller.
Your buyer’s agent can usually tell from the listing information if there may be some part of the fees the buyer will be responsible for and can advise you of this on a home by home basis. But remember, even if you need to pay part of the Buyer’s Agent fees, you need representation as the seller’s agent is NOT representing you — they represent the seller.
Are You Ready To Be a Buyer?
Contact us for assistance. We look forward to helping you get your Arizona home.