Whether you’re looking to purchase your first home or in the market for a second, third or fourth, the process of home buying is not only long, but can be frustrating. Buyers, much like their seller counterparts, want the best and that takes the effort and experience of a real estate professional.
Over the past few years, buyers often worked with whomever was selling their home of choice. While it worked out well for some in a market where saving time was essential, buyers could now be selling themselves short by not seeking their own representation.
“In this new market, sellers’ agents are multi-tasking with the sellers already -- adjusting the price, adjusting expectations, educating them about their home’s number of days on the market, current pending sales and active comps,” said Tri-Valley Realtor Liz Venema of Venema Homes Real Estate Team.
“There are a lot of conversations going on between the seller and the seller’s agent,” Venema continued. “Professionally, I think this is the perfect time for a buyer to hire their own agent -- someone who solely represents them. Sellers also are responsible for the commissions. The buyer doesn’t pay anything even if they get their own agent. So, why wouldn’t you hire your own agent?”
Venema said her real estate group works with buyers and sellers and finds the equal representation of the two groups keeps agents current on the needs of those selling and those purchasing homes.
For buyers specifically, having a Realtor separate from the listing agent gives them flexibility when it comes to making offers, as working solely with the sellers agent may cause conflict if a buyer elects to make an offer under the asking price.
“We have recently represented buyers who have had offers accepted thousands under list price,” she said. “The seller’s agent would most likely have been uncomfortable presenting a low-ball offer to their sellers. I believe having your own agent makes it easier for a buyer to negotiate in the current market.
“Right now, sellers have missed the peak and aren’t always pleased,” Venema continued. “They have a ‘would have, should have’ mentality. So, if a buyer wants to submit an offer below listing price and is using the sellers’ agent, the seller may become angry at their listing agent. It’s always best for both sides to be heard.”
When finding the right agent, Venema suggests buyers look for someone with experience -- specifically experience in the local market -- and a solid reputation among previous clients.
Agents, she said, must have their “finger on the pulse of the market” and knowledge of comps and current active homes. Additionally, buyers should seek confident agents with strong communication skills.
It is also imperative, Venema noted, for a buyer to remain loyal to their agent and not seek additional representation or jump to work with a listing or another agent when they don’t see immediate results.
Venema explained that real estate is an industry of relationships -- those between agents, agents and buyers, agents and sellers and agents and other home-related industries.
An agent, regardless of if they represent a buyer or seller, only receives payment for their effort and research once a transaction occurs and closes. Using multiple agents not only sells the client short of developing a strong relationship with an agent, as well as having access to the agent’s established relationships with those in industries like painting, plumbing and interior design, but deprives the agent of earned compensation.
Ultimately, Venema said agents are passionate about doing right by their clients and getting them the best possible outcome for their needs. Developing a strong rapport between agent and client also maintains a symbiotic relationship and ensures a positive experience for everyone throughout the transaction.
“I believe in loyalty,” Venema said. “Loyalty is underrated and it feels good -- like a solid friend. I have the back of my clients. I love helping people move into the Tri-Valley and being part of their lives as they settle in and move onto their next phase of life.”
“As agents,” she continued, “we should always work together for the betterment of the client. The buyer often feels like they are not being listened to and they deserve to be heard just as sellers do.
“There’s a terrible saying in real estate that buyers are liars. Without that loyalty, without that relationship and without buyers filling out a buyer-broker representation form and committing to developing a relationship with an agent, anything could go wrong.”
To learn more, connect with the team at Venema Homes online.