Author Topic: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?  (Read 2193 times)

Pave

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How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« on: August 05, 2015, 02:08:16 PM »

As the title suggests, I'm looking for advise on how to find a good and reliable buyer's agent.

Background: I have never bought any property in the US and don't know much about the process. Next year I'm going to FIRE and now it's time to start looking for a new home. Planning to relocate to Florida, and I have pretty good idea on the area I would like to live in. Just don't have any contacts or recommendations on agents... So, where to start?

-Pave





waffle

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Re: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 03:46:53 PM »
I just bought my first house last October. Next time I will probably just do a bunch of research and go for a private sale. I plan to use an attorney for the title, negotiate the price and then offer to split the difference of what would have been a buyers fee for a little lower price still. Win win... I plan to sell without agents when the time comes too. Denver is a pretty hot market and it seems like most people find the houses online without realtors help.

I can see the logic for having a sellers agent. They have an incentive to get you the highest price possible, but a buyers agent is only interested in getting you to buy a house, not in getting you the best deal. The less you pay for a house the smaller the buyer agent's payday is.

I've seen a few flat fee realty companies popping up. I'm not sure how cost effective they are, but at least there wouldn't be a conflict of interest for the buyers agent.

mozar

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Re: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 05:07:10 PM »
Google "buyers agent Florida"

Brilliantine

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Re: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 05:14:08 PM »
I bought two properties. Both times, the agent was a lovely person but I came away feeling like they didn't do a lot for me.

Their motivation is different from yours. They want to close a deal (any deal) as quickly as possible so that they can collect the commission.

My agents in both cases were basically my interface to the sales contract authoring. I researched the database, found the stuff that I want, they took me there and unlocked the door with their fancy realtor code, and when I wanted to make an offer, they filled in the contract and presented it to me over DocuSign. :)

In both cases I was introduced to the agent by my lender/broker. So, maybe the only way I find an agent is the WRONG way to find an agent.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 05:40:09 PM by Brilliantine »

Zamboni

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Re: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 05:16:44 PM »
A buyer's agent is a very good idea. I found someone who has a good database who was willing to show me what I wanted to see on very short notice (like here is a new home on the market today, can I see it this afternoon?) He also has a searchable website that will send me daily email updates with new listings which fit my criteria; that has been very helpful.

They typically can get the appointments into the homes you want to see without the conflict of interest you'll have if you contact the seller's agent directly. You don't have a pay a buyer's agent; they automatically split the commission with the seller's agent. The only reason to skip out on a buyer's agent is if you find a "for sale by owner" home, and then maybe you can get a better deal on the price. That's a big maybe. But, unless you are a seasoned vet of home buying, I still think having an agent who can guide you through the process is a good idea.

Just ask an agent to show you a couple of homes. If you like their style, then sign their buyer's agent agreement. If not, then look for a different agent.

dhc

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Re: How to find a (good) Buyer's Agent?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 06:14:54 PM »
We had great luck finding a buyer's agent by (closely) reading reviews on Zillow - the guy we chose had consistently excellent reviews mentioning exactly what we were looking for (cared more about us getting the right house than making a quick deal or getting a high commission), and our review is now one of the many!

I still think we completely lucked out and I doubt there are agents like that everywhere, but it's worth a look at least.