How To Choose A Top Real Estate Agent (Buyer's Agent) In Nashville
Purchasing a home is an exciting achievement, but the experience often brings along stress, nerves, and fear. By working with a top real estate agent, you alleviate the pressure and can leverage the knowledge of a local expert. You also gain a competitive advantage over other buyers to find the home of your dreams. An agent serves as your guide for navigating different neighborhoods and determining your best fit. They can even give you a leg up on the competitors by providing you with “coming soon” or “off-market” properties.
The best real estate agents keep the home buying process seamless and fun. They provide guidance on making competitive offers and handle the negotiation process. You can even count on your agent to aid in finalizing the contract terms and throughout the remainder of the closing process.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced homeowner, here are some things you can expect when working with a leading buyer’s agent.
What Is The Job Of A Buyer’s Agent?
In order to select an exceptional buyer’s agent, it’s important to understand their duties and responsibilities. Their primary role is to guide you through the many phases of buying a home and aid in finalizing the transaction.
As you get started, a buyer’s agent will learn about your wants, needs, and budget. They will provide insight into the current market trends, along with how it aligns with your price range. Oftentimes, a buyer’s agent specializes within a target area that can further help to refine your search.
Once you’ve found a property that checks all the boxes, a buyer’s agent will advise on tips for making a competitive offer. They will also handle the negotiation of the offer and the terms and contingencies that are included. Following an accepted offer, the buyer’s agent will aid in the closing process to ensure a successful, hassle-free purchase.
Why Is It Important To Choose A Buyer’s Agent Who's Experienced?
An agent’s experience can ultimately be the deciding factor on whether or not you get the home of your dreams. When selecting a buyer’s agent to work with, you’ll want to be sure to verify their experience and background.
In most industries, one’s experience level implies a long tenure within the business. However, in real estate, an agent’s expertise is not always determined by the number of years in practice. A true representation of their level of skill derives from the volume of completed real estate transactions, not by the number of years worked.
Most agents close roughly 3-5 transactions per year. However, at Felix Homes, our agents complete between 3-5 transactions each month! Due to the significant increase in deals, our agents gain more exposure and experience to unique situations. Also, they can quickly spot costly mistakes that other agents could easily fail to see.
Why It's Important To Choose The Right Real Estate Buyer's Agent
Give you insight into the neighborhood
An agent with experience will know the ins and outs of different neighborhoods. Purchasing a home is an investment, and you’ll want to be sure the surrounding neighborhood doesn’t have a negative trajectory. A buyer’s agent can provide insight into community associations, top-performing schools, and the level of crime within a designated area. They can also point you in the right direction for a location suitable for young professionals, families, or senior living.
Help you find ‘coming soon’ or ‘off-market’ properties
Online listing platforms, such as the multiple listing service (MLS), showcase the majority of the available inventory. However, a great buyer’s agent is also on the hunt for “coming soon” or “off-market” properties. These homes have yet to hit the market and provide the client with a leg up on a potential listing. An experienced agent will often leverage various networking channels, such as Facebook groups, to gain access to future listings.
Help you make the most competitive offer on a home
Making an offer on a home you love is exciting but also brings on a lot of nerves. Especially if the market is competitive or favors the sellers, the right offer can have a huge impact. Making a strong and favorable initial offer could dictate if you succeed or miss out on the home of your dreams. A great agent guides you throughout the process and helps you stand out from the rest. Additionally, an experienced buyer’s agent knows the tips for winning in a competitive bidding war. They can guide you through which contingencies to include and how you can make your offer more appealing by including items such as a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender, and even a personal letter to the sellers.
Help you negotiate the best offer and terms
A great buyer’s agent doesn’t have a mediocre approach to negotiation. Instead, they strive to finalize the deal with the best terms for their client. An agent with experience provides insight on a recommended offer price taking into account the current market demands. Agents will typically summarize this information in a comparative market analysis (CMA) report. If the list price is too high, the agent negotiates on the client’s behalf to achieve a fair price. Additionally, the agent will negotiate the terms of the contract, along with important contingencies to protect the buyer. This can include a home warranty, negotiating the closing costs, or allowing the buyer early occupancy of the property.
Make sure you are legally protected
Beyond the house-hunting and negotiation portion, a buyer’s agent also ensures you are legally protected in the purchase. This is crucial because, believe it or not, when buying a home a lot can go wrong. If concerns arise from the home inspection, a good agent knows how to get your earnest money back. Additionally, in the event of unforeseen financial mishaps, an experienced buyer’s agent steps in to assist with further negotiation or to void the contract.
How Has The Job Of A Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Gotten More Efficient
99% of real estate inventory is online
In today’s world, almost everything operates in some capacity online, and that goes the same for real estate. Whereas previously agents carried around physical binders of active listings, now with the online MLS, all of the inventory is available in real-time. Potential homebuyers can filter through the listings right from the comfort of their own homes. This allows the buyer to browse and select their own listings, and leverage the agent to set the private tour.
Electronic signature platforms
With the help of electronic signature platforms, real estate deals can advance in a fraction of the time. Now, an agent can forgo needing to travel and meet a client in person to obtain a signature on a contract or document. This is a tremendous benefit for expediting processes more efficiently in the real estate industry. Additionally, e-signature platforms minimize potential risks by securely transferring documents or contracts.
Since A Buyer’s Agent's Job Has Gotten More Efficient, Why Do They Still Make Such A Large Commission
A buyer’s agent receives a commission payout from the seller’s closing costs. Traditionally, that percentage falls somewhere between 2.5% and 3% of the final sale price. Although the commission is technically paid by the seller, an agent factors in the commission payout when determining the listing price.
With the technology at our fingertips, more times than not, the homebuyer is the one actually finding the home. Don’t get us wrong, a buyer’s agent still plays an important role in other key aspects, such as negotiation and legality. However, since the traditional role of a buyer’s agent has since evolved, shouldn’t the fees follow?
This has led to a common practice known as a buyer’s agent commission rebate.
What's A Buyer’s Agent Commission Rebate?
In simple terms, a buyer’s agent commission rebate is like the 'cash back' you get from using a credit card. There’s a bit more to the concept, but it occurs when a buyer’s agent gives a portion of their commission to the buyer. The amount can be a percentage or a defined dollar amount. The notion of a commission rebate has become increasingly popular in several states. However, the state of Tennessee has made this practice illegal.
Tennessee is one of only 10 states that considers a buyer’s rebate illegal. Not to worry, at Felix Homes, not only are we fighting against the outlaw, but we are the only brokerage that has found a legal workaround. Under federal law, real estate commissions must be negotiable. Therefore, whenever we make an offer for one of our buyer’s we reduce our commission that the seller pays to only 1.5%. Then, included within the contract is a stipulation that the seller must contribute 1.5% of the final sales price towards the buyer's closing costs.
This concept is one of the many unique factors that make Felix Homes Nashville's most financially responsible way to buy or sell a home.