What is a Buyer's Agent and Do You Need One When Buying a House?

A buyer's agent will help homebuyers navigate their local markets, find the best listing, and strategize their transaction.

Scott Castillo
Scott Castillo

Whether or not it’s your first time purchasing real estate, all buyers should be working alongside a talented buyer's agent.

A buyer's agent will guide you through the entire transaction process and help make sure your needs are met. Partnering with your own real estate agent means that you have an experienced professional working toward your best interests.

Buyers who don’t work with their own personal real estate agent will be working with the property’s listing agent.

Listing agents can represent both sides and facilitate a deal, but they were hired by the seller. When the seller’s agent is the one you’re relying on to help you make decisions as a buyer, they may not be representing your best interests.

Instead of working with a listing agent who’s acting as a mediator to both parties, a buyer's agent will be there only to represent you.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer's agent is a real estate professional that assists home buyers with their real estate purchases.

Unlike listing agents, a buyer's agent is legally obligated to help buyers. Even though the listing agent will manage the listing, they are hired by the seller and are legally responsible for representing the seller’s interests.

Buyer’s agents have extensive knowledge about purchasing real estate, making them best suited to guide buyers through their local markets. The best buyer’s agents are trustworthy, experienced, well-connected, and eager to help their clients.

Seven Responsibilities of a Buyer’s Agent

job of a buyer's agent

In general, a buyer's agent is responsible for making sure their clients' purchases run smoothly.

From shopping the market to attending the closing meeting, they are in charge of ensuring that their clients are prepared for each new phase of the transaction process and are taking the necessary steps to close on their homes.

Here are seven responsibilities of buyer's agents.

#1. Answer any questions the buyer may have.

A buyer's agent is there to walk the buyer through their purchase. They will answer any questions that a buyer may have regarding their deal. A buyer's agent is the buyer’s main source of guidance and information.

#2. Create a unique strategy for the buyer.

Buyer’s agents build custom strategies for their clients suited to their specific circumstances. The buyer's agent will analyze the current market conditions and determine the best course of action for the purchase.

#3. Help buyers find the right listing.

Finding a listing that meets the buyer’s needs, wants, and lifestyle preferences at the right price is one of the most important jobs of a buyer's agent. In 2020, 51% of buyers hired a buyer's agent because they wanted assistance finding the right home.

#4. Help buyers make a strong offer.

Once the buyer has found the listing, the buyer's agent will help them make a strong offer that’s appropriate to their market conditions. This may include setting the right price, including earnest money, adding an escalation clause, and providing proof of funding.

buyers offer

#5. Handle communications with the seller and listing agent.

A buyer's agent will handle all communications between both parties. The seller’s listing agent and the buyer’s agent will serve as the main point of contact during negotiations and discussions.

#6. Negotiate the buyer’s best interests.

A buyer's agent is a skilled negotiator that fights for the needs and interests of their buyer client. Buyer’s agents will ensure that the buyer is not getting blindsided by the deal and is getting a fair and preferential outcome instead.

#7. Help sellers stay on schedule.

Since it typically takes between 40 and 60 days to close on a home, the buyer's agent will help make sure that buyers stay on schedule. As each new step of the transaction invites new tasks and deadlines for buyers, buyer's agents work to maintain a steady pace to avoid falling behind.

real estate closing

Why You Need the Best Buyer’s Agent

In addition to all of their important responsibilities that streamline the home purchase, buyers need a buyer's agent because they help them overcome unexpected setbacks.

If something unexpected occurs — such as an inspection report identifying a hidden issue in the home while you’re already in escrow — your agent will advise you on how to best move forward. Experienced and educated buyer agents are able to find creative solutions to anything that may arise.

No matter what happens, your buyer's agent will always be there to help you pivot your strategy and keep moving toward your best possible outcome.

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Scott Castillo

Scott Castillo