One of the most unique and misunderstood features of the real estate industry in the United States is the compensation structure. Real estate agent, in almost all cases, are independent contractors for the brokerage they work for. In these cases, all agents, regardless if they are on the listing (selling) or buying side of a transaction get paid via commission on that deal. What makes this unique is that regardless of who is buying or selling, the property seller is almost always the one who is paying for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. While the fairness of this is coming under fire (see this 2019 class-action lawsuit) this is the current state of the industry.
That said, it’s important if you are going to be buying real estate (especially a property that is represented by a licensed real estate agent), that you have an agent to represent your best interests. So how should you go about finding a real estate agent that is right for you?
- Phone a Friend
- Consider your preferences
- Ask the right questions
One of the best places to start when looking for a real estate agent is to ask friends or family members for their recommendations. Personal recommendations are a great way to source out the best of the best in any industry, but in an industry that is so heavily focused on relationships it’s no wonder why a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that about 29% of all Realtor® business came from repeat clients or referrals from past clients and customers.
What value does your agent offer? Are they going to be actively looking for homes for you or will they allow you to be the driver and just show the homes to you? Does their communication style match your preferences? Are they as tech savvy or old-school as you would like? If you aren’t on the same page, you’re probably going to have a bad experience so it’s important to make that determination before you sign any sort of buyer-agency agreement.
When interviewing a potential agent to work with it’s important to make sure that not only will you connect on a communication level, but also that they are the right fit for your particular transaction. Some of the questions you should ask include:
- How long have you been in real estate?
- Which side of a transaction do you typically facilitate?
- How much business do you do in the area I’m looking in?
- How do you typically communicate with buyers?
- Will you be able to show me homes in/at (your schedule)?
- Tell me about the toughest deal you’ve ever closed- what made it difficult and how did you overcome it?
- Why are you the best fit for me?
If you’re looking to purchase in a populated area like New York City or Los Angeles, you’ll want someone with intimate knowledge of the particular neighborhoods you’re interested in, but if you’re desiring a more rural area, general knowledge of the market should suffice.
RealtyHive is unveiling a completely transformational tool to the real estate industry. Cashifyd allows buyers to find a licensed real estate agent that can help them find their ideal property and receive cash back at closing from the transaction. While Cashifyd may be available if you’ve already selected your agent, the program typically works best when used to find an agent. For more information or to sign up to be one of the first on the Cashifyd platform, click here.
Have a question about buyers agents? Let us know in the comments or find out the benefits of buying with RealtyHive by clicking here.