When buying a Charleston house you have options! Some people choose a direct sale, others prefer to work with an agent. Just like properties are different, every situation is different too. Some people know exactly what they want, others need some time to compare multiple homes. Are you looking to purchase a home in Charleston? We will help you decide if using a buyers agent is right for you!
What do they do?
Real Estate agents can take on two roles. The listing agent, who helps the buyer to sell their home, and a buyers agent, who can help you find and purchase a home. Some agents do both and are known as dual agents, which is certainly a cool title. That said, more agents prefer to work on one side exclusively. Some love to help people sell, others love to help people buy. Buyers Agents are in the business of matching people to properties. They take the buyers budget and needs into consideration, showing them the houses that are the best match for their needs.
Both agents can show you a home, but only a buyers agent will work on your behalf to get you the best deal. A dual agent will ultimately just want the sale to go through, so they may not have your best interests in mind. A buyer’s agent, will look out for your interests and work on your behalf. A buyer’s agent will advocate for you and help to negotiate when necessary.
What will it cost?
Using an agent will ultimately cost you in commission. Yes, the seller will pay a commission to their agent, which is then split with the buyer’s agent. However, these commissions are wrapped into the price of the home, so even if it says “the seller pays” you are ultimately the one bringing the actual cash to the closing table. In addition, your agent may require other fees to work with them, so make sure you have an agreement in writing. Some agents will have you sign a contract to exclusivity, make sure to read all of the fine print.
What are the benefits?
A buyer’s agent is dedicated, full-time to finding great properties in your area. They should be a complete expert on the local market and features of the city. They are likely to have many area connections in the industry, and possibly access to off-market deals. They can be a wealth of knowledge, teaching you more about the area then you could ever learn on your own. When you work with a buyer’s agent you will have someone in your corner, someone helping you and guiding through the entire process of buying a home. If you are a first-time homebuyer, using a great buyer’s agent will help you navigate the process.
One thing you should never gamble on is the home you choose to live in. A buyer’s agent can help you make a smart decision with your investment. Before making any large purchase, you should always seek the counsel of an accountant or lawyer.
What are the downfalls?
For certain deals, skipping agents altogether, and going with a direct sale can be beneficial to both the buyer and seller. Both parties will be able to keep more money in their pockets when they choose to skip commissions.
Also, you never know if an agent is being incentivized to show you particular properties, When you do the research yourself, you will learn a lot about investing locally, and you will be able to determine for yourself which property will be the best for you.