Buying a home is not a straightforward process. Even in times when there isn’t a pandemic changing the way we all live, it’s complicated. From finding the right home, in the right place, to financing, and closing, there are a lot of steps. With the real estate market constantly changing as a result of COVID-19 working with a buyer’s agent has become even more essential.
Having an industry expert in your back pocket to make finding that perfect home easier is always a good idea. Today, using a buyer’s agent when home shopping can make a huge difference. They’re ready to help you in more ways than one.
Finding the diamonds in the rough
One of the biggest changes to home buying since coronavirus is access. It’s not only harder to see homes on the market, but more people are putting off listing their home. There’s fear and hesitancy, which means it’s harder to find properties that align with your wish list. We can run online searches on our own, but that information isn’t always reliable, and with a shrinking inventory, it may feel discouraging.
A buyer’s agent can make the search better thanks to the MLS database. Unlike the home search sites you can find online, the MLS is the most up-to-date and accurate database for property listings. And, only buyer’s agents have access. The benefits to doing your home search through MLS include learning about properties the moment they hit the market. You also have the potential to get first-look access at something that hasn’t gone public yet. Because the MLS is where agents promote listings to each other, you’re guaranteed more reliable information, allowing you to really stay on top of the inventory in your preferred market.
Saving time in your search
Your buyer’s agent can also use their access to the MLS database to shave time off your home search. When inventory is low, it’s harder to search. New homes come up less frequently, and you may miss a listing if you don’t remember to check regularly. Buyer’s agents have the ability to set you up with your own account in MLS. This comes with a custom search that notifies you when appropriate properties go on the market. You can target your price point, neighborhood, preferred number of bedrooms, and more. With the help of your buyer’s agent, MLS can do the searching for you, giving you a competitive advantage when a home in high-demand comes on the market. You’ll have a better chance of getting there first.
Buyer’s agents can also save you time by keeping you away from the duds. With their understanding of the local area and access to the most up-to-date listings, agents can help you truly find the perfect options to look at, avoiding properties that may seem good on paper, but aren’t worth your time.
Providing professional support
While getting you going on your home search is very helpful, a buyer’s agent’s contribution to the home buying process involves so much more. A buyer’s agent brings with them their expertise and experience. They’re professionally trained to find you a home, and want to work with you every step of the way. They have your best interests at heart, which means not only helping you find a home, but making sure you understand each step in the home buying process. Particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer, the guidance a buyer’s agent can give is essential. A good buyer’s agent should assist you with more than home showings and searches. They can help you:
- Make an offer on a home.
- Find an inspector and manage the results.
- Get pre-approved for financing.
- Handle all the paperwork associated with home buying.
- Contact a trusted lawyer to facilitate closing.
The list is long because home buying is complex. You don’t have to do it alone.
Keeping home buying safe
Particularly important in real estate today is safety. With COVID-19, processes have changed, and home buying looks different in a lot of ways. Your buyer’s agent understands this and is uniquely qualified to provide you with a safe environment to shop for homes. Whether that means going into a home alone to guide you on a virtual tour or instating realistic and safe protocols while you’re looking in person. Since the buyer’s agent schedules showings, they’ll handle all the details, keeping both your best interests and safety in mind. Even if they go into a home without you, they’ll look at it through the lens of your wants and needs, providing a fair assessment of whether this property is for you.
Related content: Post-Pandemic Real Estate Agent Etiquette
Maintaining a handle on a changing market
As they stay in tune with safety protocols, buyer’s agents also are on top of the real estate market as a whole. It’s much easier for them to manage information related to interest rates, housing price trends, and process changes. Without their industry expertise, this is information you can miss, which can lead to you spending more than you need to on a home. Through their trusted associates, your buyer’s agent will then surround you with other knowledgeable professionals from a financing connection to a recommended home inspector to whoever facilitates your closing. Keeping educated professionals from each field associated with home buying in your inner circle ensures you’re making the best decisions about your future home.
Find a buyer’s agent you can trust
Knowing all the ways a buyer’s agent can help you find a home is essential. Once you understand the level of service they should provide, don’t hesitate to conduct a few interviews to find the right fit. You’ll not only want an agent who checks all the boxes when it comes to service, but you want someone you feel comfortable spending time with. Get to know them a little bit first while finding out how willing they are to educate you and how available they’ll be when you have questions. You and your buyer’s agent should make the perfect team. They provide you with an invaluable service and you can shop for your new home with confidence and support.