What exactly is a buyer's agent and is it necessary to have one when buying Whidbey Island real estate?
A buyer's agent is exactly that; an agent for the buyer in a transaction. The agent that represents the seller is called the listing agent because they are the broker or agent that took the listing for the home. The buyer's agent is also called the selling agent and in some areas called the buyer's representative.
When the buyer's agent represents the buyer, the buyer's needs and interest are taken into the first priority for this agent. The listing agent is concerned with their seller, not the buyer. If the listing agent also is the same agent handling the buyer's side, you can see where some conflict of interest can come into play. Plus, with this dual agency, the buyer is not fully protected because the seller was the client first and the goal is to sell this property.
If you have a buyers agent from the start, the pressure from listing agents is taken away. You simply inform the listing agent that you have a buyer's agent and then that listing agent cannot bother you about business again. They can still try and sell the house you may be looking into, but they cannot try and get you to become their client.
Also, one of the major benefits of using a buyer's agent is the cost. It costs absolutely nothing for the buyer to use a buyer's agent. This is not even cost built into to the price of the home or closing costs. The buyer's agent gets paid from the split commission that the seller pays.
Here is how this works: When a listing contract is signed, the seller and listing agent agree to a commission percentage. A typical amount is 6% but this is average and is negotiable for each person. If the listing agent also brings the buyer without another agent, the listing agent gets the entire commission. You can see why the listing agent would want to have the buyer also. If the buyers have their own agent then the commission is split between the two agents. The seller must pay the entire commission one way or the other but it can be split depending on the original agreement and contract.
The buyer's agent will get paid from whichever home you choose. They do not have a hidden agenda to try and sell a particular home. They only want what is best for you. They work with your needs and your terms to get you the home you want. There really is no reason not to have a buyer's agent.
Read more about the financial confidentiality between a buyer and the agent here.
Contact us for a free buyer's agent for your next Whidbey Island real estate.