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Real Estate Agent Pros and Cons: What Buyers Should Know

Some people get prickly about hiring real estate agents because they’re worried about the cost. Check out our guide for why you should stop worrying about costs and learn to love the representation they offer.
Some people get prickly about hiring real estate agents because they’re worried about the cost. Check out our guide for why you should stop worrying about costs and learn to love the representation they offer.

With 87% of buyers using a real estate agent to find their home or investment properties, there's a reason so few people go without one. Working with an experienced local agent gives you access to data and information you wouldn't otherwise have access to. It also allows you to sort out the confusing nature of the searching, bidding, and closing processes.

Choose a top, local agent when you're buying a new home who has experience with the area and knows how to get you the best deal.

Here are some pros and cons that buyers should know before deciding to work with an agent.

Pro: You Get An Experienced Negotiator in Your Corner

When you decide to work with a buyer's agent, you get the chance to save more money than you would trying to buy on your own. Buyer's agents know more than just the rules and paperwork surrounding buying a home. They also know how to negotiate.

After you view a home together, you might be excited to put in a bid. An experienced local agent will have seen things that they can warn you about. If there are problems that the agent noticed (before or after the home inspection), you might negotiate a lower price.

The seller's agent won't be helpful to you because they have a fiduciary duty to the seller. They can't do anything to hurt the sale and will do everything they can to keep firm on the price. With your own agent, you can break through the wall of silence offered by the seller's agent.

Con: You May Be Contracted to Work With Them

If you're looking for the best buyer's agent out there, you may have to get into a signed agreement. This ensures that they're entitled to a portion of the commission if you complete a transaction. While you don't need to sign in all markets, you should always get to know your agent before you sign with them.

Exclusivity may not be all that limiting. In some cases, you're only limited to representation for a short period, sometimes as little as one day. Some agents will want to be your exclusive agent but only ask that you work with them within a specific zip code.

When you sign, it means that you'll get many of the benefits of exclusivity. In exchange for your trust, you'll get a chance to see FSBO listings and a few gems that might be exclusive to their agency for the time being. Being the first to see some listings means being the first to be able to bid.

Pro: They Know What to Look Out For

When you hire an agent to represent your buying interests, you get access to expertise in real estate and in the local market. Every regional market has its own quirks and issues with buildings. Your agent will know the deal.

They'll also know if a neighborhood is on the decline or if it's starting to get hot. If a neighborhood is getting hot, you might end up in a bidding war. If the market has cooled, they'll tell you just how low you can go without insulting a seller.

In moments of excitement, they'll bring you down to earth to make sure you make the right decision.

Con: They Might Only Work One Side of the Market

While this isn't usually true, some agents have more experience on one side of the market than another. However, all agents are trained on the ethics and best practices of working either side of the market.

As a buyer, you might worry that the agent doesn't have your interests in mind and might be working for the seller, too. Thankfully, this is unethical unless you've signed an agreement to work with a dual agent. When you hire a dual agent, they're not allowed to get involved in negotiations, so there's no need to worry about an agent crossing boundaries.

Pro: They'll Get You The Best Deal

A buyer's agent is your best bet for getting a good deal. Remember that unless you're buying a FSBO listing, the homes you're looking at are going to be represented by agents. Those agents are out to get the highest price for their clients.

If you're all on your own, it's hard to go toe to toe with an expert negotiator. Unless you're already a real estate expert, you might miss things that agents would notice right away.

The best part is that the seller is tasked with paying commission for both agents. In most typical real estate transactions, you don't have to pay a cent for representation. The commission split is handled by the agents for both parties, so there's no reason to hire anyone but the most experienced local agent you can find.

Buyers Save When They Work With Experienced Local Agents

The bottom line for most buyers comes down to price and whether it's a fit for their family. Filtering through millions of listings online is a struggle without the assistance of an experienced local agent is tiring.

Working with a top agent, like a Clever Partner Agent not only gives you access to a top-rated professional from in your region but they'll also qualify you for a $1,000 rebate to save with closing costs.

Fill out this form and we'll match you with a Partner Agent who knows your regional market like the back of their hand.


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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