Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about the buyer’s agent. Some believe that the role is under attack because of developments in technology. Many buyers are now finding properties online and contacting listing agents directly. Needless to say, the position is under fire, and this it’s just another part of the rapidly changing industry in 2019. Change is inevitable, and the role is evolving, but it’s important to know the original purpose behind buyer’s agents, and why it cannot be so easily pushed away.
Looking out for The Interests of The Buyers
Without someone to look out for the interests of the buyer, the public can be easily misled. It cannot be the job of the listing agent to help the buyer, because they are under contract with and are paid by the seller. Buyers need representation that will disclose all the facts of the sale to them, without it they are vulnerable to robber barons. A buyer’s agent is also key to sending in a suitable offer letter.
Decrease The Need for an Attorney
This lack of representation would increase the amount of lawsuits, as well as the need for an attorney. These fees to pay a lawyer could easily add up to be much higher than that of the buyer’s agent commission.
Knowing The Market
It doesn’t matter how many online listings a buyer looks through, or how educated they are, they will never get to truly know the market as an experienced agent or broker does. Agents have certain instincts about how much a property is really worth, regardless of the list price.
Access to a Larger Network
Once an agent knows what you are looking for, they can access their larger network, which is often more aligned with real time than online listings. Online listings can quickly go out of date and be left up for weeks past their point of relevance. Agents are always connecting with their network and can get you access to new listings before anyone else sees them. If you are looking at an online listing, chances are many others have already seen it.
With all that said, hiring an agent is an investment. Some people cannot afford the investment, but may end up paying for this frugality dearly down the line. Though technology is improving, there will always be a need for agents in the real estate process, so don't expect them to go anywhere.