May 24, 2007

The Value of a Good Buyer’s Agent

by Irene Nash

I’ve been amazed recently at the some of the discussions regarding discount real estate agent services, especially some of the back and forths in the comments section of the Redfin corporate blog. For some reason I rarely see anyone make the point about what I believe makes up at least 50 percent of a buyer agent’s value.

OK, I’ve actually never seen anyone make this point, but I’m sure someone has, somewhere…

People dwell a lot on how important the buyer agent’s role is in helping people buy homes, but the fact is, half of a good buyer agent’s job consists of helping people NOT buy homes – telling them when the investment they’re considering won’t reap them the reward they want.

That’s why it floors me to think that some buyers could think they’re getting a better deal (and some agents could think their clients are better off) when the agent stays behind a computer, and the buyers see the house on their own.

And I’m not implying that buyers are dumb – they are not. But unless they’ve walked into hundreds of houses with other home buyers and heard every comment as to why they would or would not buy the property – or spent years watching homes either fly off or sit on the market – then they really don’t have the take that an agent has on what kind of resale value their prospective home is likely to have.

A credit back on part of the agent commission at closing sounds like nothing to me compared to the massive amount at risk from buying the wrong home, and not only that, from potentially also paying the wrong amount for a home – since you really have to see a home in order to price it correctly.

That’s the bottom line – a simple truth that carries a lot of value.

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