The guy on the sign. The lady on the listing. For many “Do It Yourself” home buyers, the seller's agent is the first and most obvious point of contact for a property purchase. But are they the right first call to make?
As a proud “guy on the sign” for years, I've answered calls from many potential buyers who weren't represented by their own agent and wanted to deal directly with the seller's representative. And, like many in my field, I look forward to these opportunities to form genuine client relationships. I make it my mission to understand their needs, their finances, and their individual timelines. At the end of the day, however, if it's my listing, it's my ultimate responsibility to secure the best possible outcome for my sellers. What's more, when someone wishes to make an offer on one of my listings, I become a mediator for both the seller and buyer. For those reasons alone, a buyer's agent can be a huge asset.
Consider this: a buyer's agent's works solely for you, and it’s worth it to have them in your corner. Their job is to provide you with all the information to make an informed decision (comparables, MLS history, days on market, etc). They're there to answer any question, suggest questions you never thought of and, ultimately, secure a deal that fits your bottom line. They're dedicated, they're attentive, and they're motivated to get the job done.
With the wealth of information available to us now, it's understandable why home buyers may feel comfortable calling the guy on the sign. We live in a time where listings, neighbourhood histories, and even house-buying “expertise” can be found with the tap of a screen. Add in a la carte real estate services and the perceived need for a personal buyer's agent shrinks even further. However, can online information really compete with the work of a trained professional who's on the ground and an expert in their jurisdiction? I'd like to think not.
At the end of the day, buying a home is exciting. It's also complex. The guy on the sign won't lead you astray, but the guy representing your personal interests will be there to work for you.