Buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents: the right mix - October 2018
Back in school, I vividly recall one of my old classmates explaining how he’d managed to get the day off.
This misguided chap discovered that combining milk and orange juice resulted in a beverage guaranteed to churn your stomach and mimic a tummy bug. He got his sickie, and the rest of us got a valuable lesson in avoiding this particular style of breakfast smoothie.
Now I obviously don’t endorse this behaviour, but it illustrates some things just don’t mix.
Water and oil. A playful dog and a white couch. A pile of Lego and bare feet. The world is full of things that seem great on their own, but together cause chaos.
Here however, is my dilemma. For some reason, there are people applying the same logic to buyers’ and sellers’ agents. They seem to believe having professional negotiators coming from either end of the scale will mean verbal pistols at dawn where no one comes out a winner.
I’m here to set the record straight, because when you apply logic, it’s apparent the right blend of academic agility, street smarts and common sense can see on-paper foes reach a consensus that will results in a victory for all.
Here’s the rundown on why buyers’ agent and sellers’ agents work well together.
A real estate sales agent is employed to represent a vendor in every aspect of the sales process. They assess a property, provide advice on value and how best to market, handle the campaign, negotiate and ensure the contract sails through to settlement.
Their loyalty is not to the person trying to buy, but to the seller.
Definitively, without any question.
They actually have a legal obligation to act fairly and with principle for their vendor.
Buyers who has mistakenly believe the agent is on their side – even just a little – will find themselves at the mercy of a tough negotiation.
But hey, you’d expect this staunch loyalty if the shoe was on the other foot and you were selling, wouldn’t you?
In contrast, a buyer’s agent works for you as the buyer.
They’re your advocate, your guiding and steady hand in what can be a stressful, overwhelming and tricky process. Their loyalty – both legally and professionally – is entirely to you.
Once again – definitely, without any question.
You get many things when you enlist the services of a buyer’s agent. You get someone with a wealth of local knowledge and experience, who can tap into a market’s current status, past performance and likely future path. They know what housing types, streets, features and pit falls will work for you. And they do all of the heavy lifting on your behalf. They are well networked and can find off-market deals too.
But best of all, you get a master negotiator.
Don’t go solo
We live in a time when home buyers have an incredible amount of resources at their fingertips. The research you’re able to do now can give you a really good insight into what’s what.
But it can also instill a false sense of confidence when it comes to negotiating.
Even if you’ve negotiated a couple of eBay transactions on behalf of a less capable cousin, I assure you you’re no match for realtors who do deals as easily as they order breakfast.
On top of that, data can be confusing in the wrong hands. Things that might look like trends or patterns could turn out to be outliers and anomalies.
The deal itself can be tricky too. No amount of real estate reality television programming can prepare you for curve balls in the contract or pre-settlement process.
It absolutely pays to have a buyer’s agent who has these skills and more, honed to a high level, who can tackle every nuanced area of the exchange.
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Working on par
Now you might believe these two property experts would butt heads because buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents make each other’s lives a little more difficult each time they meet – and once upon a time, they probably did have a somewhat awkward relationship.
But things have changed. And it works in everyone’s favour.
Real estate agents love a lot of things – a fabulous property, a hot market, motivated sellers… but perhaps the thing they love the most is a serious buyer ready to make a deal.
Even in a strong market, where there’s no shortage of people coming through the door at an open house, a buyer who is well-informed, educated and ready to go will always be preferred over one who is umming and ahhing, not sure what they want. Time is money and tire kickers take away dollar-earning hours an agent will never get back.
This desire for a serious buyer is several thousand times greater in softening markets, just like the one we’re seeing in many locations now too.
A buyers’ agent does a great deal of work with a prospective purchaser before hitting the market. They discuss goals, wants and needs, budgets, target areas and set realistic expectations. By the time a buyers’ agent has reached a realtor, they’ve covered a substantial amount of ground. And with them, they have a buyer ready to go.
Similarly, a realtor knows the industry. They’ve devoted their career to it. They’re obsessed with property. So, they speak the language of a buyer’s agent and when on an even par, the waffle tends to fade away.
This is why we buyers’ agent score off-market deals – there’s no mucking around – we just want to get down to business.
Buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents work well together – you get an expert dealing on your behalf, the agent gets someone who knows what they’re talking about with a client who knows what they want, and the vendor gets the best chance of a quick, painless and fair transaction.
Sometimes apparent opposites attract and the result ends up being an all-round sweet deal rather than a sour stomach-churning mess.
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