Q. Should I use a buyer’s agent to purchase property?

Q. Should I use a buyer’s agent to purchase property?

  • Michael Meier
  • 01/13/16

Though it is not required for a buyer to be represented by an agent, new and experienced buyers alike are certainly advised to seek assistance during the process. The cost of such representation is free, as it is the seller who pays for the broker’s commission for the buyer. Working with an experienced, well-trained, caring, and dedicated agent will dramatically improve your success.

A buyer’s agent can be a tremendous asset by helping you with the following:

Saving time searching and viewing properties

Sharing non-public information with you about various listings and buildings

Showing you properties that you may not have found on your own

Avoiding losing a property that you love

Protecting you from overpaying for property

Making sure you are in the strongest possible position to negotiate

Making sure you get the best advice at all times from a team of experts

The reason a Meier Real Estate agent is able to help you with all of the above is because they are experts in their field.

Experts In Market Dynamics

Properties like stocks and bonds are an asset class; the reason being that they are significantly affected by local and global markets. Your Meier Real Estate agent can share insider information with you and give you a helpful perspective that you do not already have. This information could likely relate to the dynamics pertaining to the building that you are considering, the neighborhood that you are searching in, or the price range that you are targeting. You will also want to know if people are buying, where they are buying, and what types of properties are in highest demand.

As an example, you might feel that demand will be strong in the foreseeable future from international Chinese buyers. Thinking about your resale value, you might want to only purchase properties that are appealing to this Chinese buyer pool. An agent can provide information such as the tendency to avoid pre-war buildings due to the buyers originating from a local market dominated by new buildings. Additionally, the buyers may be attracted to well-branded buildings, as well as ones designed by starchitects or ones that don’t sacrifice finishes for cost. Thus, if you happen to see a property that you like that happens to adhere to these specifications, knowing that an influx of active Chinese buyers are in the market will influence you to heed your agent’s warning to act quickly. And in the event that you do make an offer and have advice pertaining to a trend of overseas buyers making cash offers, it might make you consider a non-contingent mortgage to effectively compete. Simply put, the more informed you are, the more successful you will be at searching for properties and making compelling offers.

Infrastructure can have a major impact on property values. For example, your offer on property located near 2nd Avenue on the Upper East Side might be a great investment play due to your knowledge of where the forthcoming 2nd Avenue subway stop will be. Or perhaps you find out that there are a lot of new development projects planned for a neighborhood. With the knowledge that less is being built than what is needed to meet demand, you will have reason to believe that the effects will be positive for the neighborhood’s long-term values. Highly-priced new developments can help boost general prices throughout a neighborhood and also bring in neighbors with higher disposable incomes to support local businesses. If, however, more supply is coming to the market than is needed, the result could be longer property selling times and lower housing values in the future.

Experts In Inventory

The more properties individuals see, the more real estate knowledge they are bound to accumulate. With time, agents develop a mastery of the inventory in various buildings and housing locations in specific communities and neighborhoods. Savvy agents, such as Meier Real Estate agents, get to know the sizes, layouts, views, amenities, and board qualifications in specific buildings. By working with a large quantity of clients, they are able to see listings through a variety of perspectives and acquire a deep understanding as to what drives value in the eyes of a diverse group of buyers. The wide selection of feedback and unique experiences enables agents to sift through properties for their clients and make quality recommendations. Considering that we have found that, oftentimes, buyers purchase something quite different than they originally envisioned, agent advice can be a crucial aspect of choosing the right option. After being exposed to various listings in different styles and locations, the buyer’s perspective changes, leading them to begin looking outside the initial comfort zone. A skilled buyer’s agent understands this and will spend the early time working with a buyer to expand the exposure to a variety of apartments, helping to understand individual wants and needs.

Until you are in active shopping mode with a confident adviser by your side, it can be difficult to know exactly what you want. You may have an idea in theory about the size, neighborhood, and amenities, but other desirable factors will become apparent in your search. This introspective process will be sped up by an agent, allowing for a searching process that is as painless as it is enlightening. Past experiences and a network of contacts will work in unison to provide you with the “inside scoop” on a variety of properties. For example, if a buyer is looking to co-purchase a unit with their parents, the agent will save valuable time and even more valuable grief by only showing buildings where that is permissible. If a buyer is looking to purchase an investment property that will be rented out right away, it would certainly be helpful to be taken only to properties where this is permitted, or where the rental market is favorable for the landlord. Since different neighborhoods have specific zoning restrictions, some neighborhoods are filled with predominately low-rise or high-rise buildings. Knowing this will not only affect how high a floor to set sights on and understand the supply to expect, but also its effect on pricing.

Lastly, a buyer’s agent’s ability to show property that is not currently on the market is an unequivocal asset. At Meier Real Estate, once we have a clear understanding of what a buyer wants, we will dig into our extensive database and reach out directly to other owners who are interested in selling, but have not yet listed. Finding such a seller is hard work, but if the buyer is clear on what they want to purchase, it is an endeavor that is worth the time-consuming effort. Manhattan is a fast-moving city with transient inhabitants, so by building a database of properties, landlords, and other brokers, Meier Real Estate is able to go above and beyond to help buyers find their dream homes and investments.

Experts In Pricing

When buyers find properties that they love, they undoubtedly want a thorough understanding of what it is worth. A buyer’s broker will provide you with a current market analysis, also called a CMA, which provides critical information regarding value. Pricing real estate is often more of an art than a science, so having a confident buyer’s broker, who can walk a buyer through various pricing models and perspectives, is immensely helpful. A buyer’s broker will share both properties that are on the the market and those that are sold, with the familiarity of the listings giving a buyer the confidence regularly sought in an adviser.

Experts In Negotiation

Negotiating the purchase of a property in New York is unlike the process in any other section of the country, or even the world, for that matter. There are both a lot of emotions and many parties involved, including the buyer, buyer’s agent, buyer’s attorney, seller, seller’s agent, and seller’s attorney. Also, once an agreement has been negotiated between all parties, it exists as nothing more than a handshake. It does not become legally binding for sometimes two weeks, a period during which a seller will usually continue to show the property and field other offers. Furthermore, it takes a few days for contracts to be written up and due diligence to have them signed by both parties.

So when negotiating, you not only want to get the best price and terms, but you also want to avoid insulting the seller, who can decide to pursue another buyer’s offer at a moment’s notice. The goal is to win the negotiation while at the same time making the seller feel like they have won. It’s a delicate dance, considering that if you make it too easy on the seller, they might think that they can demand a higher price. On the same token, if you make the process too difficult, they might decide that they don’t want to sell to you or decide to shop your offer around.

Another complexity of the negotiation is that it is not just a simple matter of price, but rather conveying confidence that you won’t walk away between the handshake and the contract signing. Additionally, the seller has to feel that you are a qualified mortgage candidate and will potentially pass a co-op board. Not surprisingly, the role of the buyer’s agent is critical here, since if a buyer has a respected agent, the seller’s agent will be more confident in pitching their offer to their client. Aside from the complexities outlined above, it is important to keep in mind that the seller and their agent have different interests than you do. If you had to appear in court, would you hire an attorney to speak on your behalf? While you don’t technically require outside help, it is absolutely a good idea to seek representation from a trained and experienced expert in the trade.

Experts In Offer Presentations

How your purchase offer is presented, what information it contains, what documentation it comes with, and who your representation is are all factors that will affect your success in purchasing the property. A buyer can offer the same amount of money with two different brokers, and is right to expect different outcomes based on the representation. Since sellers are not only looking for the right price, but also for the confidence in you as the buyer, close attention will be paid to how you are represented. Your agent should organize your financial documents, ensure that you have a mortgage pre-qualification letter, and help you craft a personal letter that appeals to the seller’s emotions. A pitch should also be included, with information involving experience that inspires confidence in the seller and how the involvement will make the transaction flow that much more smoothly.

Expert Connectors

Real estate agents are relationship-centric people who seize opportunities to meet and experience working with other experts in the field. Through this experience, they come to learn those who are truly worthwhile experts and those who are better off left alone, leading to a network of reliable contacts. Without an extensive list of contacts, you would not be able to, say, recommend a list of potential clients to your attorney, but your buyer’s agent would presumably have numerous people to refer. As such, your attorney will be most certainly pleased with the contacts provided and will extend extra consideration toward providing you excellent service. Additionally, with valuable referrals bolstering both the attorney’s and buyer’s agent’s businesses, you will be further connected with both parties and better positioned for future interactions. Quite simply, the happier you are, the happier your buyer’s agent will be; the happier your buyer’s agent is, the more clients they will refer. At Meier Real Estate, we will introduce you to vetted experts such as attorneys, mortgage brokers, movers, stagers, and contractors, just to name a few.

Experts Of Teamworking

When working with a Meier Real Estate buyer’s agent, you are not just hiring the individual, but rather the company they work for. Our in-house team of experts at Meier Real Estate assist our buyer’s agents and their clients throughout the entire purchasing process. Areas of support include property search, inventory research, board package preparation, logistics, administrative tasks, and market analysis. Our team of experts instantly becomes your team of experts.

Experts At Being Persistent

Often the difference between success and failure in real estate lies in the persistent strategy that an agent employs on behalf of their client. There are always obstacles in the process of finding and securing a property, and while some give up easily, others are relentless. Our ironclad commitment to helping our clients be 100% comfortable and satisfied in their real estate decisions is the primary factor that separates us from a sea of standard brokers.

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Work With Michael

Finding an agent who is not only knowledgeable in both markets, but also trusted and respected can be tricky, but with Michael Meier representing you that is what you will have every time.