Real Estate Jobs: Being a Buyer's Agent
There are a lot of different career paths, even within real estate, and one of those is to work exclusively as a buyer's agent. For anyone who wants to choose that path, it's important to know all the details of the position. Understanding what goes into being a buyer's agent can make the experience more rewarding. It's also easier to help clients when there's a deeper level of knowledge available. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important aspects of working as a buyer's agent to help anyone with that goal get started.
Table of Contents
- What is a Buyer's Agent?
- A Buyer's Agent's Duties to Their Clients
- Advantages of Being a Buyer's Agent
- Disadvantages of Being a Buyer's Agent
What is a Buyer's Agent?
A buyer's agent is exactly what the name implies: a real estate agent who works only with those buying properties instead of those selling properties they own. When someone chooses to be a buyer's agent, they don't take listings or work with sellers as clients. Instead, their clients are people who are looking for properties to purchase. Especially in a hot real estate market, this can be a lucrative way to work as an agent without all the work that goes into finding and taking listings.
A Buyer's Agent's Duties to Their Clients
Buyer's agents have specific duties to their clients. These include helping buyers find the right property and educating their clients on the process of buying real estate. They walk buyers through the properties they want to look at, then submit and negotiate an offer on behalf of those buyers, among other duties.
Helping Clients Find Properties
Not all clients are sure just what kinds of properties they want to take a look at. But they probably have some idea of the type of home they'd like to live in. For example, they may not want something with multiple stories or need something that fits a smaller budget. Because of that, they work with a buyer's agent to make sure they're seeing all the properties that fit what they may want, along with some that are close and could be good options for them to consider.
Showing Properties to Clients
Once a buyer's agent has worked with clients to narrow down what they want and which listings fit that criteria, it's time for the agent to take the buyers to see the properties in person. Going over the history and features of the home is a big part of that, as the buyers explore different properties and compare them with others that they've looked at. Sometimes, a buyer finds a house right away. But in other cases, it may take some time for a buyer to choose an option that works well for their needs.
Teaching Clients About the Buying Process
The buying process can feel complicated and stressful to a buyer who doesn't have experience with it. With a buyer's agent, a buyer can feel more secure in understanding the process of purchasing a home. That way, they'll be less likely to make a bad choice or a mistake that could cost them their house. For example, many buyers don't understand that they shouldn't make other big purchases while waiting for their house to close. That could cause them to have too much debt and no longer be approved.
When a buyer finds a house they want to purchase, their buyer's agent will draft an offer to send to the seller's agent. What gets included in that offer matters, so going over all the clauses and pieces of information is important. Naturally, it's up to the buyer what kind of offer they want to make. But that doesn't mean their agent shouldn't give them input and opinion about whether their offer is a good one, putting them at risk or otherwise likely to be problematic. The more knowledge buyers have, the better their offer, and the more likely the offer will get accepted.
Once the buyer's offer has been presented to the sellers, the negotiations can begin. Sometimes, the sellers will simply reject an offer. But in most cases, they'll be willing to negotiate a fair offer from a buyer, and they'll try to get a better deal they're happier with. Typically, negotiations involve the sellers and their agent trying to get the buyers to raise their offer price. That's not always the case, though. Sometimes, it's not the price but the other terms that matter.
Refer Clients to Reliable Real Estate Professionals
Most buyer's agents are relatively well-connected when referring their clients to professionals who can help them. For example, the agent usually has a couple of specific home inspectors they can recommend or a title company they typically work with. That doesn't mean the buyers have to use those people, but only that they can get suggestions from their agent. They may also ask for help with mortgage companies, appraisers, and others who can make their purchase easier.
A buyer's agent should be clear that the professionals they suggest don't have to be used by the buyer. Instead, they're just options to consider if the buyer isn't sure who to use or doesn't want to look for someone. A buyer's agent needs to cultivate good relationships with other real estate professionals in their area. That makes it easier for them to help buyers.
Advantages of Being a Buyer's Agent
There are a lot of great reasons to be a buyer's agent. It may not be the right choice for everyone who gets into real estate, but it has plenty of value for the agent and their clients. Here are some of the reasons agents like this option.
Buyer's Agents Get Out of the Office
A lot of the job duties that a buyer's agent has are duties that take them out of the office. They aren't stuck sitting behind a desk for eight hours every day, and they don't have to be indoors when it's nice outside. Instead, they're in their vehicles, working with clients, and touring houses for a large portion of their working hours. It's a more exciting way to work in real estate and one of the ways a buyer's agent can move more and keep busy, too.
Buyer's Agents Help Clients Achieve Their Dreams
A buyer's agent can be the catalyst for a buyer finding the home they've always dreamed of. That's a pretty big responsibility, but it's also a great way for buyer's agents to feel great about what they're doing as a career, too. They may show a lot of houses to a buyer before that buyer decides, but if the buyer finds the right one, they'll get to be a part of that celebration. The joy they feel when they help people find their homes is a big part of why many buyer's agents enjoy their jobs so much.
Disadvantages of Being a Buyer's Agent
As with any career, being a buyer's agent has some downsides. No job is perfect, and working with buyers on a full-time basis can be somewhat stressful for people who aren't looking to be on the go all the time or aren't as competitive by nature.
Buyer's Agents Spend a Lot of Time On the Go
If someone wants a career in real estate but prefers to be in the office more of the time, working as a buyer's agent may not be for them. Buyer's agents spend a lot of their working time going from house to house, which can be tiring. Before choosing a career as a buyer's agent, it's important to consider whether that type of lifestyle will be too exhausting. If the faster pace of a buyer's agent isn't the right choice, there are other real estate career options.
Sales Can be More Competitive
In a seller's market, it can be particularly difficult to be a buyer's agent. That's because when a seller's market occurs, it creates a highly competitive arena: there are more buyers than there are houses for sale, so agents have a lower chance of getting offers accepted. When that's the case, it's naturally frustrating for the clients. But it's not just the frustration that's a concern — it's also the livelihood of the buyer's agent that's at risk.
Not getting offers accepted means not getting houses sold and closed. When that happens, buyer's agents don't make any money because they aren't paid until the sale closes. That leaves the buyer's agent scrambling to try to get offers accepted and struggling to make enough money, in some cases. Naturally, that can be difficult for the agent and can lead to career burnout and other problems. The markets always change, but hanging on until it improves may not be a realistic option for some agents.
The most important thing for people to consider about becoming a buyer's agent is the big picture. There are pros and cons, just as there are with any line of work. Some duties are very important, and those duties have to be understood, valued, and carefully followed. That helps buyers' agents be successful and helps buyers get the support they need during their property buying journeys. With the right combination of knowledge and dedication, a buyer's agent can be a great career choice and a very valuable resource for buyers looking to purchase a new home for their future.