What is a Buyer’s Agent in Residential Real Estate?

In a residential real estate transaction, there is usually a listing agent who works for the seller, and a buyer’s agent who works for the buyer. Some people contact the listing agent only and don’t engage a buyer’s agent. Or you may engage a realtor as your buyer’s agent, but that person also lists properties. If your realtor finds herself recommending a property she also listed, she will probably consult the Office’s Manager to appoint someone else to take the opposite role, so the transaction remains fair and balanced.

While many believe that buying a property without realtors is the way to save money, I would remind them that the role of real estate professional encompasses more than just listing a property on a website. Realtors have valuable networks of construction, home repair, landscaping, architecture, and design professionals. They understand and can smooth out the rollercoaster ride of home buying better than any other profession in the transaction.

They can often identify problems with a home’s situation that would never occur to casual observers. They may also recommend a fix for problems that are not obvious.

For example, a couple fell in love with a house that shared a driveway with its neighbor. (The pair of houses were built by sisters many years ago.) A shared driveway will generally lower the value of both houses, so the house was within the couple’s budget, but the shared driveway was a deal-breaker. Their realtor was very familiar with the neighborhood. She remembered that this house backed up to a clear, working alleyway. With a slight modification, the garage could be made to open onto the alley and the space in front of the garage used to split the driveway could be reclaimed as yard. The property still sold at a discount due to the shared driveway, but the reason for the discount disappeared once the garage was modified. 

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