Real estate tip: The Buyer’s Agent Cost/Benefit Analysis

lauren-and-scottsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

From time to time, we encounter a homebuyer who doesn’t want to work with a real estate agent, mainly to save costs.  Some buyers just want to avoid an extra person in the mix, figuring they know what questions to ask, how to negotiate, and how to best meet their own needs.  Most of the time, the reasoning doesn’t hold up.  Unrepresented buyers can not only pay more than the market should bear, but they can sometimes miss items of repair that a seller might normally undertake.

Cost.  In many cases, buyers don’t understand that they aren’t the ones who will pay their agent’s commission.  In the Kansas City area, sellers typically pay all agent commission.  Buyers may pay a small administrative fee, but this arrives, if at all, when the home purchase closes.  Buyers who decide to go it alone to save in commission fees aren’t really saving anything.

Personal Consultant.  Once the cost of a buyer’s agent is calculated (little to nothing), buyers need to look at what they get by working with someone.  In the world of real estate, it is substantial.  Buying a home is a significant and long-term decision. A buyer’s agent serves as a buyer’s personal real estate consultant in all phases of the process.  In working with an agent, a buyer has a single, go-to source for questions, problems, concerns and anything that might come up along the way.  A buyer’s agent not only brings experience and an established system for purchasing a home.  He or she also serves as a valuable resource for lenders, inspectors, tradespeople, and other agents who have homes listed throughout the area.

Expert Research.  Information is an extremely important part of every deal. It starts with a buyer’s wants and needs, which sometimes aren’t obvious.  Information also comes into play when searching for a home, when determining a fair offer, and when setting up financing.  In each step, a buyer’s agent brings industry tools, experience and knowledge to help the buyer get what they want and when they want it.  A buyer’s agent also helps make sure an offer is not only fair and attractive to the seller, but that the buyer does not pay too much.

Chief Negotiator.  A buyer’s agent also serves as the buyer’s main negotiator throughout the buying process.  While each buyer is their own decision-maker, an agent is the one who handles communications with other agents and a variety of others who make an appearance in the process.  This includes dealing with listing agents, coordinating inspectors, managing contractors, working with lenders and underwriters, and getting title companies everything they need in a timely fashion.

Trouble Shooter.  As the buyer’s hub for the home buying process, a buyer’s agent also handles any problems that may arise.  Anyone who has gone through the process knows that problems can come in all shapes and sizes, and none of them are much fun to deal with.  A buyer’s agent will step in to handle issues with financing, title, necessary repairs, and closing date.  The best deals run 100% smoothly, but most see some type of snag along the way.  A buyer’s agent handles each snag or issue, insulating the buyer from stress, frustration and turmoil.

Each buyer has a lot of decisions to make in the course of buying a home or condo.  Deciding whether to work with a buyer’s agent should involve a total cost/benefit analysis.  The cost in most situations is next to nothing.  The benefits?  Plenty.  An experienced buyer’s agent has seen it all, and is there to represent only you.  After looking at everything involved with buying a home, there are many, many reasons to be represented, and very few reasons to go it alone.

Author’s Note – If you enjoy reading our Midtown KC Post articles, and might be buying or selling your own home, please contact us. We enjoy writing these, and love helping people.

Lauren Hruby Real Estate


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