Buying a home can be a complicated process, especially in a competitive market like the one we have in Massachusetts. Luckily for buyers, working with a qualified agent can help you make sense of it all—for free.

Buyer’s agents’ commissions are typically paid by the seller as part of the cost of listing a house professionally. When you consider the potential risks of not having an expert on your side (there are plenty!), and the many benefits of working with a buyer’s agent, the decision is easy. Here are six important reasons to work with a buyer’s agent during your home search:

    1.  You will have a trusted expert on your side.

Buyer’s agents are committed to doing what is in your best interest, not the seller’s. Don’t ever be fooled when seller’s agents at open houses try to talk you into working with them to buy. Each of them is being paid by his or her seller—and the higher the sales price, the bigger the commission check. Why allow a player on the other team to advise you when you could work with an expert that is legally and ethically obligated to look out for you every step of the way (and for free)?

2.  Your agent has been around the block.

Buyer’s agents are local experts that can help you determine which neighborhoods might be a good fit for your needs. They know the  market and can share information about trends,  local zoning laws, fair housing statutes, realistic offer  prices for properties that interest you, and more. This  advice can help you make the best decision about where to focus your search and what home to purchase. 

3.  You will get the most complete set of home listings.

While sites like Zillow and Trulia seem to be the perfect place to search for homes, they have some big pitfalls. Often listings are not updated immediately, which means you could miss out on the perfect home. Working with a buyer’s agent gives you access to the most up-to-date listings via the MLS. I can set up tailored searches that will send updates directly to your inbox. This means you will get an email every time a house that meets your criteria hits the market—often days before the national sites. 

4.  Your life will be a lot easier. 

Having a single point of contact in your search can be a lifesaver, especially in a market with fast-moving inventory. Your agent can schedule showings and walk through potential homes with you, pointing out key features and potential red flags along the way. Your agent will also prepare documents and paperwork, and guide you through the series of complex steps from offer to closing. 

5.  Your agent’s knowledge is your power. 

Negotiations, especially when such large sums of money are involved, can be challenging. By working with an agent, you can feel confident that you have an expert advising you. You also have a built-in buffer between you and the seller’s agent, which makes the process feel more comfortable.

6.  You aren’t paying a dime. 

I know I mentioned this already, but I feel like it bears repeating: buyer’s agents are free. In fact, they are almost more than free when you consider the potential risks (financial and otherwise) and headaches of working without an agent. Take the time to find a buyer’s agent you trust and start your home search off right! 

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