April 13, 2011

Six Myths About Using a Portland Buyers Agent

What You Really Need To Know About Buyers Agents Before You Buy Portland Real Estate

When talking about using a Portland real estate buyer agents, there seems to be a big gap between perception and reality .  Internet, TV  and other media headlines are just a few sources of confusion. Buyers are also barraged with well-meaning  information from family, friends, and co-workers that presents a distorted or inaccurate view. Most of often this information based on hearsay or partial understanding. With the conditions of the Portland real estate market, it is more important than ever to arm yourself with accurate information and to separate opinion from fact.  A Portland buyers agent can help you get the knowledge you need to have a successful home search and purchase.

Myth #1: Who needs a Buyers Agent to help me find the right home, I can use the internet to view all of the homes for sale with all the current and correct info.

The internet is a great resource for home buyers, and statistics show that over 95% of all buyers browse for homes online. What many home buyers don't realize is that unless they are looking at your buyers agent website or the local MLS the information available to the public on the internet can be both misleading, incomplete or sometimes out of date .

Some website will show properties that already have an accepted offers (pendings) mixed in with those that are fully available (active).  Others may be missing crucial home features may not be displayed - such as short sales,  leasehold homes and association fees.  Photos of houses will show the best features, and eliminate the undesirable ones. You should be asking yourself why, if there is no photo of  a major part of the house, lets say the kitchen or bathroom and 5 different photos of the 3rd bedroom?

It's great to use the internet for pre-screening which houses to walk through but don't presume that you will be able to select the best home to buy without detailed knowledge of the community, sales history in the area, and all the details about the home that may not be available online.  Portland real estate agents who belong to the local multiple listings service(MLS), share their listings with other agents online.  So by using a buyers agent services and their website to help you search  for you home online, you are seeing up to the minute listings and information as your buyers agent would.  Also, buyers agents view the available homes in their market area, and can help you select the best ones that are right for you..

Myth #2: If you wait long enough, the perfect home will fall right into your lap.

Let me state this clearly, there are very few perfect home listed for sale. There are perfect neighborhoods, perfect home styles, perfect curb appeal, perfect layouts, perfect room sizes, perfect lots, perfect building materials, etc.., you get the picture.  But more often than not, all of those perfects will not come together in one house or for the price you are able to pay. Resale homes have history that often includes major repairs, land settling, plumbing problems, leaking roofs, layout issues, and noisy neighbors - you name it.  Brand new homes can also have defects.  Even if you were to build a custom home, unless its an infill lot in an established neighborhood (not going to find that very often), you are only able to build where land is available at that time.

A more productive way to view your home search is to seek a perfectly acceptable home, which means there are going to be a few quirks that you can live with or repair.  During your home search you should make a list of things that you can’t live without and things that are like to haves.  Then prioritize them so its easier to make decisions based on what you need.  Homes, like people, are not flawless but we love and enjoy with them anyway. That said, a good Buyers Agent will help you identify the major issues that may be a deal-breakers, and will It's all about keeping perspective and separating the big picture from the irritating but correctable details.  The right home, in the right neighborhood, with the right layout, etc... is what a buyers agent can help you find.

Myth #3: Use the listing estate agent who is representing the seller on a home you want to purchase to save you money.

Some buyers may be under the misconception that if they use the listing agent who comes along with the house they will have a "package deal" advantage in getting the best price. The reverse is actually true. The listing agent has a prior fiduciary relationship with the seller, who is paying their own agent to get them the highest price. In this situation, you are in "dual agency" and you are on your own with negotiations.

When you are using a Portland buyers agent, they represent you in the deal.  A buyers agent will look out for your best interests and their fiduciary responsibility is to you not the seller.  And to top if off, the sellers’ listing agent is the one who pays the buyers agent fee. In the state of Oregon, real estate agents do a co-broker agreement where the listing agents split their commissions with buyer agents who help to bring buyers to their property's. Its like having a free real estate service on your side as it puts you on a level playing field with the seller who has a professional in their corner.

Myth #4: More agents are not always better.  No need to limit myself to just one agent looking for me.

"I'll work with the buyers agent who finds the right property for me" does not really make sense with you think it through.

First, all the homes available to purchase are in the same MLS data base for all Realtors to access. You will waste your own and their time looking at the same homes with several buyers agents.

Second, some buyer's agents will want you to sign an Exclusive Representation Agreement to establish your relationship and their role in assisting you. Especially if they know you are looking with other agents.  Take time to talk with a few buyers agents and see who you think you might work best with.

Third, it costs you nothing to exercise your right to select the best qualified agent of your choice, to buy any home you want. With your commitment, your agent will be motivated to find you the best property, even if it is not listed.

Myth #5: Forms should be easy to fill out.  No need to read it all.

Big time false.  Buying or selling a home is a detailed legal matter involving enormous sums of money. Home buying is increasingly complex because properties are complicated, people's expectations differ, and neither will easily reveal their true natures.   For these reasons and to make it a legal transaction, all real estate contracts must be in writing.  Buyers agents deal with real estate transactions on a daily basis.  A Portland buyers agent is well versed in the forms that should be filled out, the steps to take and the pitfalls to watch out for.  Never rush into signing a contract you have not read. Prior to signing, ask your buyers agent (in some cases an attorney) to explain the terms to you.  If you have no questions, you probably have not read it!

Myth #6: To get the best deal and avoid hassles on a home purchase, you should deal  directly with the seller.

Since about 95% of homes are listed with a Realtor, you will be severely limiting your home choices if you want to deal with a home owner directly. How are your negotiation skills? Let's say you and can handle the purchase negotiations, contract and paperwork. Do you know what questions to ask the sellers? Will you be able to obtain and interpret the complete, unbiased history of the home? How will you respond to issues that may arise with inspections, surveys, encroachments, disclosures, covenants, etc? Every sale has a few bumps in the road - will your wheels fall off?

Reality Check

There are more myths out there and maybe I will cover them another day.  Like the guys from School House Rock use to say, Knowledge is Power!  When buying a Lake Oswego home, the more knowledge you can attain, the better off you will be in the transaction.  Using a Lake Oswego buyers agent will help you get that knowledge.  Having a professional on your side, at no cost to you I might add, will greatly improve your chances of finding your next home.





Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area,  Lake Oswego and  West Linn Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Contact him  for more information on Portland Real Estateand Lake Oswego Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.




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