Who’s on First or Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent

Buyer's agents can offer a wealth of experience to Sacramento home buyers.

Buyer’s agents can offer a wealth of experience to Sacramento home buyers.

We’re not quite there yet with some of this online bidding for homes because in my market of Sacramento, it seems that only the distressed homes — the foreclosures and short sales — qualify for that process, and even those sales are pretty much convoluted. Reserve pricing, phony beginning bid prices, coupled with the practice of the website company placing its own shill bids in order to drive up offers — a system that relies on greed, preys on naivety — and generally you can’t even see the home until after your offer is accepted, which is no way to buy a house. Nope, to buy a home you should hire a buyer’s agent.

I understand there are buyers who want to control every step of the home buying process from start to finish, and they think they know Sacramento real estate and don’t need an agent. It’s pretty much impossible to acquire that kind of specific knowledge, though, without working in the trenches day after day. A buyer can never refine that knowledge without hands-on experience, and that’s just the way it is. So, it’s only logical that buyers would be eager to take advantage of the services a buyer’s agent has to offer, especially since the seller is paying that buyer’s agent’s commission. But some first-time home buyers make the mistake of believing seminar gurus or buying into HGTV.

Buying a home is not like buying a loaf of bread. You can’t stroll down the online bread aisle and buy the brand of home you like the best without investigating a host of other factors. There are neighborhoods, location, construction defects, maintenance issues, financing, real estate trends, comparable sales, future plans on the drawing board for the community, business services, neighborhood reputations, taxes, school districts and a bazillion other things that should be considered before buying a home, and a buyer’s agent can help you with much of it.

A buyer called yesterday to ask if she could see a home for sale that is a short sale. Sure, we’d be glad to show her, but she needs to know that if one my team members shows her the home, we will be writing that offer for her and representing her. We clarify that with every buyer because some buyers do not understand what it means to be “working with an agent.” She didn’t have an agent, but then, all of a sudden, she had an agent. Funny how that works.

Then, she called back to ask me to set an appointment for her because her agent was “busy at work.” Doing some other job, I suppose, and not real estate. These poor people. They think they are a buying a house and shopping for a home, but they are digging themselves a bigger hole every day and sinking into it. There are many buyer’s agents who are busier than all get-out right now with the high demand in our seller’s market and our low inventory. Buyers would be wise to latch on to one of them.

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