Do You Need a Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home?

The short answer is YES, and here’s why. Buying and selling homes can be a journey fraught with hidden dangers and many potential pitfalls. That’s why most buyers and sellers are represented by real estate agents (or REALTORS® if they are a member of the NAR) to help them navigate the process and avoid any potential legal or financial issues. Most of the time, the REALTOR® representing the buyer is not the same agent as the one representing the seller, since their clients have different needs. Now here’s the long answer of why you need an agent representing you in the purchase of your home.

Listing Agent Vs Selling Agent

Listing agents help sellers list their homes on the Multiple List Service and have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller, while Buyers agents (aka the Selling Agent) represent the buyer and help them navigate the pursuit of owning a home. In a nutshell, the Listing Agent is helping their client get the most money and best terms for the sale of their home, while the Buyer’s agent is trying to get the best deal and terms for their client. The best agents work together to meet the needs of both the buyer and seller, and create a contract that is beneficial to both. Buyer’s agents have a vital role in helping you purchase a home. Afterall, you wouldn’t represent yourself in a criminal trial if you didn’t have a background in law, would you? The same goes for purchasing a home. If you aren’t familiar with the process and documents involved, you are risking losing a lot of money, or even facing legal ramifications if you don’t handle the transaction correctly. Let’s take a look at all a Buyer’s Agent does to guide, protect and lead a buyer down the sometimes treacherous road to homeownership.

What Does a Buyers Agent Do?

Generally, when someone decides they want to buy a home, they don’t know a whole lot about what to do and where to begin. A buyer’s agent can help you get PreQualified for a loan with a trusted local lender. Most agents have developed relationships over the years with excellent lenders and loan officers who they’ve worked with on many transactions and who they trust. A good buyer’s agent, after helping you get PreQualified, will sit down with you and discuss what you are looking for in a home and how much you are comfortable spending. They will help you differentiate between your MUST haves, and those it would be NICE to have. Once you and your agent have determined where, what and how much, your agent uses a tool only REALTORS® have access to, the MLS (Multiple List Service). The MLS is a database used to publish and distribute all real estate listings to the world. Zillow,, and Redfin all get their info from the MLS, though these sites aren’t as reliable as getting the information directly from the original source. This database can be used to set up a search that will send you listings based on your unique specifications. Once you have been PreQualified, met with your agent and discussed what you want, and set up a search in the MLS, it is time for the house hunting to begin! Now that you are officially under contract, it is time to have the inspections done. Agents will be able to recommend a great home inspector, and they will also be able to guide you towards anything additional that needs to be checked out, like the chimney, well, or septic system, and they will ensure that all inspections are done within the timeframe set in the contract. Once the inspections have been completed, they will then go over the results with you and come up with a list of repairs you would like the seller to complete. It is the buyer’s agent’s job to go back to the seller’s agent and negotiate the repairs. This is also the time to pick out a good title company. They are responsible for doing a search and making sure that when you sign the papers, the house will be yours and you won’t have to worry about liens, or someone coming along and claiming ownership years down the line. In Maryland, the buyer has the right to choose the title co. Who do you think they are going to lean on for this info? You got it, the buyer’s agent.

Taking It To the Finish Line

Ok, finally, your new home has been chosen, the contract has been signed, inspections done, repairs negotiated, title company chosen and the loan has been approved. The buyer’s agent has to be done now, right??? Not a chance!

Now your agent will help you review any work that was done to the house from the inspections, and confirm it was done well. Your agent will do a final walk, through the house with you, on the day of settlement, or a couple days prior, to confirm all is still well and the seller vacated and took all of their stuff with them. After all of that has been completed, it’s finally time to go to settlement.

Your agent is going to review the important documents for settlement ahead of time to make sure you understand everything you’re signing, and to make sure all of the numbers are correct and jive with the contract. Lastly, the agent will accompany you to settlement, mostly for moral support and to make sure things go smoothly til the very last T is crossed and I is dotted.

This is the point where your agent, who was with you from start to finish, finally gets paid for all of their help and expertise in navigating you through a very intense process. As you can now see, a buyer’s agent does more than just open doors for you so you can go out and look at some houses. Your agent wears many hats and fills many roles as the transaction progresses. The value they provide should not be overlooked.

To Infinity, and Beyond!

Whoa, what a ride it has been! Oftentimes agents will shake their clients’ hands at the settlement table, perhaps present them with a housewarming gift, then everyone goes their separate ways. At Mr Lister Realty, we like to develop life-long relationships with our clients. After all, buying a home is just step one in the journey of being a homeowner.

We have developed extensive relationships with vendors that cover the spectrum of home repairs, and we would love to be your go-to in all things real-estate related. Need a plumber a month after settlement? Give us a call, and we can recommend someone. Need a new roof after you’ve been in the house for 10 years? We will still be here to help you out! Need to sell at some point? We will guide you through the selling process just like we did when you bought.

Stay in touch with us on social media, and make sure you are a part of our Saturday Email Club so you don’t miss out on our market updates and homeowner tips. From home buying to selling, and all the years in between, Mr Lister is here for you!