Your agent is your greatest advocate. Use this guide to learn about how to talk to your agent and plan for scenarios where agency can get a little tricky.
Whether you are buying or selling a property, we always recommend having a real estate professional on your side. This can be an agent/realtor and/or an attorney who specializes in real estate contracts. An agent has a fiduciary duty, meaning, they have a legal obligation to act in your best interest when they are representing you.
Here at Landed, we’ve sought out high-quality real estate agents in your area to help guide you through your home search. Just like our participating lenders, these agents have worked with many school employees and their families, and they value educators’ contributions to our community. Should you choose to use our down payment program, Landed has trained each of these agents so they’re well-versed in how Landed’s program works. Sign up here to connect with a Landed partner agent now. We'll introduce you to an experienced professional who has helped educators like you buy a home!
Here are a few scenarios where an agent may not be required but is highly recommended:
- Purchasing directly from your current landlord. You may be leasing a home and the owner is ready to sell the property to you. They may not want to work with an agent because they want to avoid paying an agent a commission fee (in a typical transaction, a seller pays commission to both a listing agent who helps them sell their home and a buyer’s agent who brings them a buyer). In such cases, we recommend hiring a real estate attorney or advocate who can support you in writing your offer, understanding your ratified purchase agreement, and having a smooth closing.
- Purchasing directly from a family member. This scenario is very similar to the one outlined above. An expert in real estate contracts is helpful in drafting the offer and supporting you through the many steps involved in the closing.
- Buying a new construction. Builders of new construction communities may try to persuade you to work without an agent so they can avoid paying the agent’s commission. However, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional who is able to look over your contracts. Check out our guide to purchasing a new construction.
- Buying a property with dual agency. Dual agency means that an agent is representing both the buyer and the seller. It is illegal in certain states and something to be conscious of regardless. In these situations, the agent may be incentivized to have the interest of one party over another so you are not guaranteed the best deal or representation.
Still thinking of working without an agent?
Talk to a Landed team member! We can support you in making the best decision for you given the situation you are in.
Guide to Working With an Agent
Homebuying can be a complicated process – which is why you have a whole team here at Landed supporting you! Your Landed partner agent is alongside you throughout this entire journey, and it’s important you feel comfortable working with this person. Learn more below about what it means to find a good fit and work with an agent.
- A friend or family member may not be the right agent to help you through this long and difficult process.
- Be cautious of agents you meet at open houses, as they may also be representing the seller. The seller’s agent earns a commission that gets split with a buyer’s agent. An agent representing both a buyer and a seller may not have the best interest of both parties at heart.
- A seller’s agent usually splits their commission with a buyer’s agent. Meaning, as a buyer, you should not be paying your agent unless you have signed an agreement stating otherwise.
What does an agent do for you as a buyer?
- Understands who you are and what's important to you in a home.
- Supports you in understanding the market and neighborhoods you are interested in.
- This includes collecting data on market comparables (“comps” – knowing what has been sold in the past and at what price point) to help you determine the best offer price.
- Visits prospective properties that meet your needs with you.
- Supports you in your understanding of the homebuying process.
- Submits offers and eventually negotiates a sale.
Questions to ask to determine good fit:
- How well do you know the neighborhoods I’m hoping to buy in?
- What are your tips and tricks for winning offers in competitive markets?
- What is your philosophy on supporting potential homebuyers?
- What is the process of getting an offer accepted?
- Once an offer is accepted, what should we expect during the closing process?
- Are you also representing the seller?