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3 Reasons to Hire a Buyer or Tenant Agent


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September 17, 2020


David Skinner

3 Reasons to Hire a Buyer or Tenant Agent

You’ve determined what you really need and what you’d like to have in an ideal world and now you’re considering hiring a real estate agent to help you with your requirement. You want to hire an agent who is your eyes and ears, your feet on the ground, functioning as your in-house real estate department. Here are 3 reasons you benefit from hiring not just any, but the right real estate agent, on your property search:

1. Align Your Interests.

The first, and most important reason to hire a real estate agent on your property search is to make sure your interests and your agent’s interests are fully aligned. If your agent knows that you are looking at other sites without them, they know that in order to get paid, their deal has to happen, so they are going to push the deals they are working on at the expense of your other deals, which may not be in the best interests of you and your company. Your agent may not do this, but they will certainly be tempted to cut corners in order to increase their chances of getting paid for their work. You can have full confidence your agent is fully advising your best interests if the agent has confidence that if you do a deal somewhere they are going to get paid. Your representation agreement with the agent should have a timeline, an end date, and a description of what your agent is going to do. Landlords and sellers are responsible for paying commissions, so “hiring” an agent really just means enlisting them to represent you. Agents that specialize in property type and geography will likely have good relationships with many owners in the area. If you do not formally hire an agent but rather ask them to help you out, they may find a property by an owner that they know and have some implied loyalties to. You can only ensure that your agent has fiduciary responsibility to you alone when you formally engage them for the project.

2. Access Your Agent’s Network.

If you are a buyer and need to go through Due Diligence on the site, or you are a tenant and you need to find zoning ordinances and allowed uses, verify property information, or get referrals for contractors or other service providers who do not have any ties to the landlord, you will want those contacts coming from your representative who will instruct the vendors to give quotes and estimates that are in your interests rather than the interests of the seller or landlord.

3. Protect Compromising Information.

Listing agents are working against your best interests, they are hired by the owner and have fiduciary duty to look out for and protect the owner’s financial interests, not yours. They will extract as much information from you as they can without giving you any of their client’s information. They obviously want to get a deal done, but you will want an advocate working for you and doing as much as they can to get you the best value possible and help you achieve your goals for the lowest possible price. 

To summarize, hiring an agent to help you find real estate give you confidence that 1) your interests and your agents interests are aligned, 2) you gain access to your agent’s network, and 3) your agent will work to protect any and all compromising information from landlords and landlords’ agents.