Do I Need a Buyers Agent to Buy a Home?

Why A Buyers Agent?

Get a Buyer's Agent, Get a Home

What is a Buyers Agent?

To begin with, any agent can be a listing agent, or a person who represents sellers or  a selling agent, a person who brings the buyers and “sells” the house.  In California when one agent does both, they are a “dual agent” and are supposed to represent the “best interests” of both the buyer and the seller.  Many people call the selling agent a buyer’s agent because they represent the buyer.

If you walk into an Open house, fall in love with the place, it is priced right and you buy it, using the listing agent may not be a problem.  In fact as a listing agent, that is the best deal I can hope for.

The reason for a buying agent is every other type of home or business sale.  A buying agent is supposed to put your best interests above everyone else in the transaction including their own.  Keep in mind, the only thing that effects the agents income is the final price and negotiated commission.  Since the commission is normally agreed to before you find a home, all you do is decide the price, the rest of the work is up to the agent.

What a Buyer’s Agent Should Do.

Just in Huntington Beach, there are several hundred homes for sale.  Using a computer to fine tune your list based on things you think you want you might get a list of 50.  Can you imagine schlepping through 50 homes to find the “right home” for you?  Calling 20, 30 or even 50 different agents to see all of those houses?  As a buyer’s agent, I don’t want to waste that much of your time.

I spend two to three hours of every day researching and previewing homes for my clients.  Previewing means I call the agent and the homeowner, set an appointment and go walk the homes.  I look them over with an experienced eye and take notes.  If the house is a better home that the others I have seen in that price range, I keep notes for future clients.  If not, notes to skip it.

How to Hire a Buyers Agent:

When you are interviewing an agent to represent you, ask them to see their “preview book”.  My preview book is the best five to ten homes at each price range in the areas I cover.  Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Newport Beach and Long Beach are all areas I cover.  I cover a long and narrow stretch of the California coast because I find people who think they want to be in Newport Beach might be happy when they find that dream home in Seal Beach.  Just minutes apart on the Pacific Coast Highway, the areas are worlds apart when it comes to traffic, amenities and lifestyle.

As a buyer’s agent, maintaining a preview book is work.  Every week you have to go back and look for price changes, houses that are pending and sales to update the book.  Most agents won’t “waste their time”.

Why You Should Consider a Buyers Agent

A good buyer’s agent represents you and your interests.  They should be doing the legwork to help you find the great house so you don’t have too.  The buyer’s agent should be working for you all through the escrow process to make sure the deal goes through.  Right now only half of the deals that go into escrow actually close.  The buyer’s agent should be pushing pretty hard to get it done if the deal is right for you the buyer.

Finally after the close and you own a home, the buyer’s agent should have a list of people that can help you out with quality services at a great price.  These people help to make sure all those little changes you want to make to your new home don’t become big hassles.

A buyer’s agent should be working for you before you are ready to buy a home, and working with you after the deal closes.


Kelly Bourquin is a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker – Beachside

Her website is


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