How Real Estate Agents Help Home Buyers
Any one of the team at Private Luxury Collection will come right out at the start and tell you they're a real estate agent — proudly so! Nice to meet you! We’re not trying to sell you anything, but we’re pleased to be of service.
Generally, real estate agents for buyers are paid out of the listing agent's commission, so there is no need to worry about parting with your money.
What we’d like is to give you the benefit of experience and advice that we have picked up in the course of our careers selling houses and being in real estate transactions — for both sellers and buyers. Then, if you want us to help you find a house, we can talk. Call us if you need us.
Technology is rapidly transforming the way homes are found and purchased today. In this "Information Era," most buyers are initially exposed to the house they eventually buy in Portugal through online sources, such as Idealista, Rightmove, James Edition Homes, and many other property portals. However, don't rush into it!
Why Home Buyers Need a Real Estate Agent
The reasons for using a licensed real estate agent in Portugal are still valid today as they were yesterday. In the past decade, online transactions and services to help buyers handle their own real estate transactions have become more common, leading some to question if using an agent is still necessary or an expense that can be avoided.
Doing the work yourself to buy a "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) house can save you money if the seller agrees to reduce the price by 3%, which is half of what a listing agent would receive. However, for many, a do-it-yourself home purchase may be more expensive than a real estate agent's commission in the long run.
Furthermore, the buyer does not usually pay any commission to an agent for a house purchase. Generally, there is a "listing agent" (the agent hired by the seller to sell the property) and a "selling agent" (the agent who introduces the buyer to the transaction). The buyer's agent is sometimes referred to as the "buyer's agent" because they are often working on behalf of a particular buyer, which is simpler than explaining that the selling agent is not the listing agent but actually the buyer's agent.
The seller typically pays the buyer's agent commission, with rare exceptions. The commission can be paid directly by the seller or set up so that the seller pays the full commission to their listing agent, who then credits the buyer's agent. A common maxim in real estate is, "No matter how it's set up, the buyer still gets the house and the seller still gets 94% of the purchase price."
Increased Access to the Real Estate Market
A real estate agent has better access to the market and specialised knowledge of local conditions. They serve as full-time liaisons between buyers and sellers and have ready access to other properties listed by other agents. Agents know how to put a real estate deal together, track down homes that meet your criteria, contact sellers' agents, and secure appointments for viewing the homes.
Buyers often struggle to navigate the process on their own. This is especially true when they are relocating to Portugal where enlisting the help of a buyer's agent will ensure you understand the nuances of how the transaction is completed compared to your home country.
Negotiation is Harder on Your Own
A real estate agent will keep the transaction "at arm's length," such that personalities and emotions do not become involved. Price negotiations require special skill and understanding of the psychology of offering and counter-offering. Agents maintain a dispassionate and rational approach.
For example, a buyer (you) might like a home but dislike its wood-panelled walls, shag carpet, and orange kitchen. When working with an agent, you can express your opinions on the current owner's decorating skills and complain about the cost of upgrades without insulting the owner. Your agent will translate that to the seller, conveying that you like the property but will need to spend a certain amount on decorating costs, and thus offer a lower price.
There are many contracts and documents involved in purchasing a house, often more than an inch thick. Unless you are a real estate lawyer or title agent, these documents may be unfamiliar and especially confusing if you do not speak Portuguese. However, they require detailed and accurate completions. Buying a property is not a "fill-in-the-blanks" transaction and mistakes, such as in title work, can have long-term consequences for the buyer.
A property on a double plot was put on the market. The neighbour bought it to carve off a bit of the second plot to expand his own garden. The seller then put the home back on the market and it sold. Months later, a property tax notification revealed that, while the expanded garden area was correctly in the neighbour's name, the house had been transferred to the home buyer. The new homeowner now owned both houses and the neighbour owned his expanded driveway and yard. Fortunately, they were good neighbours and settled the matter with a few signatures.
A real estate agent is well-versed in contracts, conditions, and unexpected situations. They know which conditions should be included, when they can be omitted, and how to use the contract to safeguard you.
Understanding Real Estate
If you understand the fundamentals and technicalities of real estate, you can easily choose the right real estate professional, anticipate what to expect, and you’ll how to go about ensuring a successful transaction.
Book in for your Free Buyers Consultation today!