This article is. basically, a follow up to the replies on a previous article I had written about: “Real Estate – Variance Issues & How They Can Impact Your Home’s Property Value.”
One comment that was made bought up the excellent point about knowing variance and permitting applications or issues BEFORE you buy the property you’re interested in buying. This reader, apparently (and, unfortunately), bought property prior to knowing some of the problems in the neighborhood. This is an excellent point, and this is where Licensed “Buyer’s Agents” come in to help avoid such an occurrence.
A Licensed Buyer’s agent are those agents who specifically work with buyers. They either choose to do this on their own (God Bless them!), or they may be “appointed,” as they are in many Brokerages, to specifically only work with Buyers. Buyer’s agents are not only there to help facilitate a sale. They are, or should be, relied upon to ensure that the Buyer’s conditions are met – while doing their absolute best to protect the buyer’s interests and escrow deposit during the home-buying process.
A good Buyer’s agent should be looking at a variety of things to protect their client. This includes researching all property data, applications, permits, denials, and any other problems with the subject property in the City or Town where the property is located. Their research should also include a neighborhood assessment to provide all pertinent information to the potential Buyer before the buyers enter into a final Purchase and Sale agreement – unless, of course, there are additional conditions stipulated in such. But, again, Buyers are not really aware of what a good Buyer’s agent can do for them, and many, unfortunately, do not seek them out.
Buyer’s agents and what they do for clients should not be taken lightly. I have had some dealings with excellent Buyer’s agents, and while they may have been a thorn in MY side, as the selling/listing Broker, I also know they are only doing what’s best for their client. There are laws in place, and those of us who represent sellers, buyers, or both in the same deal must abide by the laws in all cases.
Offers / Purchase & Sales Contracts
Unfortunately, many potential buyers do not understand the differences regarding representation and what these differences entail – especially first-time home buyers. And, those are the very people who should be making sure they are using actual “Buyer’s agents!” Purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions in life, and first-time buyer’s, in particular, really shouldn’t “go it alone” especially when there is no cost to the buyer!
Check The Laws
Potential Buyers should check with their state to see if there are distinct differences for Selling or Listing Agents, Buyer’s Agents and/or “Facilitators.” They should also be aware of the laws in their state to see if the Real Estate Agent is abiding by them and to make sure they receive any formal “Disclosure Notices” that may be required by the State to be provided to the buyer during the first face to face meeting at a property. This document helps the buyer become educated about the process – that is, of course, if they take the time to read it.
Which brings us back to my first point in this series.
Real Estate Property Values
If potential buyers, or current owners, do not respond to neighboring variance applications or seek out other important information at the City or Town government level prior to purchasing a home, they “could” be allowing a situation to go unanswered that, if left unchecked, will harm their property value. And, since no-one buys a home to intentionally lose equity (value), they should, at the very least, be aware that it “could” happen. Prior knowledge may help them to avoid it all together rather than going through with the purchase and getting stuck with costly consequences.
Buyers, especially first-time home buyers, should seek the help of a Licensed professional Buyer’s Agent or a Real Estate Agent who is not necessarily the Selling/List Agent. Your future home purchase and it’s property value depends on you to protect it!
Thank you to Daniella for your comment on a prior article, and for being the inspiration for this article!