Finding a good agent to represent you in a property purchase becomes a lot easier when you understand what tasks and responsibilities you need the agent to perform. These are the top responsibilities of agents working the buy side of a real estate sale. It is not the same job as, and has different responsibilities than selling property.
Scheduling Availability/Accessibility - Showing Homes
Your agent should be able to provide listings that match your criteria, first and foremost. You should be able to get in contact with your agent to discuss questions or concerns, and your agent should be able to communicate with you using a frequency and medium that works for you, including text or email. When a matching property becomes available and you want to see it, your agent should have the scheduling availability to accompany you to view the home in a reasonable amount of time.
The real estate market is constantly changing, and even varies quite a bit from one location to another. Your agent should have a thorough knowledge of the market in which you are searching homes. Your intent is to purchase, so as your main consultant, your agent should be able to identify value and recommend a course of action resulting in a favorable outcome. Your agent should be up to date on all of the ever changing guidelines and laws pertaining to the purchase or sale of property.
Offer Recommendations and Negotiation
Along with market knowledge, your agent should give solid recommendations on how to structure the offer. You can submit a strong offer with favorable terms based on other details than just price. Your offer will include all of the terms including price, closing date, occupancy, inclusion of property, and any other negotiable components. Ultimately your agent will negotiate the most favorable outcome for you. They should be aggressive and strategic. Your agent should go to bat for you and be totally comfortable with the role of bad cop while negotiating.
After the signed agreement, the buyer's agent works as the coordinator for the after workings behind the scenes. It is largely the responsibility of the buyer's agent to follow up with the seller's agent, mortgage lender, title company, home inspector, and insurance agent if necessary. There is a lot of behind the scenes action to which the real estate client has limited access. You should be able to rest easy knowing that your agent has it all handled, and you should be provided with regular status reports to put your mind at ease.
Buying property has a lot of steps, and a buyer's agent does much more than open doors. Your agent will work hard, with your best interest as the main objective. Again, buying property and selling property are totally different transactions. To fully understand the differences in responsibilities for representing buyers and sellers, be sure to read the Top 4 Responsibilities of a Seller's Agent.