There are many reasons you should choose to use a buyer’s broker to buy Chicago real estate. That said, it’s of course your decision and its not required.
This article discusses the 7 best reasons why its a good idea to use a buyer’s broker and, since this topic has been in the news of late, it reviews exactly how buyer’s brokers are compensated for the services provided.
Many believe the primary role of a buyer’s broker is to help a buyer find a property and write an offer. And of course that’s correct, but it’s so much more than that.
“A great buyer’s broker serves as your real estate coach.”
In the game to make sure you buy the best property for your needs, in a timely way, at the best price possible.
The 7 Best Reasons To Use A Buyer’s Broker
1. Help determine your price range
First, your Chicago buyer’s broker, in conjunction with your lender, will help you determine the purchase price range that’s right for you.
Your broker will help you understand what it will cost to buy the home you need in the various Chicago neighborhoods you like.
“Their local knowledge of neighborhoods, streets, buildings and homes means they can often make suggestions that you may not have considered.”
Thus helping you get more home for your money in a better location than you expected.
Plus, your buyer’s broker will introduce you to several excellent mortgage professionals.
To get an idea of what you can afford, start with our super easy mortgage calculator.
2. Recommend the best lenders
It’s wise to get a mortgage pre-approval before going to see property listings. It can be a big waste of time to start looking before you know your price range. Once you know what you can really comfortably afford, then the real work begins.
“The top of your price range shouldn’t always be the maximum amount of your loan approval.”
3. Find the best properties
Next, you and your buyer’s broker search and find properties that meet your requirements. Say you’re thinking of buying a condo in the West Loop neighborhood, a buyer’s broker can build a customized search for you.
“A customized search will quickly alert you to fresh listings.”
Plus, you’ll see the latest listings before many others.
In addition, it saves you from burning hours of time looking at massive on-line real estate portals.
In this case doing it yourself isn’t really better, even in this time where you can access so much information online. You’re busy, let someone do the ground work for you. Really, you will be happy you did.
But if you must look, and we know you must look at least a little, then browse all Chicago listings with us!
4. Arrange showings
Your buyer’s broker also arranges appointments to efficiently see properties that meet your needs.
In many cases your buyer’s broker will pick you up and transport you to the showings saving you valuable time. During the pandemic, this practice changed and now many buyers are driving separately depending on their comfort level, especially when it is just one or two properties.
For larger property tours of 3-5 homes, it makes more sense for your buyer’s broker to drive since it is easier to stay on schedule with only one car finding parking in the city. Plus, we know the secret parking spots!
In addition, that time in the car does lead to many insights about the property tours and how to tweak the searches or strategize an offer.
5. Negotiate the offer
This is one of the best reasons to use a buyer’s broker to buy real estate in Chicago. It really pays to have a great buyer’s broker coaching you through the Chicago home buying process.
Your buyer’s broker identifies recent comparable sales to establish the market value of the property you are considering. Then they help you write a competitive offer. Present and negotiate the offer.
“Your buyer’s broker is required by Illinois law to represent your interests.”
That’s right. And even if your interests somehow conflict with their own interests.
Once the offer is negotiated the next stage begins. And here your broker again makes your life easy.
6. Recommend inspectors and closing attorneys
You will need a licensed home inspector and a closing attorney.
“Your buyer’s broker will provide a list of qualified inspectors and closing attorneys.”
A valuable service, especially if you don’t already know an inspector and closing attorney. The inspector will help you work through the inspection process to identify any issues you may face with the property.
And during attorney review, your closing attorney will shepherd the purchase to a successful closing. It’s at the closing table where you get keys to your dream home. And realize what a valuable coach your buyer’s broker has been!
7. The service of a great buyer’s broker is worth it!
If you are wondering what all of this work will cost, in many cases the seller will be paying a commission to their listing broker’s brokerage. The listing brokerage in turn has offered the buyer’s brokerage a portion of their commission. This commission is in return for the buyer’s broker’s work in finding a buyer to purchase their client’s property.
There are some cases, such as a for sale by owner, where there will be no commission offered to the buyer’s broker.
In these situations the buyer will be asked to pay a fee to compensate the buyer’s broker. As a buyer, you have the opportunity to negotiate this fee with your buyer’s broker before signing the buyer’s broker agreement.
“A professional buyer’s broker will ask you to sign a buyer’s broker’s agreement.”
This agreement spells out what is expected/ required of both parties.
Some buyers are hesitant to sign the agreement. They are worried it will somehow obligate them to do something they do not want to do.
In fact the agreement lets the buyer know what is expected of them and also what they can expect from their buyer’s broker.
Moreover, it clearly states what fees they may be required to pay.
And finally, when reviewing the buyer’s broker agreement the buyer can choose to negotiate a rebate at closing from their buyer’s broker.
Buyers do have the choice to negotiate what they pay for the service of their buyer’s broker.
Why would anyone not want to use a buyer’s broker to buy real estate in Chicago?
There is no reason. Buying real estate is, for most people, a very important decision. And one with which they are not often familiar with making.
By working with a buyer’s broker, a licensed real estate professional and Realtor®, you will be ensuring that you have knowledgeable ethical business professionals on your team. This can be of great comfort and in the end result in a win for you.