As our real estate market continues to “heat up”, having an Exclusive Buyer Agent assisting you and watching out for YOUR interests becomes even more important. With homes selling faster and prices rising, many buyers may think that by calling the listing agent they will increase their chances of purchasing a home before someone else does. Doing so could be a costly mistake!
Buying a home is for most people, the largest purchase they will ever make. Whether you are a first time homebuyer or are looking to buy your next home, you want to have a real estate agent who can provide you with the best possible information and guidance to make an informed decision. When you work with an Exclusive Buyer Agent, their focus and fiduciary responsibility is only to you, the buyer.
If you call the listing agent, you may find yourself in a position where your agent is representing both you and the seller. This puts you at a definite disadvantage. By North Carolina Real Estate Commission rules your agent is not allowed to give you advice based on confidential information they may have about the seller or the property and therefore cannot be a true advocate for you the buyer. When it comes time to negotiate with the seller, how can your agent offer impartial advice and guidance if they are also representing the seller?
There are many agents who work as buyer agents but also work for firms that accept listings. In North Carolina if your “buyer agent” gives you a dual agency form to sign, that means their firm accepts listings. They are not an Exclusive Buyer Agent.
The advantage in our area is turning more towards the seller. Here are some recent statistics from May for New Hanover County that illustrate this swing:
- Homes are selling faster. The median days on the market in May was 30 days, 12 days less than May of last year and 29 days less than they were just this past January.
- The average home sold for 95.2% of the original listing price. As the housing market continues to rebound, finding a homeowner in this market willing to accept a deeply discounted offer has become increasingly more elusive.
- Active listings are down 22.1% compared to the same period last year. That means as the summer buying season begins in earnest, there are fewer homes for more buyers.
- Another key indicator is the “absorption rate” which is a calculation of the number of months it would take to sell all of the available listings based on the current rate of sales. When this number falls below 6 months it is considered to be a seller’s market. Last May the rate was 6.9 months. In January 2016 that number fell to 4.96 months and as of May, it dipped a even further to 4.69 months.
All of the above factors lend themselves to a market where sellers can be less flexible then they would have been in the past. As a buyer, you need to have a strong advocate in your corner working only for you and with your best interests as their goal. Only an Exclusive Buyer Agent can provide you with that highest level of representation and fiduciary duty.
If you are in the market to buy a home or just considering your options, it costs nothing to learn more. Call or email Linda for a free, no-obligation, no pressure consultation – 910.409.3519, Linda@LindaMehner.com.