Why you should use a Buyers Agent when Purchasing
a Home or Lot on Smith Lake.
Like many others, you’re drawn to the Natural Beauty of Lewis Smith Lake and now you’ve decided to pursue purchasing a Smith Lake Home, or a Lot for a future build and now you‘re probably wondering what your next step should be….
Should you look at listings online?
Definitely. That’s a great place to start, and we’re biased but we think the website you’re already on is the best place to start!
Should I think about what type of property I want?
Yes, for example - do you want a secluded cove with a more relaxed feel or something on the main with Big Water Views?
I saw a House/Lot I’m interested in, should I call the Listing Agent?
Hold up, that may be a bad decision. We've spoken with numerous Clients that told us one of their regrets in their purchase was relying on the Listing Agent (or Listing Agency) to represent them as well as the Seller. The first step you should take is arranging a Buyers Agent to represent YOU. Water Depths, HOA’s, Dock Permits, Elevations…. There are a lot of variables on Smith Lake to be taken into account and the best position for you is with a Buyers Agent as opposed to relying on the Listing Agent.
There are a number of reasons why you should arrange a Buyers Agent before Purchasing Real Estate on Smith Lake. Today we’re going to discuss 5 of those Reasons. But first - an overview of a term called “Fiduciary Duty” which plays a large part in protecting your interests in the Buying Process.
Fiduciary Duty is described by the U.S. Legal System as a relationship between two parties that obligates one party (Buyers Agent) to act solely in the interests of the other (You - the Buyer). Fiduciary Duties are the highest duties known to the Law.
1. Listing Agents work for the Seller, Buyers Agents work for you.
The Listing Agent has a Pre-existing relationship with the Seller and was hired to produce the best outcome (Price & Terms) for the Seller; but your Buyers Agents has a Fiduciary Duty to you and your best outcome. Another thing to remember is that Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” (Latin for “Buyer Beware”) State, this means that the only obligation the Seller or their Agent have in regards to disclosing the condition of the property to a Buyer is in the case of a Health or Safety related issue. This is true even when the Listing Agent or Agency represents both sides & lakefront property brings more variables to the transaction than many other types of property; such as Elevations, Dock Permits, Water Depths, etc. If the Seller already has someone working for them and looking out for their best interests, shouldn’t you bring representation that has a duty to put your interests above all others to work for you in the transaction? Let’s also not gloss over the fact that Alabama requires a signed disclosure of Dual Agency when one Agent or Agency represents both the Buyer & Seller in a Real Estate Transaction, and there’s a reason for that. Using the Listing Agent is often compared to being sued and asking the Lawyer that is suing you to represent you too!
2. The Terms of the relationship are clear.
In Dual Agency, sometimes the terms of relationships between the Principals involved & the Agents are clouded, but when you have a Buyers Agent representing you, where they stand is crystal clear. Your Buyers Agent has the Fiduciary Duty to put your interests above all others including their own. And let's not forget that your Buyers Agent is paid from the already agreed Commission percentage that the Seller & Listing Agent worked out at the time of listing, you won't be adding an extra expense by having your own interests represented.
3. Buyers Agents maximize your productivity because Time is Money.
Scheduling multiple showings with multiple agents can get pretty complex, especially when inventory is tight and the market is hot. We know the Lake, and how to navigate around it so we arrange showings with logistics in mind to ensure your time is as productive as possible. We prefer to show by Boat when weather allows and many times that’s the fastest way to get from one point to another on Smith Lake as Smith covers 3 counties and has 500+ miles of Shoreline.
4. Buyers Agents advise you on offers & become your negotiator.
Knowledge of the market is key in any negotiation, and our focus is the Smith Lake Market. Leverage our intimate knowledge of Smith Lake to negotiate with your best outcome in mind. Together we’ll discuss Terms, Timelines, Pricing & the Structure of any offer and become your voice. The decisions are yours but you can rely on us for advice & to negotiate solely for you toward your best outcome. This is your transaction, but we’re there beside you to see it through!
5. Buyers Agents handle the “Heavy Lifting” for you.
The buying process can be very emotional and Smith Lake throws extra puzzle pieces into the mix since we have to account for all the normal things plus Elevations, Dock Permits, Water Depths & other things Smith Lake Specific. This is where having a Smith Lake Buyers Agent working on your behalf really brings the value you seek. We have conversations about all those things and more daily, they’re second nature to us. As Buyers Agents, we’re well versed in managing the process of buying Real Estate on Smith Lake from start to finish & we pride ourselves in standing beside you throughout your journey to Smith Lake!
Many people think they should just call the Agent on the sign (Listing Agent ) because they will “get a better deal” and that they “Know more about the property”, but neither of those may actually be the case in reality. Many times the outcome is simply that you didn’t have someone to negotiate solely for you, with the end result of paying a higher price for a Home and Dock/Waterfront that you’re not truly satisfied with.
If you're considering Buying or Selling on Smith Lake, we'd love to discuss your needs with you.
Brian & Darren were named one of the Top 2 Real Estate Agent teams on Smith Lake
in the "Best of Smith Lake" by the readers of The Lakeside Life.