If you’re buying a home in New York City, it’s important to have a real estate agent who will be on your side from start to finish. A buyer’s agent is there to assist you with a very complex and time-consuming process that requires an intimate knowledge of NYC’s markets, neighborhoods, condo/co-op and house rules, and other local issues. A good buyer’s agent will also guide you through the purchase contract and other legal documents, and provide advice that may help you avoid costly mistakes.

A licensed real estate professional¬†click here to find out more is obligated to disclose any information that might materially affect your decision to buy a property. A buyer’s agent must also be truthful in all communications and act with reasonable care, diligence and professionalism. Unlike sellers’ agents, who are paid commission when they sell a property, a licensed buyer’s agent is required to work solely on your behalf and to make your best interests the primary focus of their efforts.

In addition to helping you navigate the many aspects of home buying, a good buyer’s agent will take the time to understand your unique needs and will use their expertise to find properties that meet those requirements. They will also negotiate on your behalf to get the best price and terms, and help you understand and interpret the complex legal language in the purchase contract and other documents.

During peak home shopping season, there are typically upwards of 25,000 homes for sale in NYC. A buyer’s agent will spend hours poring through listings and schedule countless open home previews to find you the right property for your needs and budget. They will also assist with the mortgage loan and closing process, making sure that all parties have what they need to complete the transaction.

Your buyer’s agent will also be able to give you an educated opinion on market conditions and prices, which can influence how much you should offer for a property. They can suggest how to respond to counteroffers and suggestions from the seller, and advise you on ways to win a bidding war. They can also suggest third-party expert advisers (such as attorneys, accountants and home inspectors) to assist you.

It is a good idea to interview several licensed buyers’ agents when choosing one to represent you. Check their credentials and ask to see a sample of previous sales. Also, consider whether they are exclusive or transactional brokers. Exclusive buyer’s agents will work on your behalf throughout the entire process, while transactional brokers will only assist you with the initial search and showings. Ask each agent how they will be compensated: a flat fee, commission percentage of the sales price, a combination of these, or something else. If you decide to go with an exclusive buyer’s agent, be sure to discuss the commission structure so that you understand exactly what you will be paying for.