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Buyer Agency and You

Why Every Home Buyer Should Use a Buyer's Agent

Q. How Can a Buyer’s Agent Help Me?

A. Every real estate broker owes these duties to their home buyer:

·                                 Loyalty

·                                 Diligence

·                                 Confidentiality

·                                 Obedience

·                                 Full Disclosure

·                                 Accounting

·                                 Care

These responsibilities are defined by state law, the Realtor Code of Ethics, general principles of agency and court decisions. But what does a Buyer’s Agent actually do for you? Like other brokers, a Buyer’s Agent will show you available homes, point out the property’s features, provide financing information and submit the offer to purchase. But as your representative, a Buyer’s Agent will also share valuable and essential information with you (if the agent knows it), such as:

·                                 Whether the seller would accept a lower price

·                                 The seller’s reason and timetable for selling

·                                 Strengths and weaknesses of the property

·                                 How you might gain a competitive edge over the seller

·                                 How to structure an offer that serves your best interests

You can ask a Buyer’s Agent for advice and assistance in setting your offering price and structuring the other terms of your offer. What’s more, you’ll have peace of mind knowing an advocate is working on your behalf to help you buy at the best possible terms.

Q. Who Needs a Buyer’s Agent?

A. If you want to make sure you buy smart, you need a Buyer’s Agent. If you’re a first-time buyer, if you’re relocating or are otherwise unfamiliar with the local real estate market, if you’re buying for investment and want negotiating help, or if you need to purchase anonymously, you’ll be best served by a Buyer’s Agent who puts your interests first. Even if you just want to get the best value in a property, you owe it to yourself to be the most knowledgeable buyer you can be.

Q. Can a Seller’s Agent Help Me Buy?

A. Sure, but the Seller’s Agent is working for the seller and is the seller’s legal representative. Yes, a Seller’s Agent can offer buyers some services, including a diligent search to find the right home, an explanation of available financing, calculation of monthly payment, estimation of settlement costs, and presentation of your offer to buy. What a Seller’s Agent cannot do is disclose information not in the best interest of the seller such as a personal opinion of the home’s real value or what price and terms the seller would accept. By law, the Seller’s Agent must negotiate on behalf of the seller and may not withhold from the seller information that could strengthen their bargaining position. That means you, as a buyer, should be careful not to disclose to the Seller’s Agent any financial or personal information that could be used against you.

Q. What Will a Buyer’s Agent Cost Me?

A. Usually not a penny. The seller pays your fee through the commission their agent shares with your agent. Perhaps the better question is, “What will it cost me if I don’t use a Buyer’s Agent?” Purchasing a home without representation may be the biggest financial mistake you can make. A Buyer’s Agent can guide you each step of the way to prevent costly errors. Failure to find out about defects in the property or the actual value of the property can, of course, be an expensive mistake. And failure to negotiate a contract that works best for you can cost you plenty. With a Buyer’s Agent, you can ask for and receive advice and assistance in selecting the best property and determining an offering price.

Q. What Is a Transaction Broker?

A. If your Buyer’s Agent locates a home you wish to buy that s/he also has listed, s/he must revert to a Transaction Broker in order to assure that buyer and seller are treated fairly and equally. A Transaction Broker facilitates the transaction by being an active middleman between you and the seller. Your broker is still required to provide complete disclosure, due diligence, and the care and accountability that they would always provide. But your broker may not disclose personal information (like how much you would be willing to pay or how low the seller would be willing to sell) to the other parties.

The Bottom Line

If you want a broker to fully represent your best interests, if you want help evaluating a property, if you want someone to negotiate to get you the best price and the best terms, if you want to purchase a home in what’s becoming the most popular way to buy, you’ll want to enlist the aid of a Buyer’s Agent.

Agency Terms

Buyer’s Agent: acts exclusively on behalf of the buyer, negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer, also known as a Buyer’s Broker

Listing Agent: acts solely on behalf of the seller, negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller, also known as a Seller’s Agent or Seller’s Broker.

Transaction Broker: assists the buyer (and/or the seller) by fully informing the parties, presenting all offers, and assisting with contract preparation and closing activities without being an advocate for either of the parties.

Customer: a party to a transaction with whom the broker has no relationship because the party has not employed the broker.



Click on the links below to read other articles

"Buying at the Best Price"

"Buyer Agency and You"

"How to Price Your Home"

"Tips to Enhance Your Home"

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