Real Estate News in the Shoals
How Can a Buyer’s Agent Help Me?
Every real estate broker owes these duties to their home buyer:
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
The seller’s reason and
timetable for selling
Strengths and weaknesses of the
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
Q. Who Needs a
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
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
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.
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.
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