What is a Buyer’s Agent?
Did you know that when you call the agent listed on the sign in front of a property you might want to purchase, that agent may not be looking out for your best interest?
In a real estate transaction, there are two sides – the seller and the buyer. The seller lists a home with a real estate agent who agrees to market the home for sale and promises to help the seller negotiate the highest selling price possible. The listing agent owes her loyalty to the seller.
So what about the buyers? Who’s looking out for their best interest? The Buyer’s Agent!
When you start working with an agent, you should be aware of the different types of agency relationships. Your agent should provide you with a Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationships. Even though you will be asked to sign the disclosure, it is not a contract and doesn’t obligate you to the agent at that time.
Basically, the disclosure states that an agent providing services under a service provision agreement (listing agreement or buyer agency agreement) owe their clients certain duties and services such as loyalty, reasonable care & skill, compliance with laws, confidentiality, etc.
Most importantly, the disclosure should indicate WHO the agent works for – the buyer or the seller. If the listing agent signing the disclosure indicates she works for the SELLER, your interests as a BUYER may not be fully protected.
Buyer Agents work exclusively for the buyer. A Buyer Agent’s services include locating properties for a buyer based on the buyer’s expressed wants and needs, helping the buyer write a purchase offer, negotiating the offer with the listing agent, and helping the buyer obtain a successful closing. In return, the buyer agrees to view and purchase properties exclusively through the agent throughout the term of the agreement.
The best part of this agreement? These valuable services are customarily FREE to the buyer because commissions are typically paid by the seller at closing.