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Traditionally, real estate agents have represented the home seller in a home sale negotiation and transaction. In this type of relationship, the real estate agentís fiduciary responsibility is to the seller - even when itís actually the buyer the real estate agent has brought to the table. In the past few years, Buyerís Agents have become increasingly popular. In this type of relationship, the real estate agentís fiduciary responsibility is to the buyer.
What should a home buyer expect from a Buyer's Agent?
An exclusive Buyer Agency agreement normally ties a buyer to one agent. However, at Citylife we recommend you get to know our sales agents first to ensure there is a good fit before signing an exclusive agreement.
- Home buyers should be able to expect loyalty and confidentiality from a Buyer's Agent.
- The agent should promote your best interests and provide you with all available facts that could influence your decision about making an offer for a home.
- Agent will offer research materials that help you make a realistic offer.
- Agent's duty is to get the best possible price and terms for the buyers.
- Agent must disclose all material facts about property (bad roof, plumbing problems, etc.)
- Agent should disclose personal facts that indicate sellers will accept a reduced price (such as impending divorce, foreclosure, etc.)
- Agent should give you the "what if" scenarios about the clauses in a contract. The agent may recommend additional contract contingencies to protect your interests.
- Agent should track and handle many of the day-to-day needs required to get to closing (such as inspections, helping you find a lender, tracking the progress of the loan, working with the closing attorney or agent).
We recommend the following approach when you contact an agent:
- The contract should cover a specific time period agreeable to both parties.
- The agreement should be in writing. It should outline the expectations of both the buyer and the real estate agent.
- The agreement can be far-reaching or cover listings only in a specific geographical area.
- The contract should address agent compensation. Buyer's Agents are usually paid a portion of the seller's commission at closing, but not always.
- Verify that the agent can work as a Buyer's Agent.
- Ask the agent to explain the services you can expect if you make her your Buyer's Agent.
- Ask for a blank copy of the Buyer Agency contract and take a day or two to study it. If some aspects of the contract concern you, ask the agent to delete or alter them.
- Find out how dual agency is handled.
- Don't let anyone pressure you into signing an agreement that doesn't feel right.