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Buyer Agency-What Are You Going To Do For Me?

Buyer Agency in real estate: what is it and how does it really work?

As the name implies, Buyer Agency is a contract between a buyer and a real estate broker to represent them as a client.

Most people think that brokers will only sign contracts with sellers to list their homes, which is not the case.  When a broker lists a home, the seller benefits because they have a professional working on their side, they are the clients.  

I propose the following question, “Would you use the seller’s attorney?” Upon reflection I am sure you will say “Of course not”!  I ask, “why would you then use the sellers agent”? As the buyer of that home, you too need professional, skilled, and knowledgeable representation, thus the creation of Buyer Agency.  

Similar to a traditional “listing agreement,” buyer agency or buyer brokerage is a written agreement, has a beginning and end date, states the brokers obligations to the buyer and in turn the buyer agrees to be exclusively represented by that particular firm. When the buyer agency agreement is consummated the buyer becomes the agent’s client. The agent now works for the buyer not with the buyer. Now as a buyer your equipped with a professional whose going to be working to find you the “right” house, and represent your best interests, not the sellers. 

When looking for a buyer broker or agent to work for you, do your research!!! Make sure your working with someone who has a very thorough understanding of the marketplace, knows the inventories of available homes, will keep you updated on price changes, new listings that hit the market, and has the time to service you as a buyer.  Make sure that broker is qualified and don’t hesitate to ask any questions that will make you feel more comfortable in your decision to work with them.

Buyers, its your market; interest rates are historically low, there is a great inventory of homes available, take advantage of this opportunity to buy.  As I always say, make sure you shop around for someone who you feel comfortable with and get prequalified by a mortgage professional.  Again, use someone with a strong successful track record.  It’s important to know what you can afford to buy and stay educated along the process!  Creating Clarity as always!

Feel free to comment, email me at Seth@ShawnElliott.com, and follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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Jon L. March 30, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Mr. Levy, Sorry I did not see this sooner but I will ask the same question again, since the buyer agent and the listing agent are paid a percentage of the deal doesn't the buyer agent have a clear fiduciary conflict of interest in that s/he gets paid a percentage of the deal and not a flat fee for 'representing' the buyer in the deal. I just don't see how you can depend on the honesty of a fourth party in a deal to really represent your interests when they will be paid more if the buyer spends more. I don't see the clarity in that situation, thoughts?

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