How a “Buyer’s Agent” Helps You
A quick explanation of “agency” and what you need to know before we go shopping for a house:
As a buyer, you can hire a REALTOR® to work for you and it costs you nothing! It’s really like having a professional work for you for free! The seller has already hired a different agent who represents them. But as your “buyer agent” I represent, council and act in your best interest, all at no cost to you.
What this means is that a REALTOR® is not paid any salary or any hourly wage. He/she is only paid (by the listing real estate company) if you buy a house. At the time a house closes, the listing and selling companies each split a percentage of the commission from the seller, and both companies then split their portion with the agents. There is a further split if there is a referral from another person or relocation company, but at no time do you (the buyer) ever pay a penny for REALTOR® service.
However, as your buyer agent I will place your interests ahead of the interests of all other parties. The information you share with me is completely confidential. I do not represent the seller unless I am the listing agent. I will not share any information with anyone regarding your motivation, details of your finances, nor how much you would be willing to pay for any house. You should feel free to share with me your likes and dislikes, ask straightforward questions and expect honest, objective answers.
On rare occasions, you may want to see a house where I am also the listing agent. Some other agents will work with the buyer AND the seller on the same house. This is called “Dual Agency”. The problem is that the buyer and the seller each get half the representation. I’m a little different in that I will always make sure you get 100% representation by having another buyer agent in my office work totally for your best interests. This situation only happens when we are viewing listings where my name is on the sign out in front of the house. When viewing any other house, you can be confident that I will by your exclusive buyer agent.
If you ever see a For Sale By Owner, I can still help you buy those too! Let me contact the FSBO first so that I can ask them if they will work with a Realtor and I will ask them to pay the real estate broker fee.
Finally, there is federal law that requires that every REALTOR® disclose every material defect about the property. It is also federal fair housing law that prohibits us from talking about anything relating to the people in a neighborhood. I can tell you everything about the house, its potential for resale and whether or not I believe it to be priced fairly, but I can not suggest any area, where or where not to live. That’s called “steering” and is against the law.
I really love helping people and have developed many wonderful friendships with my clients. But if there is ever a time that you think you may not be using my services to buy a house, I am asking that you please let me know (using one agent to look at houses but another to write the contract causes problems). You can always be confident I will represent your interests 100% and with complete confidentiality. Your goals are my goals.