Buyers’ agents are agents who are experienced in representing the needs and desires of the buyers. Many buyers incorrectly believe that if they don’t use a buyers’ agent they can get the seller to “discount” the property in-lieu of paying the full 5% to the listing Broker. A seller enters into a listing agreement (a legal and binding contract) with the listing Broker for an agreed upon percentage of the final sales price; usually 5%. The 5% is roughly divided 4 ways, the listing side gets 2.5% and the selling side gets the other 2.5%. The 2.5% is then split between each office and sales agent. If the listing agent sells the property directly, the firm that agent works for gets 100% and is shared with the listing agent. Most agents cannot negotiate the company commission. The contract states that the agent has a fiduciary responsibilty to represent only the seller. Included in that representation, it is the agents job to negotiate the best possible price for that home. An agent cannot represent both the buyer and a seller in a contract. The agent may not disclose personal information about the seller without the sellers consent. If for instance you wander into an open house and you decide you want to make an offer with the sellers agent, you the buyer and the seller must agree in writing that this is taking place. Be aware, the sellers agent is still representing the seller, you are not represented by anyone. Futhermore, the seller’s agent and the firm they work for stand to receive 100% of the commission. So the agent has a different finacial stake in your specific offer. No agent cannot promise you she/he can do better on the price if you buy directly from them. It is illegal. Of course the agent wants you to make an offer with out another agent, they receive the buying and selling side of the commission. It has been my expereince that buyers without buyer representaion pay more for the property.
Reliable advice and information is the key factor in making a good decision. A buyer’s agent will provide you with information, but not necessarily limited to the following.
The original purchase price of the house
The mortgage amount still owed on the house
Comparative market analysis for similar homes in the neighborhood
The original list price and any price adjustments since listing date
The number of days the house has been on the market
If the house has been listed for sale in a previous year and did not sell
Information about a house having been under contract but is now back on the market
Evaluating improvements the seller may have made to the house and whether the seller obtained proper permits. A town permit requires all subcontractors to be licensed by the state
The relationship to assessed value and market value
Accompanying you to the inspection and re-negotiating on your behalf if nesessary
Introduction to reliable mortgage lenders, home inspectors, closing attorneys
Keeps track of important dates (mortgage commitment, inspection contingency) and communicating their importance to you.
Protects your P&S money..by keeping track of these dates and communicating effectively with seller’s agent, mortgage broker and attorney.
Provide a list of pre-schools, churches, temples, restaurants, transportaion, however, we cannot make evaluations or offer an opinion regarding the schools and temples etc.
So why do buyers think they are getting such a good deal when they buy a house without the aid of a broker? They haven’t been educated. Most believe the seller’s agent is also representing them. A seller’s agent must be honest and disclose what she knows about the house, but their fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. Would you go to court without representation? Would you have surgery without discussing what was going to happen with your Doctor? Buying a home is a huge financial and emotional undertaking, you shouldn’t go it alone..