I find more and more that buyers are calling the listing agent of a property and expecting them to have their best interest in mind. The listing agent represents the seller in a transaction, and always has the sellers’ best interest in mind. Anything you say to the listing agent can and will most likely be used against you in a negotiation. A Buyer’s Agent will know what to tell the sellers side without weakening your negotiating position. Here are some questions you should consider the next time you are on the fence about whether to use a Buyer’s Agent…
1) Do you know how to comprehend all of the local market data to best understand what is a good value, current trends and absorption rates?
2) Are you familiar with a common residential real estate contract and how to interpret various clauses to protect yourself from making common buyer mistakes?
3) Do you know what not to say to the seller to hurt your negotiating position?
4) Do you know the zoning regulations, building codes, and any other laws pertaining to real estate in the area you desire?
5) Are you familiar with the various loan types and special programs that you may qualify for?
6) Do you have the expertise to negotiate on your own behalf, especially if the seller has an
agent negotiating for them?
7) Are you familiar with all of the documentation that is needed to complete a transaction in your desired area?
There is typically no fee for the expert services of a Buyer’s Agent, the seller almost always pays the commission. There are times that a buyer can pay a commission if it is mutually agreed upon when signing buyers agency agreement. Many of items can be negotiated in a Buyer’s Agency contract, such as the amount of time you work with your Buyer’s Agent, specific areas, specific homes, etc. Don’t be afraid of the agreement, it’s there to protect the buyer and the agent. Make sure your Buyer’s Agent properly explains the agreement and the entire process to you so that you fully understand. To use my local market as an example, all agents in NY are Sellers’ Agents (even if they don’t know the seller or represent a sellers listing) unless otherwise specified by signing a 443 Agency Disclosure form (this is not a contract, but a requirement at first substantive contact), or an Exclusive Right to Represent contract.
Posted on September 7, 2011 by Chris Pagli, William Raveis Tarrytown