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All About Buyer Agency
Why a special section on Buyer Agency?
Many visitors to this Web Site, in their search for a home, pass by some of the most important information in it--the discussion on agency. They, like many home buyers before them, believe that the Agent with whom they are working--sometimes on a daily basis--represents them and their interests. Without certain disclosures, this definitely is not the case.
The Agent, unless specifically disclosed otherwise, represents the seller in any transaction for the sale of a home. It is that Agent's fiduciary duty (where their loyalty lies) to protect the seller's position at all times.
Buyer's Agency, however, may be an option available to you. Simply put, it allows the Agent with whom you are working to be your representative and to put your interests above all others.
Example 1: You see a house advertised in the newspaper, a home magazine, or the Internet. You contact the Listing Agent (this is who will be advertising the home) and make an appointment to see the house. The Agent is friendly, informative, and tells you what you believe to be everything about the house. The Agent represents the seller, not you.
Example 2: You are working with an Agent, who shows you 25 different homes over 3 weekends. The Agent buys you lunch twice, knows all 4 of your children by name as well as all of your personal likes and dislikes, but does not offer Buyer Agency. You feel comfortable with the Agent, revealing important personal information. Without Buyer Agency, "your" Agent represents, and owes loyalty to, each and every one of those 25 sellers--not you. Any information you reveal to the Agent must be relayed to the sellers.
"Okay," many buyers say, "so the Agent represents the seller and not me. Is that a big deal?" Maybe not, but it is important to understand that if the Agent represents the seller, they cannot reveal certain things to you, as the buyer:
- The reason for selling (unless the seller specifically authorizes it)
- Any concessions, in price or otherwise, that the seller may be willing to give up.
- Any conversations that the seller and the Agent may have had.
- Any information that could be detrimental to the seller, or give you, the buyer, an advantage. This would include a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) that could put the seller at a disadvantage.
Buyer Agency turns the tables. If a Buyer's Agency agreement is struck between you and the Agent, it is you, rather than the seller, who has the representation from the Agent with whom you are working. If you are represented by a Buyer's Agent, some of the potential benefits include:
- The Agent can develop a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis), revealing at what price similar properties in the area have been listed for and sold for.
- The Agent can reveal to you any information about the seller that the Agent has been able to ascertain. This may include reasons for selling, potential concessions, or other information that may be to your advantage.
- Information about property value trends that may influence your decision about a certain area can be relayed to you.
Summary. Is it necessary to have a Buyer's Agent? No. Thousands of home buyer's have been well served dealing with the seller's Agent. (For years, it was the only way it was done). The important thing is to understand your options, so that you don't unintentionally accept less representation than you want.