Buyers Agents: Why Bother?

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When buying real estate, finding the right Buyers Agent is as important as finding the right house.

If you plan to buy a home without representation of an Exclusive Buyers Agent, you risk losing thousands of dollars and hours of time. In 2005, according to NAR research, 64 percent of home buyers worked with a Buyers Agent and 84 percent of them indicated they would use that agent again. These numbers reflect a growing demand for exclusive representation and reinforce the importance of seeking such representation when buying a home.

An Exclusive Buyers Agent represents only home buyers, and never home sellers, in all real estate transactions. When you call a phone number off a yard sign or email an agent whose listing you found online, you risk working with a Realtor whose job is to represent the seller’s interest rather than yours. The listing agent will work to ensure a home seller receives the best price, terms and conditions for his or her home. Because of this, you need someone on your side to ensure that you receive the best possible price, terms and conditions. The listing agent can not do both!

Additionally, most home buyers are unaware that using an Exclusive Buyers Agent will not cost anything. The Buyers Agent receives a share of the sales commission built into the list price. Furthermore, using an Exclusive Buyers Agent can save you thousands of dollars. Failure to discover defects in a property or to realize that a property is overpriced can be an expensive mistake.

"If the seller of a home you plan to buy refuses to fix a water-damaged door frame seven days before closing, would you know what to do?" asks Buyers Agent Eric Boneske who focuses on Wilmington NC real estate. "An Exclusive Buyers Agent will negotiate on your behalf and provide you with advice when selecting a property and determining the offering price."

By now you should understand the importance of using an Exclusive Buyers Agent. Your next question may be how to select one. Below are 16 questions to ask an Exclusive Buyers Agent before committing to him or her.

1. Will you show me all the homes on the market that meet my needs, including For Sale By Owner properties?

2. Will you guarantee that any information I give you will be kept confidential?

3. Will you guarantee me your undivided loyalty?

4. Can you explain when and why your relationship with me might change to "dual agency?"

5. Will you guarantee me that you will not be representing any seller at any time while you are working for me?

6. Will you point out all the negative aspects of each property as well as the positive aspects so I will be fully informed when making my decision?

7. Do you have any agreements with Sellers that might limit your ability to tell me everything you know about the Seller and their reasons for selling?

8. Will you provide information on comparable sales and help me formulate an offering price and negotiating strategy?

9. Do you have a list of lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents and other professionals that you recommend?

10. Do you ever list homes for sale? (If they say "yes", they are not an Exclusive Buyers Agent)

11. Specifically, how will you protect my interests, and why should I hire you rather than another agent?

12. Will you act in a Fiduciary capacity and owe all fiduciary duties to me?

13. Do you spend 100% of your time assisting Buyers?

14. Can you guarantee me 100% loyalty 100% of the time?

15. Will you put all of that in writing?

For more information about exclusive buyer representation or for help locating an Exclusive Buyers Agent anywhere in the world, please contact The Fine Coastal Living Team at 877-839-6906.


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Melody Browne
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