What is Buyer Agency?
Unlike the agents who are listing and marketing homes (known as 'Listing Agents'), Buyer agents owe a fiduciary obligation their buyers' best interests. They are a trusted advocate throughout the purchase process and beyond the closing.
And while I'd love to be everyone's agent, there are a great many hard working, intelligent and knowledgeable agents in most any market place to consider. Just make sure, whoever you choose, you interview them with the same meticulousness as you would for a listing agent. Start by asking to contact past clients.
Your Advocate from Start to Finish
It’s important that you are aware of how the process works, from the first meeting to the closing table. I will help you create a road map specific to your needs. I'll walk you through the process at the onset so you'll know what to expect. At each step of the way, you'll have important and pivotal decisions to make: I'll be your soundboard, resource center, and cousel by laying out your best and worst options and drawing from experience to help you make the best decisions. And when the deal is closed and you're happily enjoying the benefits of your new home or investment, I'm always just a phone call away for any questions you'll have.
When Does it Make Sense to Find and Agent?
If you asked me, as soon as you're thinking about buying. A good agent will point you towards informed lenders, help you understand how to differentiate between the sugar-coating and reality, and consistently provide you with informed answers to your questions from beginning to end.
Your Agent Should Know the Way
While your buyer agent is your lens through which you'll see the housing market, they can also be your ambassador to the community too. Providing contacts for contractors, attorneys, inspectors and community or neighborhood leaders, your agent will not only help to create your roadmap of the process, they will guide you through it.
Who Pays the Buyer Agent?
It's also important to understand how an agent earns his/her fee. In a typical transaction, the seller will offer a fee to the property's listing agent. That fee can vary but it's typically between 5 and 6%. The listing agent offers a 'co-broke' fee that is usually half of the whole fee.
When a sale is transacted, that 'co-broke' fee is delivered to the brokerage who, after taking their share, pay the agent. Even most folks who are selling without a listing agent will offer a fee for buyer agents. It's equally important to know that in spite of the fact that the fee originates from the seller, a buyer agent owes the seller none of the fiduciary obligations as the buyer agent is solely concerned with the best inerests of his/her client, the buyer.
Why not go directly to the seller or listing agent?
People will often ask, why not then approach the seller or listing agent without a buyer agent? If the seller or seller's agent can avoid paying that half of the fee, doesn't it stand that the buyer will gain favor? Not exactly. If there is a discount to be accounted for, the seller is first in line. The agent will be second in not offering a complete discount.
Breaking it down, if the seller is paying 5%, and the listing agent takes 3% for a direct deal (usually at least this as they have more work to do), that leaves 2%. If the seller ONLY takes half of this discount, that's 1% that the buyer is perceived to have saved. But who did the negotiating?
It's perfectly feasible that the buyer agent, hopefully a seasoned veteran in the art of negotiation and property evaluation, will save as much in the process. The buyer is exposed with no real advocacy to protect their interests. A buyer thinks by shaving off a point (or less) from the purchase price they are gaining but, in fact, they are losing someone who will be there through the finish line, ensuring all the pieces are accounted for.
Finding the right agent for you is IMPORTANT. Not all agents are alike and many have different skill sets, knowledge bases, etc. Make sure you interview your agent, check references and know how they will work specifically with you and your needs before you commit.
Visit my FAQ page.
Click here for a breakdown of the purchase process.
And as always, feel free to contact me to discuss what you have in mind.