Buyer’s Agency with Rick Higgerson and Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty:
As a consumer, how often do you buy real estate property? Twice, three, five times in your lifetime? Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. In the majority of cases an agent will represent the seller. Wouldn’t you want to have complete and fair representation in the real estate transaction?
A real estate buyer’s agent represents the consumer who is purchasing the property in the real estate transaction. This agent owes full fiduciary responsibilities, duties and loyalty to the real estate buyer. The buyer's agent works for the buyer client and has the client's best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate transaction process.
The buyer, through a negotiated fee, compensates the agent or in some states (as in Vermont) the commission is split between the buyer's and seller's agents based on the selling price of the real estate property. It is important for the consumer to discuss the buyer's agent’s compensation in the initial interview. In many cases it is recommended that the consumer and buyer's agent agree to the terms of compensation prior to viewing real estate properties and sign a written agreement based on these terms. This agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the real estate transaction. It is important to note that in some states, legislation has been enacted to protect the buyer to the point that absent a written agreement the agent represents the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.
The real estate buyer's agent is responsible for protecting their clients’ best interests. Research by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has shown that when a buyer's agent is used, the prospective buyer found their home one week faster and examined three more properties than those consumers who did not use a buyer’s agent.
Benefits of Working with a Buyer's Agent:
Using a Buyer's Representative offers the consumer many benefits. The agent will:
Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify) and show properties in that price range and locale the consumer has determined.
Assist in viewing properties and either accompany the client on the showings or preview the properties on behalf of the client to insure that the identified specifications are met.
Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the consumer in making an informed decision prior to making an appropriate offer on the property.
Advise the client on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
Present the offer to the sellers’ agent and seller on the clients’ behalf.
Negotiate on behalf of the buyer client to help obtain the identified property. Keep in mind that the buyer's agent will be doing so with their clients’ best interests in mind.
Review and explain all legal documents to their buyer client.
Recommendations and assistance in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
Provide a list of potential qualified vendors e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters if the consumer needs these services.
Most importantly, the buyer will know that they are fully represented throughout the real estate transaction.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Buyer’s Agency:
What is a Buyer's Agent?
A Buyer's Agent is a real estate agent or broker who represents buyer and not the seller. A Buyer's Agent has a written agreement with a buyer to act as his or her fiduciary representative in finding, negotiating and buying a new home.
How is that different from other agents who help buyers?
Traditional agents who show you homes represent sellers under a concept known as “sub agency”. That means their loyalty is governed by the various listing agreements on the properties they show you. In essence they are subcontractors to the listing agent, who has a fiduciary responsibility to the owner of the property. Subagents by law cannot “represent” you. They can only show you houses. They work for the seller. Their job is to get the highest price.
Why should I engage a Buyer's Agent?
Because they can do more. Much more. And they can never compromise your interests by passing along information about you to the seller.
A Buyer's Agent can:
Represent you as a true client, not just a customer.
Show you the entire market, including unlisted properties and provide you with informative property value studies.
Keep your bargaining and financial position confidential.
Always promote your best interests and give you price advice.
Negotiate for you.
Tell you reasons not to buy.
Pass on professional knowledge that will enhance your position.
Help you write an offer with only your interests in mind.
Provide you with anonymity if desired.
Research any seller or property and provide you with strategic insight.
If you have additional questions regarding buyer's agency or agency relationships with Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty please don’t hesitate to ask.