Hiring a good buyer’s agent is imperative to ensure you are well represented in a real estate transaction. Walk into an open house or a developer’s sales center and you will be likely greeted by a pleasant salesperson who will attentively answer all your questions. This does not mean they are working for you in fact current real estate legislature forces them to solely represent the sellers or developer best interest. Understanding agency is fundamental in defining an agent’s role in acting on your behalf. In real estate, there are three types of agents: seller agent, dual agent or buyer agent.
Seller or listing agents are legally obligated to represent the seller’s interests including securing the highest price, creating the best terms, maintaining confidentiality and disclosing information about buyers. Their loyalty is with the seller.
Dual agency is when an agent or broker represents both the seller and the buyer. The intrinsic nature of dual agency means neither party is fully represented. A dual agent is more a mediator for the transaction providing limited representation to both buyer and seller.
Dual agency requires full disclosure to the buyer and seller but a dual agent must respect the confidentiality of both. The seller and buyer both lose some advantage in a dual agency negotiation.
A buyer agent represents the buyer’s interests only. Their duty is to locate the right property, maintain the buyer’s confidentiality, disclose information about the seller, research each property and negotiate on behalf of the buyer. Hiring a buyer agent secures a client relationship which means the agent owes fiduciary duties and responsibility solely to the buyer.
Hiring a Buyer Agent will evaluate your specific needs and help you locate properties throughout the market. A buyer agent will preview properties for you, arrange and accompany you on showings. When a property becomes a potential purchase, a buyer agent will advise you how to structure purchase offers, present the offer on your behalf and negotiate the best price and terms for you. Structuring a purchase offer is fundamental in ensure that the buyer is protected every step of the way.
There are many issues that may come up every step of the way and every deal is different depending on the client’s needs and the type of property that they are buying. A good buyer’s agent will always have the correct checks and balances so you are fully informed about the property so once you move in, there will be no surprises.