Buyer's agent question

tracey_bSeptember 21, 2009

So, we've sold, moved, and now ready to look at houses in our new location. It was a company relo, so in order to reap the rest of the benefits (paid closing, etc), we have to use a realtor from a Relo approved company. No problem. But, in order to have a "buyer's agent" represent us, what should I do/say/ask?

While I understand the concept, I don't get why anyone I would hire to help me buy a house wouldn't be looking out for me, the buyer, anyway? The exception being if they were wanting to show me a house THEY (or their agency) had listed (dual agency).

Thanks!

Tracey

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sylviatexas1

Call the first one on the list, or the one whose name or photo you like, & say, "XYZ Relo Company gave me your phone # as a choice for buyer's agency."

In the event that the agency has a home listed that you want to buy, your buyer agent will act on your behalf & the listing agent will act for the seller.

If your agent is the listing agent, you can ask her to have another agent (usually the broker or manager) negotiate for the sellers & your agent will negotiate for you.

Good luck with your search & have fun!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:36PM
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berniek

"While I understand the concept, I don't get why anyone I would hire to help me buy a house wouldn't be looking out for me, the buyer, anyway?"

Fiduciary Duties Of A Real Estate Agent:
A real estate broker who becomes an agent of a buyer or seller is deemed to be a fiduciary. Other examples of fiduciaries are trustees, executors, and guardians.
As a fiduciary, a real estate broker is held by law to owe specific duties to his/her principal (the person who they are representing), in addition to duties or obligations set forth in a listing agreement, buyer representation agreement, or other contract of employment. These specific fiduciary duties include:
Loyalty
Obedience
Disclosure
Confidentiality
Reasonable Care and Diligence
Accounting

Loyalty
One of the most fundamental fiduciary duties an agent owes to the principal. The duty obligates a real estate broker to act at all times, solely in the best interests of the principal, excluding all other interests, including that of the broker.
Buyers Agent:
Must do everything possible to gain an advantage for the Buyer.

Obedience
An agent is obligated to promptly and efficiently obey all lawful instructions of his/her principal that conform to the purpose of the agency relationship. However, the duty does not include an obligation to obey unlawful instructions, such as instructions to not market a property to minorities or to misrepresent the condition of a property.
BuyerÂs Agent:
Must obey all lawful instruction of the Buyer, is not obligated to obey instructions from the Seller.

Disclosure
An agent must disclose to the principal all known relevant and material information that pertains to the scope of the agency. The duty includes any facts affecting the value or desirability of the property, as well as any other relevant information pertaining to the transaction, such as the other party's bargaining position, the identity of all potential purchasers, information concerning the ability or willingness of the buyer to offer a higher price, any intent to subdivide or resell the property for a profit.
BuyerÂs Agent:
Must tell Buyer everything they can find out about the Seller including the motivation for selling and any reasons the Seller may have for wanting a quick sale.
Must tell Buyer everything they can find out about the property, including any known or suspected problems with the property or area.

Confidentiality
An agent is obligated to safeguard his/her principal's lawful confidences and secrets. Therefore, a real estate broker must keep confidential any information that may weaken a principal's bargaining position. The duty of confidentiality precludes a broker who represents a seller from disclosing to a buyer that the seller can, or must, sell a property below the listed price. Conversely, a broker who represents a buyer is prohibited from disclosing to a seller that the buyer can, or will, pay more than what has been offered for a property.
BuyerÂs Agent:
Must keep all information about the Buyer confidential, including the Buyer's ability or willingness to pay more for the property than they are offering as well as the Buyers motivation for buying.

Reasonable care and diligence
An agent is obligated to use reasonable care and diligence when pursuing the principal's affairs. The standard of care expected of a buyer's or seller's real estate broker is that of a competent real estate professional. By reason of his/her license, a broker is considered to have skill and expertise in real estate matters superior to that of the average person.
BuyerÂs Agent:
Must prepare themselves through education and study to competently represent the Buyer in all matters.

Accounting
An agent is obligated to account for all money or property that belongs to his/her principal entrusted to that agent. The duty compels a real estate broker to safeguard any money, deeds, or other documents entrusted to them relative to their client's transactions of affairs.
BuyerÂs Agent:
Must account to Buyer for any money or documents entrusted to them.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:37PM
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tracey_b

So, ALL realtors are assumed to be working in the best interest of the home seller UNLESS specifically asked by their buying clients to function as their buyer's agent?

Can ANY real estate agent be asked to perform as a "buyer's agent"? Is there a reason why they wouldn't want to?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:09AM
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Billl

All buyers agents have the same responsibilities. Not all agents perform those responsibilities as well as others. They should be loyal to your interests, but they have interests of their own. They want you to buy a house as quickly as possible so they get paid. They have no financial motive to get you the best price in the process.

My recommendation would be to make a couple of calls and try to find someone who you are comfortable working with. If you are a little meek, you might need someone more assertive to push you along. If you are assertive yourself, you might look for someone more congenial so you aren't butting heads.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:37PM
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terriks

So, ALL realtors are assumed to be working in the best interest of the home seller UNLESS specifically asked by their buying clients to function as their buyer's agent?

This really depends on the laws in your state. I suggest that you google real estate agency laws in your state.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:45PM
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susana_2006

Remember, no matter what kind of agent you have, the only person looking out for your interests is you.
I've had the buyer's agent -- no major problems or complaints -- but he wanted to get to closing as soon as possible and certainly promoted that agenda.

So even though you will be working with a buyer's agent, make sure that you investigate every detail and consult with a real estate attorney, if you have any concerns.

Good luck
Susan

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 3:47PM
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tracey_b

Thanks for all the information and suggestions! We start our RE search this Friday.....
Tracey

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:10AM
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coolvt

Remember one thing....the agent never makes a penny unless you actually buy something. Because of this he/she is really looking out for themselves first. They do have a motivation to get you to buy fast. Supposed you got caught stealing at work and lost your job or you had a heart attack....no purchase and no commission;-)
That being said, some are definitley better than others.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:05AM
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