Buyers Agents: Working for You for FREE!
To Work With a Realtor® or Not? That is the Question.
The answer is simple: Home buyers should always have their own agent representing them. Buyer's agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for the buyer. Best of all, their services are FREE to the buyer on all MLS listed properties! Why wouldn’t you hire a professional to help you in one of the largest financial transactions of your life, especially when those services are FREE?
As quoted on Realtor.com:
“…You wouldn’t hire your spouse’s attorney to represent you in your divorce. The same goes for real estate. Why use the seller’s agent to negotiate your best interest? There is an inherent conflict of interest.”
Chrystal Caruthers. "Buyer’s Agents: Working For You Free of Charge." Realtor.com. n.d.
Many buyers think they have to pay a fee to a real estate agent who helps them search for and purchase a new home. But the truth is, the seller pays the total commission whether a buyer uses an agent or not.
The home buying process is stressful enough without worrying about who you can and cannot trust. Your buyer’s agent is your trusted advocate.
Buyer Agents and Agreements
Most buyer agency agreements state that the agent will provide the buyer with the following:
- Show you all the properties you want to see
- Protect the buyer’s financial information
- Negotiate the best possible sale price for the buyer
- Connect you with various service providers—inspectors, lenders, etc.—to best suit your needs
- Must disclose to the buyer if they are working with another buyer interested in the same property
The buyer’s responsibility to their buyer’s agent is:
- You must work with your buyer's agent exclusively, even when pursuing FSBO’s (For Sale By Owners)
- Buyers should never give personal information to any other agent
- You should not call other agents to see properties, even to save your agent time and effort
- Buyers should help simplify their home search by clearly defining their budget, location and must-haves in a property, to the best of their ability.
Choosing the Best Buyer's Agent for you
Home buyers are at a premium in today’s housing market. Buyers should interview agents just as sellers interview listing agents. While all agents are compensated at the same commission level, they are not all created equal.
Be sure to ask if the buyer’s agent you are considering has ever handled the purchase of properties like the ones you are considering. It may also be important to know how long they have been actively selling real estate, how many transactions they are involved in during an average year and how many sales they have managed during their career. It is also important to ask if this is a part time job for them and an opportunity to make a little extra money or if Real Estate Sales is their primary livelihood and chosen career. You would not expect to receive an amateur level of service when you are paying a professional level commission.