FOUR REASONS TO USE A BUYER'S AGENT |
(What is Buyer's Agency?)
- Real estate transactions are growing increasingly complex. Having a professional keep up with all the details makes sense.
- Alabama is a caveat emptor (buyer beware) state and only health and safety issues about a home are required to be disclosed. A buyer agent's advice and knowledge could be invaluable.
- Information about recent sales of similar homes in the neighborhood and quick and easy access to public tax records helps ensure you know how to develop an offer and negotiation strategy.
- The ability to freely discuss issues of concern about financing, negotiation, repairs, etc. with your agent can save a lot of headaches and expense in the future, and provide important peace of mind in the present.
NINE THINGS NOT TO DISCUSS WITH ANYONE BUT YOUR BUYER'S AGENT
- Your specific desired possession date
- How much down payment you intend to use
- The amount the mortgage lender has approved for you
- Your ability or willingness to pay closing costs or discount points
- The terms of your benefits package, if you are being transferred
- Your excitement over features or amenities found in the home (don't let those emotions show)
- Your newness to the area and lack of knowledge about current local trends and market values
- The personal items or furnishings you will include in your offer
- Your reaction to the seller's counteroffer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Buyer's Agent
|Doesn't the buyer have to pay the commission? |
| Although the buyer can pay the commission, in the vast majority of instances, the buyer's agent is paid with a predetermined percentage of the listing agent's commission, as published in the Multiple Listing Service information for that particular house.|
|| How does a buyer's agent get paid if we want to buy a home that's not listed in the Multiple Listing Service information, like a For-Sale-by-Owner property? |
|| In most cases with owners who are selling their property themselves, a full or partial market rate commission has been figured in their asking price. A buyer's agent would negotiate with the owner a commission acceptable to the agent's company before presenting your offer to purchase. If an acceptable commission could not be agreed upon, and the buyer still wanted to purchase this particular home, the buyer would be responsible for paying a fee or commission rate agreed to earlier, at the inception of the Buyer's Agency Agreement. This is virtually the only time a buyer would be responsible for the buyer agent's commission.|
|| What happens if we want to make an offer on a home that another agent in the buyer agent's company has listed, or an even better example, that the buyer agent has listed? |
|| A situation called Limited Consensual Dual Agency is created. All that means is that any information about the seller's motivation to sell, their financial situation, etc., that could adversely effect the seller's negotiating position could not be shared with the buyer. By the same token, any information about the buyer's position that would adversely effect the buyer could not be shared with the seller. |
However, information about recent comparable sales in the neighborhood, tax records, and other matters of public record can be provided to the buyer, upon request.
A buyer's agent operating under Limited Consensual Dual Agency cannot suggest an offer amount to the buyer, nor can the agent suggest a counteroffer amount to the seller.
Other than that one fact, the situation is really no different from making an offer on any other home.
Also, the possibility of entering into a Limited Consensual Dual Agency situation is discussed with the seller at the time of listing their home for sale, and is discussed with the buyer at the time the Buyer Agency Agreement is entered into. When an offer to purchase is made on a home under these circumstances, both buyer and seller are asked to sign an agreement indicating both parties understand a Limited Consensual Dual Agency is being entered into and that they are still comfortable with that arrangement.