Buyer’s Agent Basics

April 29 2015

It’s no surprise that first-time home buyers have questions about the role of a buyer’s agent. How does the agent get paid? Should you sign the buyer’s agent contract?

I cover some pointers here:

  • Are agents paid by the real estate company? No, real estate agents are independent contractors who earn money after a buyer or seller closes on a home. They work and operate under a broker’s license, say Coldwell Banker.
  • Playing fair. If you see a property with a certain buyer’s agent, then that is implied you will eventually write an offer through that buyer’s agent. Choose wisely!
  • Buyer agent agreement. This is an agreement between the buyer’s agent and the home buyer, explaining the duties of the buyer agent. It’s also a promise to write an offer through this agent. Is it a good idea? That’s for each buyer to decide, but it does create a stage for a favorable relationship, which is what you want when buying a home.
  • Only the seller pays the commission. Yup, you heard that right. It bears repeating: If you are looking to buy or rent a home, you don’t pay the buyer agent’s commission. Technically, he’s working for you for free, until of course he gets paid after the home closes and the bill is paid.
  • Can the list agent represent me? Unless the sellers have signed that he can’t, then you could do that. It’s called dual agency. But then you’re dealing with conflicting interests and it could get dicey. It’s better to have your own buyer’s agent, who should be working on your behalf to get you the lowest price possible, and represents your interests alone instead of both the buyer and seller.

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Thanks for reading!



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