Defining Roles: The Buyer’s Agent

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    Confused about who does what in real estate? We walk you through each role in the buying and selling process in our new series entitled Defining Roles.

    What is a buyers agent?

    In any real estate transaction there are multiple people who work together to make it to the closing table. Each person has a vested interest in one goal, closing the deal. However, they each have a unique role and have different goals in mind. This series will help define the roles of key players throughout your real estate transaction.

    In this first post of the series, we’ll look at the buyers agent — a real estate agent specifically contracted by the buyer to represent them in their acquisition of property.

    A buyers agent:

    • Represents the buyer(s) in any real estate transaction
    • Is legally bound to represent the buyer’s interest over the seller
    • Is typically paid a commission by the seller of the property, not the buyer
    • Gives clear guidance and direction to a buyer in negotiations,
    • Can only make suggestions but cannot act on behalf of the buyer
    • Provides the buyer with a list of homes currently for sale or coming soon on the MLS
    • Schedules, previews, shows, and obtains permanent information about property
    • Writes offers for buyers
    • Assists in scheduling inspections, appraisals, walk throughs, and closing
    • Assists the lender in obtaining information about the property pertinent to obtaining loan approval
    • Mediates on behalf of the buyer with the listing agent, seller, lender, title company, home inspector, insurance agent, home warranty company, and HOA company

    What is a buyers representation agreement?

    A buyers rep is the official document that connects a buyer with their real estate agent. This agreement protects both parties by outlining responsibilities of the agent while creating a bond between the agent and buyer. This agreement keeps the agent accountable for their services as well as maintains a relationship with the seller so they continue to work with only one agent in the buying process. This agreement also prohibits the buyer from using multiple agents throughout the buying process.

    Does a real estate agent have to be present when I see homes?

    Absolutely! An agent is required in order to see any property on the market. A licensed real estate agent has access to important documentation and details about homes not available to consumers. Often this information is necessary in order to make an offer and is not given to the general public, in order to protect the privacy of the seller. Entering a home on the market, or walking around a house and looking in the windows, without permission from the seller, is trespassing.

    Isn’t my realtor just trying to get me to make the highest offer to increase their commission?

    Actually, no. The realtor will help you make a practical offer, whether above or below asking price, based on market statistics, time on the market, and comparable properties in the neighborhood (comps). Making overpriced offers serves no purpose. An overpriced offer will prevent the home from appraising and eventually the buyer won’t be able to obtain financing and the deal will fall through. Keep in mind, the agent is legally bound to the sellers and putting their best interest forward, no agent would sacrifice their license by working against their buyer.

    Can’t I just call the listing agent of the house I want?

    This is a slippery slope. If you are not in contract with a realtor, you can call the agent on the sign. But beware: Who does that agent work for, and whose interests are they putting first? If they are the listing agent, they will be loyal to the seller first and foremost. It is best that you work with a single agent through the process. This will be especially helpful when you are comparing homes and trying to make the best decision.

    Are you looking to buy a home? Do you have questions about taking the first steps in home ownership? Contact the Kevin Allen Jones Home Team for a free buyers consultation where we will help you navigate through this process and get you on the road to home ownership!

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