The Listing Agent represents the Seller. The Buyer's Agent represents the Buyer.
In the 1990's consumer advocacy groups demanded that the buyer be given the same right of representation as the seller of real estate. That resulted in the creation of Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement.
This is a right all buyers now have. The advantage is that you have professional representation to promote and protect your interests, just like the sellers. This service includes helping you find the best financing, the best house for your money, the best terms, assuring that all contracts are filled out correctly conforming to all local, state and federal laws, all documents are delivered to the appropriate place/person in a timely fashion, all offers and counter offers are presented in a timely fashion, all deadlines are met, inspections are done within the time limit, repairs made as agreed in the Resolution of Unacceptable Conditions, all receipts are sent to title company well before closing, mortgage lender appraisal and final approval done on time, HUD-1 Final Settlement Statement correct and on time, and various and assundry other services provided that save you time and money and assure a legally binding contract and recorded deed.
A buyer broker specializes in representing buyers...The (agent and/or broker) is usually paid half of the commission that the seller pays. There are different ways to be represented and this will need to be disclosed by an agency agreement at the beginning of your agreeing to use this person, if it's:( a one-to-four family dwelling used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, wholly or partly) but not if it's unimproved real property upon which such dwellings are to be constructed or (ii) condominium or cooperative apartments in a building containing more than four units. Check out these links for info: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/realest.html#disclosure http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/realestate/1736.htm
A buyer broker will also often ask you to sign something agreeing that if you or members of your family buy a home that the agent shows you, that they are entitled to the commission or an amount equal to the commission, if you should later buy the home they showed you first through another agent.
Having a dedicated buyer's agent can help you as they will be focused on helping you find a home of your dreams and means; also they can be helpful in negotiating.
Good luck! Jolie
If you hire a buyers agent - an agent that represents you - they charge their fee into the transaction. If the agent you're working with tries to tell you that you have to pay them "whatever is left over" outside of what the listing agent is offering - fire them and move on.
The commission is built into the deal - period. You make an offer and the SELLER determines whether or not to accept the deal. Period.
The advantage of using a buyer's agent is that you are getting representation. Listing agents work for sellers and do not owe you loyalty or confidentiality. By having your own agent, to represent you, you have someone who does research and negotiates for you, advises you on pricing and making offers on properties, can make referals to other professionals such as inspectors, lawyers and lenders who will work in your best interests, and keeps your negotiating strategy and financial information confidential.
The commission is set by the listing agent and is generally "shared" to some extent with the agent who sells the house..
The listing agent represents the seller. So, who will represent you?
When you sign a buyer representation, it will include an obligation to pay the commission if the agent does not collect from the listing agent. Make sure your agent presents all offers "contingent" upon whatever commission you have decided upon with your agent. This will help insure she collects from the proceeds at the closing table.
I hope this helps.