Home Buying in 80134>Question Details

Ba, Both Buyer and Seller in California

I am moving to Denver. What is the way to find the best agent for me? Must I sign a buyer's agreement with an agent? or can i have more than

Asked by Ba, California Fri Apr 8, 2011

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Hi Ba,

Welcome to Denver. The best way is to determine what area you want to live in and contact a couple of agents in that area to interview. A good place to look is to the brokers here on Trulia. These are some of the most active and informed agent in the Denver area. I work and specialize in Central Denver and the Denver Metro Area, although as most of us, we are familiar with many areas.

The best way to move forward is with a Buyer's Agent. It is to your advantage in many ways. You have an agency agreement with a professional that works for you and in your own best interest. We have to have this agreement in place according to state board regulations in order to give you the full service that you deserve as a client. The good news is that in most cases the Buyer Agent commission is paid by the seller through the listing broker. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by working with your own good agent. By regulation you can have only one Buyer's Agent that work exclusively for you.

Robert McGuire
Broker/Consultant
Your Castle Realestate
http://about.me/robertmcguire33
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent to represent you. EBAs represent home buyers only, and work to get you the best price and most favorable terms. You can go to NAEBA.org for a referral to an EBA in your area.

There is a book on Amaon called a"Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You". It will be the best few bucks you've ever spent. Follow the link below!

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
As Joy States: You really do need an agency agreement. As, we have contracts with serious buyers and this provides a forum to get what you really want, the pulse beat of Denver's market.

When public sites can take days to give correct information, the MLS is instant and most reliable. When homes in our market are going under contract just hours after being put on the market, it is very critical to have your needs worked on hourly by a industry professional.

I'm so delighted you'll be coming to our wonderful city.- HGTV Featured Realtor Lynne
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
Ba,

The big think you need to know is that a buyer's agreement transforms a "customer" into a "client". If you are a customer of an agent, they do not represent you and have no obligation to serve your interests. In fact, without a buyer agreement, the agent showing you around is technically working for the seller along with the listing agent. Most people want the agent showing them around to share data and opinion about price/value, property condition, and/or any inside information they may have in regards to a home, but we as agents legally cannot do that if you are not our client.

And, as far as feeling "locked in" to an agent. I do not know many agents who would hold a buyer to a buyer agreement anyway. If you do not want to work with a particular agent, chances are they probably don't want to work with you either. My suggestion on this would be to put a clause in the agreement that allows the buyer or the agent to terminate the agreement at any point for any reason.

Best of luck :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
You can certainly have several agents as long as you can pay them all! When you have a "Buyer's Ageny Agreement" however, your agent is more committed to your needs, as you are loyal to them. It is completely different in Colorado than it is in California! You'll know right away if your agent is someone you can work with, and all agents have access to the same information. I have found it's usually a personality contest more than one of skill! Parker Realtor HGTV Featured Realtor - Lynne Wright
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
From my own experience and in talking to my realtor; Colorado realtors are not allowed to lock you into an agreement until you're under contract. With that said, it wouldn't really be fair to use one to show you a bunch of houses and then jump away from them after you've found your home. It does however give you the flexibility to leave a dead -beat realtor in the dust without any strings attached if they perform poorly for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
One way is to inquire on Trulia like you are doing and also look at some of the recommendations the agent has on Trulia and on their LinkedIn profile. If you know the area you might like to live in, finding an agent that specialized in that area. No, you don't have to sign a buyer's agency but having one agent represent you as your advocate can be helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012
Hello Ba,
It is a good idea to speak with a number of professionals before signing a buyer's agreement.

Important note: You want to work with an agent who is local to the area where you want to buy.

For most people, the choice of agent is someone you are comfortable working with. The process of discovering that is to talk with an agent and ask questions. Denver is a big, big town that is surrounded by other towns. Call me if you will be looking in Boulder County, which is north of Denver.

Best,
SuZ
PML of Longmont, CO
720 810 0683
BoulderSuZ@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 13, 2011
Ba:

With a question like this, you are going to get inundated with Realtors saying, “Pick me!” Trulia Community guidelines actually prohibit Realtors from using the Q&A to solicit clients – be cautious of agents who don’t follow the guidelines.

When moving to a new area, choosing a Realtor can be tricky – you don’t have the normal connections you’d have if you’d lived in the area for a while. Here is what I suggest:

1. HomeGain.com - Agent Evaluator Program – it’s a great place to post a request and then have a large number of Realtors respond – you get to evaluate them based on various criteria.
2. Trulia.com – a number of agents will be responding to this thread – you can click through to their profiles and send emails to the ones you are interested in. Check their answers to questions here on Trulia. You can also use Trulia to search for pros in a specific geographic area.
3. Ask any friends, relatives or coworkers in your new locale. Ask local accountants and attorneys.
4. Drive around and note who has the most listings in the area in which you want to buy.

Interview at least three:

1. Have them meet you at a local Starbucks – if they insist on you going to their office, pass. After all, this is about you, not them! They should be willing to meet on your turf.
2. Have a list of prepared questions you ask all of them.
3. Ask for references and past clients – call at least three for each one.
4. Choose the one that seems to be the best fit – a personality match is critical.

You need to use only one Realtor at a time – it’s kind of like being married. However, be cautious of Buyer/Broker agreements. Not all properties offer the same commission – some agents use the agreement to ensure they will get a maximum commission (ie. if a listing only offers a 2% commission, they may use the agreement to force you to pay an additional 1%). They may also try to lock you in for a specific period of time – if you discover you don’t like the way they work or that you don’t mesh, you may have a difficult time getting out of the contract. I personally use a non-binding agreement that specifies what buyers can expect from me and what I ask of buyers.

Here is a list of potential questions to choose from:

1. How long have you been in business?
2. Is this your full-time job? Any side gigs?
3. Do you have any designations?
4. Have you won any awards? What is special about any awards you may have received?
5. Are you a member of the local MLS? State Association of Realtors? N.A.R.?
6. Do you require a buyer/broker agreement? Why?
7. Will I be required to pay you anything to represent me if the home I choose to purchase does not provide a full commission to you?
8. Will you require me to pay a transaction coordinator fee or some similar “transaction” fee?
9. Do you have an assistant? Will you be the person dealing with me through the entire process and resulting transaction?
10. Have many homes have you personally sold in the past year? Not your team or office – you.
11. How many REO sales have you closed in the past 12 months?
12. How many short sales have you closed in the past 12 months?
13. What is your ratio of sellers to buyers for the past year?
14. How many buyers are you working with right now?
15. How will you actively search for homes that meet my parameters?
16. Will you function as a dual agent?
17. Do you have client references from this past year?
18. What are the top few things that differentiate you from the rest of the pack of Realtors out there?
19. Will you carefully explain every aspect of every document to me as required?
20. How will you actively educate me in the buying process?
21. Do you have a comprehensive network of inspectors, tradespersons, etc.?
22. What happens when I Google your name?
23. What is your strategy for recommending a purchase price for any home I am interested in?
24. What if we don’t click or mesh? Can I stop using you and move on to someone else?
25. Will you be OK if I use my own lender?
26. How do you prefer to communicate? Phone? Text? Email?
27. How quickly can I expect an answer once I call you? During what hours can I call you and expect an answer?
28. Do you offer any kind of a guarantee?

This should get you started!
.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 12, 2011
Dear Ba,

Congratulations on your plans to relocate next year! I too have relocated to Colorado and understand that it can be a stressful experience especially when you are purchasing a home in an area that you are less familiar with. So my hat is off to you for getting out there and asking questions.

As for advice on finding the best agent for you, you have some great advice from those that have already answered and I would just that you want to be sure you find an agent that YOU feel confident in and comfortable with. Ask a Realtor a lot of questions and have them give you some of their past clients to interview regarding their services. I would be happy to provide references for you and you can always do a lot of research on someone via the web.

As for the buyer's agency agreement, it is certainly not required however for me when I meet with a new client, I show them this document and explain it in full. I even go the extra mile as to write into my agency agree that "either party shall be released from this agreement via written communication at any time." This helps people see that they are not signing their life away to me or their first born child! We are just agreeing that we feel comfortable working together in this process.

I generally meet with people first and explain how I work with buyers and it is never a problem for this document to be signed because we all feel comfortable. I hope this information helps!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions!

Thanks,
Brooke Hengst
REALTOR, CDPE
Your Castle Real Estate
720 988 5952
bhengst1@gmail.com
Web Reference: http://www.brookehengst.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 12, 2011
As many of the previous answers have stated, you do not have to sign a buyers agreement with an agent to look for properties. I leave my website, which has full MLS access, give away neighborhood price comparison maps and allow access to my daily hot sheet which evaluates good buys on properties. With many investors, I will do a property specific contract at the time we decide to move forward. It sounds like you would like to operate in that manner. Here's my website, let me know if you have any specific neighborhood or transaction questions. Welcome to Colorado!
Web Reference: http://www.georgelewman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 9, 2011
Signing a Buyer Agency Agreement is not a requirement in Colorado in order to buy a property. HOWEVER, if you don't sign a buyer agency agreement, that broker legally cannot not tell you all of the information that the broker finds out about the property. Legally they can only show you properties and discuss the public information. A good broker will use all information they "dig up" to help negotiate the best deal for you. I don't agree with the State of Colorado requirement to lock down buyers into a contract, in the event that the buyer might decide that they don't want to work with that agent after signing. I insert a clause into my agency agreement that allows the buyer to exit the contract at any time without reason or delay. That allows the buyer to work with me at no risk. I have built a solid long term base of cliente with this approach. If you would like to talk, please contact me for a quick phone conversation. My resume is online with LinkedIn if you would like to see my background first.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/garciajim

Jim Garcia
720-385-4497
jim.garcia@netzero.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 1, 2011
Signing an agreement isn't necessary, but it can be beneficial. When you have an agent who knows you well, and knows what your needs/wants are, they can find what you are looking for. They (should not) will not push you to buy a home. When you look at each home just asking the listing agent to show it to you, you're going to get a sales pitch every time... it's their job. Using a buyers agent you can see 20 homes and be open about your thoughts without it hurting your position should you choose to make an offer. If you see 20 homes with 20 listing agents you are getting 20 sales pitches and have to be careful about what you say because they are representing the seller.

Make sure you take your time in selecting an agent. There are plenty of us and you can find someone who is good at communicating, and putting what your needs are first. Signing a contract can be intimidating, but just make sure you know you aren't getting charged and can cancel anytime.

Our team provides free buyer representation, and you can cancel anytime. Showing houses can be fun, and we try to make your experience the best one you can have. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Kevin & Jessica
Higher Living Team
719-799-3686
kevin@higherlivingteam.com
Web Reference: http://www.jessicalaude.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 13, 2011
A process that has worked well for many of our clients is they start by searching for homes in the Denver area on our website. There you can save searches, favorite properties, and get email alerts of new listings matching your criteria. While they are searching online they are able to get a feel for the personality of the agent who is helping them. They begin by asking questions by email or phone and begin to find out how responsive the agent is, are they knowledgeable, and do they think they would enjoy working with them.

If at that point they want to continue, they may schedule an appointment to look at some homes and see how that goes. Our agents are always willing to meet at least once and show some homes before talking a buyer agency agreement. You will find that to get the best service from an agent they will want a buyer agency agreement signed. And it helps you by allowing the agent to represent your interests in any negotiations.

Hope this helps!

Marianne Bandy
The Bandy Team
RE/MAX Professionals - Denver, CO
"From Our Heart to Your Home"

303-746-7799 cell
Web Reference: http://www.BandyHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 13, 2011
The best way to find an agent is by referral. Keller Williams has a strong presence in Denver and I would be happy to send you the name of a great agent in the area. The agent you decide to work with will do a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work on your behalf and will work hard to help you find a home as you relocate. His or her fiduciary responsibility will be to you as you negotiate a contract. It is better to determine if you and the agent are a good fit after the first day and then to trust that the agent will work with you to find the right home.

Heather Kight
Keller Williams Austin
heather@heathershomes360.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
You do not have to sign a buyers agreement, however it would be in your best interest to do so, only after meeting with and interviewing several agents to find one that fits your personality and one you feel you can trust. It is very important to have a professional on your side and most often it costs you nothing but your loyalty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
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