Question Details

Sherri Maken, Home Buyer in North Carolina

If I had a buyers agent to purchase a home and then later decided to build a home am I obligated to use the

Asked by Sherri Maken, North Carolina Sun Aug 17, 2008

buyers agent for the new home haveing no contract. I used a buyers agent to purchase a new existing home. I cancelled that home and I am now building a new home in the same community. I am not under anykind of agreement and I do not want to use the buyers agent for the home I am building. Is this in my rights?

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Hi Sherri...... Your answer lies with the real estate laws of your state. With that said, if you did not sign a "Buyer Representation Agreement" with your agent, you are probably not obligated to use him or her in any other transactions.

The following will dispell some myths about the role of a buyer's agent in a real estate transaction:

A buyer's agent is defined as a "real estate buyer's representative who represents the buyer EXCLUSIVELY in a real estate transaction, not withstanding who pays the commission." Research by the National Association of REALTORS has shown that when a buyer's representative is used, the prospective buyer found a home one week faster and examined three more properties than consumers who did not use a buyer's representative.

The buyer's representative works for, and owes fiduciary responsibilities to, the real estate buyer and has the buyer's best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate process. A buyer's representative will:

• Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.

• Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in
that price range and locale.

• Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on
behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.

• Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an
informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase the property.

• Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.

• Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.

• Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best
interests in mind.

• Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.

• Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services
are needed.

Using a buyer's agent is not a new idea, it's just an idea whose time has come.

Yvonne Baker, Real Estate Consultant
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
You really need to read the agreement you signed when you signed them up as a buyer broker and see what is filled in. For instance under description if you wrote 3/4 bedroom colonial 400-500,000 in smith town usa and you buy land, the land wasnt part of the description you used when you hired him, you bought outside the scope of what you contracted them for and wouldnt have to pay a fee. If it states an existing building or house to be built you may be in trouble. Review your contract carefully and see if what you bought is different then what you contracted them for. Either way before you purchase you can always cancel the contract in writing as long as you do not buy something they have introduced you to.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
The short answer is that you under no obligation whatsoever to use this agent or any other agent for that matter. Secondly, there is no such thing as a Buyers Agent.

Buyers' agents get nothing if there is no sale, so they want their clients to buy no matter how bad the deal is, the exact opposite of the buyer's best interest. Agents take $100 billion each year in commissions from buyers. Agents claim the seller pays the commission, but always fail to mention that the seller gets that money from the buyer. Think about it: who brings the money to the table - the seller or the buyer? All money comes from buyers. No buyer, no money.

If a stock broker were to charge 6% on the sale of stock, he would quickly go out of business. Real estate brokers don't do much more than stock brokers, so why should you give up nearly two years of your working life earning money to pay a realtor for the few hours they may put into helping you buy or sell a house? 6% of the 30 years it takes to pay off a house is 1.8 years of donating your working time to your realtor.

There are good buyer's agents who really believe they are helping the buyer, but they're in denial about their conflict of interests. Author Upton Sinclair had a great explanation for this: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
I am not sure what your obligations might be to the agent, you may be obligated. Since I have no idea why you'd choose to give up that representation, I can't give any advice, except if you are unhappy talk to the broker (not the agent, the broker) and see if it can be resolved. I am preplexed by Theace's response, but despite the fact that I can not help you where you are, I'd be happy to give you numerous references from my clients who would tell you that the value they get from working with me far exceeds their expectations time and time again. The actual value I bring to the client depends on their needs- not everyone needs the same thing, but I find what they need and work hard to deliver it. If you have that kind of agent, too, you'll be glad you do. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
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