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Robert, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Buyer's Agent: Responsibilities?

Asked by Robert, New York, NY Fri May 9, 2008

What are the responsibilities of a buyer's agent? How much should one rely on an agent for referrals to brokers, real estate attorneys, and home inspectors? What is the buyer's agent role once an offer has been made and accepted? Thanks!

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BEST ANSWER
Robert, As per REBAC, buyer agent responsibilities include:

- evaluating the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
- assisting the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range and locale.
- assisting in viewing properties -- accompanying the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.
- researching 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.
- advising the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
- presenting the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.
- negotiating on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.
- assisting in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
- providing a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services are needed.
- most importantly, fully-representing the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.

Hope this helps.

GerryV - a NY LSA & Certified Buyer Representative
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Thanks this helps me
Flag Fri Aug 1, 2014
A simple rule: never rely on a real estate agent for home inspector or attorney referrals and never, ever, ever even listen to or read the name of a mortgage broker referred by an agent.

The odds are extremely high that mortgage brokers, inspectors and attorneys who become dependent on agent referrals will favor the interests of the agent over those of the buyer or seller.

It's not a bad idea, however, to ask your agent for referrals: the answer you get will tell you something worth knowing about your agent. Many highly professional agents will refuse to make referrals or, if pressed, will provide only a list that includes a number of firms in each category of service. If an agent provides only one home inspector, one mortgage broker or one attorney - consider hiring a diferent agent.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
As you read the responses below, you may note that all the _realtors_ are promoting the use of _realtors_ but that their justification roughly amounts to "a person to give advice". In some instances a real estate lawyer is a bettter choice and often more inexpensive - keeping in mind that as a buyer you don't usually see the fees because the seller pays them... and is probably passing those fees on to you!

You can find your own home (there are many useful websites).
You can negotiate your own price (you are really doing this anyway).
You can read and understand the purchase contract (and should).
You can arrange inspections (I recommend being a part of them).
You can find a lender (rates are largely controlled).
You can complete the closure.

Often the most useful aspect of having an agent is that many specialize in knowing specific neighborhoods - they can advise about aspects you may be unaware of. This is useful if you are unable to wait to get to know an area before making a purchase. But beware too: their incentive is to sell a house and collect their commision; they may sell you a house you don't really want.

My best advice is to research the neighborhood (crime, schools, activities), visit the neighborhood during various times of the day, and do your homework (is it a historic district, what kind of heating does it have, etc).

Good luck,
Rick
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
Just go to naeba's home page at http://www.naeba.org and you will see the "Standards of Practice" on the right hand side. They are lengthy so I don't want to cut and paste. let me know if you want more info about exclusive buyer agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
A good buyer's agent would follow these standards: http://www.naeba.org/naeba/standards.htm.
Web Reference: http://www.1sthomegroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
A Buyer's Agent has a fudiciary duty to use the utmost care,integrity, honesty and loyalty in dealings with a buyer. Even if his compensation will be paid by the seller. You may choose to enter a Buyer/Broker agreement with you agent in which you would compensate the agent directly. I never refer a specific service providr, but instead provide a list of providers that I and other agents in our office have had satisfactory experience with. I then advise calling 2 or 3 and comparing service level, expertise and price. Once your offer has been accepted, your agent will be responsible for making sure that the seller provides all the necessary disclosures within the time frame specified in your contract, and to insure that you also meet your obligations in a timely manner so as not to jepordize the closing. Your agent should be present for appraisals and inspections and assist in reading the Preliminary title report should you so desire.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
A good buyers agent will look out for your best interest in the transaction from start to finish. Just like everything else out there. There are good and bad sales people in every field. Find an agent by asking your friends,neighbors etc..

Once you find a good one trust then to help you in every way. you will be fine.

As far as inspectors go. You should ask for a list of ASHI certified inspectors and make your own choice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
A good buyer's agent should be with you every step of the way through closing and beyond. If you value your agent, you will most likely value his referrals as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Jeff, your link doesn't work. Can you copy and paste the information?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
http://naeba.org/node/195
Flag Mon Jul 21, 2014
A buyers agent's responsibilities include: complete disclosure, loyalty, confidentiality, obedience and accountability. Never settle for anything less that these qualities. A good buyers agent should also serve as a consultant to your needs. They should be able to interpret what you tell them to help you reach your goals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
A buyer agent's responsibilities include locating suitable properties and providing accurate information about the property, and help in working out a negotiating strategy. The reliability and timeliness of the information the agent has available will affect the accuracy. In example, the agent should be able to determine the school district in which a property is located, but changes to boundaries within a school district that may affect a buyer's decision can occur at any time. As another example, the Seller's Disclosure of Property Condition will reveal only such information as the seller may be aware of or candidly reveals. This is part of the reason that we recommend getting inspections.

We should also help our buyers find service providers, but the extent of that assistance depends on either brokerage policy or the agent's own sense of the perils involved. As for referrals to service providers, agents would be well advised to simply provide a list from which their clients can select a service provider. Anyone can have a bad day, and someone who normally does a great job can fail to perform. Worse yet, unrealistic expectations on the part of a client can result in bad feelings--and in litigation.

When addressing referrals to brokers (providing relocation services), many brokers/agents have little or no control over the selection of the agent after sending the referral. Those who do have some control generally have little knowledge of the actual performance of the agents to whom they send referrals. Brokers tend however to select their best or most productive agents to handle referrals, and it usually works out well. The referee should however make their own assessment of the agent to whom they are referred before making a commitment to that agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
You do not act as if the real estate agent is responsible for much involving the transaction. These people are receiving thousands of dollars for their service and what is the buyer receiving?
Flag Sun Mar 16, 2014
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