I have completed the ABR course , etc. and can represent buyers as their agent. From my perspective, it's great being able to say to my client that I work hard for them and no one else! Hey, homeowners have agents for for them, shouldn't buyers have someone in their corner too? In every closed transaction so far, the homeowner paid my commission stipulated in his listing contract with his listing agent.
Malinda Kachejian, LSA Cell# 631-335-4708.
Website: http://www.coldwellbankermoves.com/malinda.kachejian Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
between the two real estate companies.
Freida Knight, Managing Broker, 1st Knight Realty, Inc., Auburn, GA 770-867-1901
In NY, many real estate "professionals" fail to encourage sellers to pay for a buyers agent within the amount charged for the listing agreement. For this reason, the expectation is that the buyer pay out of pocket for the service. As a result, you could find yourself paying the fee TWICE- once, for the fee included in the price of the home, and then again out of pocket.
Just make sure that your buyers agent is willing to agree to compensation that is paid for by the seller- it is their job to provide a transaction that puts your interests first.
Until all sellers automatically include payment for buyer agency (many now only offer to pay for seller representation to the real estate agent bringing the buyer) the important thing is that you don't pay twice for a service that is badly needed, but being railroaded by listing agents that disadvantage sellers by eliminating payment for this valuable service.
Until you are certain that payment is being made with the fees IN THE PRICE OF THE HOUSE that are already designated, sign off on the NYDOS disclosure, but don't get yourself "trapped" into a contract. They aren't neccessary, and a good buyers agent won't require that you put yourself under "contract" unless you are clear as to who, EXACTLY, is paying the fee. Any questions, feel free to contact us- we don't operate in your area, but are happy to offer any further opinion/explanation re. this practice. It's a great, and needed, method for buyers, but has to be performed correctly. Good luck!
Most agents these days, represent both buyers and sellers, mostly separately, but can do dual agency in many states. After 25 years in the business, and having referred my buyers out of the area, I have found that it is not just: are they certified ABR (accredited buyers agent) or are they a certified relocation agent. The real test is do they do the job, do they listen and are they committed to getting you what you want. I often pick the agents for my buyers myself when referring out of the area. I am looking for agents that have some experience (however some newer agents have more time and committment than the busier, more well known agents). I look for agents that match their personality, aggressive or patient, facts or feelings, hand holder or hands off, etc. Talk to other people you know and see if they have a favorite and why, what is good for one is not for another. Once you have established one-three people to interview, meet with each one and have them go over the process and the paperwork. If there is a buyer broker contract, ask if you can take it home to look it over, be sure that you can get out if they don't do their part. Look for any financial obligations, be sure that the money goes towards the contract on ratification, or is returned to you if the agent does not find you a house (In some areas, the buyer broker fee is non-refundable, in this case be sure to talk to at least 3 agents and find out what their policy is.) Be sure that the agent goes over these important areas:
1. Upfront: get a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender or even two, not an on line broker that will promise the world, and charge big fees. Don't fall for any "we can fix your problems" get a second and third opinion.
2. Upfront: the lender will give you a "Truth and Lending" which outlines all the fees they charge and the "estimates" for the rest. Be sure your agent also does a cost sheet and compare them. A good agent is more familiar with the actual fees. Often lenders guesstemate low.
3. The agent should be able to explain the entire process:
a. What upfront money is required: Earnest Money or Deposit (ranges from $500 to 10% of Sales Price and should refundable if the offer is not accepted or loan denied-but depends on how the contract is written), home inspection fee (ranges from $350-$800 depending on the property & the area & is not refundable), appraisal fee (ranges from $350-$500 depending on area) is not refundable, credit report ($50-$100 per report- not refundable), and any other inspections required by buyer, get the ALL the fees in your estimated cost sheet, ask for the "worst case scenario" which should include at least 1 point or origination fee.
a. Market conditions: % of list price to sales price in your area, it varies all over the country.
b. Are sellers paying closing costs, how much.
c. Are there any special programs that sellers are offering.
d. They should also be able to show you the property history : which includes reductions or other changes. What can you expect: find the house, review the comparables, check the property history, write the offer, negotiate, home inspection, review of any home owner docs, appraisal, get mortgage complete, walk thru, go to closing, for instance.
4. Find out if the agent is availabe frequestly to show you property. (Some agents are so busy, they have to "fit" you in or pass you to a team member, you want someone who can devote a reasonable amount of time).
5. Ask the agent what form of communication during the process they use, who does the follow up (some times it is an assistant) and who do YOU talk to the assistant or the agent.
6. Ask if the agent attends the home inpsection, walk thru and closing personally (this is very important that the agent is there personally to be able see what is being done.
Hope this helps, if you need any help just call. Jan Lowery/Broker Associate/Virginia Beach, Va, 757-434-7174 - Email: Realestateangels@aol.com - http://www.janlowery.com
Do you specialize in Buyer Agency?
What fee do you charge for buyer agency? (look for the answer to ensure that the agent understands that their fee is APART of the purchase price - period - if they can't eloquently speak on this point - move on.)
Are you a full-time agent?
What towns/areas do you specialize in?
That's a start.
Never be afraid to fire your agent as well if they aren't living up to what you need. Just be honest with them and tell them what they didn't do and move on!
If you insist on a buyer agent, one option would be to negotiate a flat fee. Again, why do you need a buyer agent? Hire an attorney to make sure all your stuff is in order.
Google "buyer's agents" and see which ones are positive (usually from real estate agents - see the responses below for a bunch of blood-thirsty examples) and the negatives are from homebuyers who got burned (which includes a lot of homeowners suing thier buyer agents for not getting them the correct/best price).
Good luck- do your research.
It's a great time to buy! I wish you all the best.
Your Realtor will be offering a lot of advice and information; make sure you trust them.
I'd have to second Cynthia's response - what state are you looking? And not for anything but with Coldwell Banker's international referral system (the largest in the world), it would be very easy for me to assist you [little self-promotion there - hate writing like that cuz it's so boring and redundant on here, but a fact is a fact :)]
Anyhow - if you asking just in general - when looking for an agent, you'll find them as you call on properties through your regular search. See who follows up the most and look to see who offers you more assistance. DO NOT settle on the first agent (unless they're the one offering you the most service). The one that talks to you about buyer agency is probably on the ball.
I like to establish buyer agency relationships within the first substantive meeting. I at the very least bring it to the attention of a buying customer that NYS law by default - requires licensed real estate agents to represent sellers. Even when an agent is taking you to see houses - multiple times, if they haven't discussed and clarified their relationship, they're technically working for the sellers!
Anyhow - here's a few questions that might help you. Again I stress to you that the agent for you will probably present themselves as the real deal - without you ever having to ask them questions about buyer agency.
Here's a few questions:
1. How many hours a week do you work in real estate? [the more the better - it means they're available to show you houses]
2. Do you work on a team? [if they're apart of a team - then they or someone else on their team could also at least get you into a house anytime of the week] note: even the hardest working agent can't always be available so a team member can help out.
3. What buyer services do you or your office offer? [don't ask specifically about "buyer agency" - let them talk to you about it] this is the end all be all question - if they don't know and thus can't explain how a buyer agency can help you - move on.
In this business, you have Brokers - who usually own an office or manage a team within an office and you have Sales Associates - people who work under a broker/owner. Two different licenses. Brokers will generally be very busy people and they are most likely - full-time in the business.
If you're out with an agent - ask about their license - "By the way, what type of real estate license do you have?"
Now getting back to question number 3 - IF the sales associate cannot articulate EXACTLY a few things that they offer to buyers and can't talk about NYS law in a manner that suggests they have a basic understanding of what it is to be a BUYERS AGENT - forget it and move on.
There are also certain credentials like CBR - Certified Buyers Representative - these individuals will probably know how to really help you - a buyer - but even then, you never know. lol
Anyhow - good luck!