Asked by Michelle Mcloughlin, Middle Village, Queens, NY Wed Jun 11, 2008

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John L. Gard…, , Suffolk County, NY
Thu Jun 26, 2008
For a buyer's agent, go to They list certified agents who specialize in buyer agency. The Real Estate Buyers Agent Council, inc. was founded in 1988 to promote superior skills and services with regard to buyer representation. Agents wishing to obtain the ABR designation must complete training, exams and certification. Is it rocket science? No, but there are definate ways that buyer agency will help you. An agent is either working for you or working for the seller. As far as compensation goes, know how much it is and where it is coming from.

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.
1 vote
Jim Johnson, , 78233
Wed Jun 11, 2008
I too could offer to refer you through the largest referral network in the world, Century 21, but you don't need that. Simply call and interview a few local agents until you find one whom you think will work out for you.
1 vote
., , Virginia Beach, VA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Hi, let me know in what State you are looking for an agent and I can help you with that.
1 vote
Ronald S. Co…, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Mon Aug 19, 2013
I'd suggest calling a few reputable and established real estate attorneys in your area and ask their opinion on who they have come to find to be good buyer’s agents.
0 votes
Malinda Kach…, Agent, Smithtown, NY
Sun Jun 19, 2011
Smithtown Resident and Real Estate Agent for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage working with Buyers for Smithtown and the surrounding areas. View my video profile with link below.
Malinda Kachejian, LSA Cell# 631-335-4708.
Website: Email:
0 votes
Jerry Cibuls…, Agent, Southold, NY
Thu Jan 21, 2010
Take advantage of the information available on the internet. Most real estate agents should describe the levels of service they provide. When hiring a buyers agent you will most often sign a Buyer Broker Agreement between you and your agent. This form will establish the transactional relationship between you and your agent. It will review the compensation, length of contract, and services provided by the broker and agent. An experienced buyers agent will represent your interests, lead you through the transaction from home seach to closing and leave you will a positive experience. Check your local agencies and research the agents to find a person that fits your needs.
0 votes
Freida, , Auburn, GA
Thu Aug 20, 2009
In Georgia, the normal transaction has a seller's (or listing) agent and a buyer's agent. We have a buyer's agency contract where both the potential buyer and the potential buyer's agent commit to work exclusively with each other for a stated period of time. Either side may terminate this contract early by giving the other one written notice. The seller typically pays both agents in Georgia which says that the commission is split
between the two real estate companies.

Freida Knight, Managing Broker, 1st Knight Realty, Inc., Auburn, GA 770-867-1901
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Where are you looking to buy?

Did you find an agent? If so, how are things going?
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;, , Riverhead, NY
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Michelle, when you locate a buyers agent (googling in NY will provide those committed to the practice), I'd suggest the following: do NOT sign a contract. Your initial disclosure, as required by the NYDOS, will indicate the agency agreement (make sure the buyer agency box is checked).
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!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jan Lowery, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jul 31, 2008
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: -
Web Reference:
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Tue Jul 8, 2008
Question 1:
Do you specialize in Buyer Agency?
Question 2:
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.)
Question 3:
Are you a full-time agent?
Question 4:
What towns/areas do you specialize in?

That's a start.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jacquie Cliff, Agent, Lynnwood, WA
Tue Jul 8, 2008
Finding a ABR accredited agent is good, but talking with several agent and finding one that fits your personality and listens to what you need is important.

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!
0 votes
Lawrence and…, Agent, Plainview, NY
Tue Jul 8, 2008
Call Larry & Sheila (Certified Buyer Representives) when looking for a home on Long Island from Nassau County & Suffolk County @ 631-240-1224
0 votes
Chachi, Home Buyer, Islip, NY
Thu Jun 19, 2008
Don't get a buyer's agent unless you have a friend in Real Estate to act in this manner. A buyer's agent will say that they are looking out for your best interest but in fact, they want to make a commission. High price = high commission. Buyer's agent was created by real estate to make more money from the home buyer.

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.
0 votes
Jack Muratore, Agent, Smithtown, NY
Sun Jun 15, 2008
Most Broker's normally Have Buyer Agency Services! Check with Local Agencies or Agent. Most states
require a written agreement between Buyer and Broker/Agent.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jun 11, 2008

Consider checking out the web reference to this answer. It will give you another perspective on buyer agency representation.

Good luck,

Web Reference:
0 votes
Phil Svendsen, , Huntington, NY
Wed Jun 11, 2008
When you are involved with a professional buyers agent to purchase a property, he/she represents you alone as a buyer in that particular purchase and will expect that you are responsible for payment of his/her fee directly, if there is one. Be very sure of where you stand on this matter particularly through any type of brokerage disclosure form you may be signing...etc. and make sure that the agent has a proper professional real estate buyers agent designation. We are now talking about one who is primarily a BUYERS AGENT professional, right ?
0 votes
aaa, , Lookout, WY
Wed Jun 11, 2008
All REALTORS can be a buyers agent but some REALTORS have gotten advanced training in buyer representation and earned their ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) designation. I have posted a link for you to look for them in your area. All of the answers here are very good and you should keep them in mind as you look for your buyers agent.

It's a great time to buy! I wish you all the best.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Jun 11, 2008
All Realtors are capable of being a buyer's agent. Meet and greet...don't sign until you are sure you are working with someone who is going to work for you and understands representation. It is most important that you are comfortable with the person you choose; they are knowledgeable and there is a connection.

Your Realtor will be offering a lot of advice and information; make sure you trust them.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Wed Jun 11, 2008

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!
0 votes
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