Good morning Sandy,
I am glad to see that you are asking a lot of questions and doing your home work. Picking the right agent is very important. Making sure that you have a comfort level with them and understand their experience level is also key. Not all Realtor's ask for a Buyer Broker agreement and some do. What is important is that if you choose a Realtor that asks you to sign anything, read it and fully understand it. If you are not comfortable with something, never sign it.
A Buyer Broker agreement is simply an employment contract between you and the Realtor. Many Realtors do not use them because they are not familiar with them, they do not understand them or they do not want to be held accountable to them. A Buyer Broker agreement protects you in many ways as the consumer. First being that if you hire a Realtor with a Buyer Broker they are now required to show you every listing on the market regardless of commission being offered by the Listing agent. This is how we are paid. The listing agent secures a listing with a Seller and they offer a commission to the Buyers/Selling agent for bring them a ready, willing and able Buyer. Agents, listing or selling, do not earn their fees until escrow is closed and they have successfully assisted you through your home buying or selling process. . Second, they have to perform to the agreement or yes you can fire the agent for none performance and can now hold the Broker and the agent accountable to their agreement.
It is important to know that not all agents are alike nor do they all work the same. My partner and I meet with all of our clients before ever taking them out to see homes. The reason for this is so that you have the opportunity to interview us for the position to be your Realtor and that you are comfortable with how we work and make sure we are a good fit for you.
It is very important to note that when you are hiring a Realtor, we have more than one job of just finding you your home. We find you the home, negotiate your offer, negotiate throughout the transaction, and make sure that you are comfortable with the home and assist through a successful close of escrow if the home is still the right home after you have done your due diligence and inspections and there are no major defects with the home. The process of buying a home in lengthy and should be fun and enjoyable. Here is a brief example of what we do as your Realtor from beginning to end.
1. Meet with client to interview for the position and make sure the client is clear as to how I work and what to expect based on the clientâ€™s needs and time frame of moving.
2. Create Search for myself and client
3. Preview all available options for my client and weed out all homes that will not meet the clientâ€™s needs.
4. Follow up after each preview and give client a report of findings and schedule appointment to show any homes that fit the clientâ€™s needs as soon as possible based on client time frame.
5. Show the client the homes
6. If client likes the home go back and review the market and comparables to identify the best negotiating strategy for submitting an offer to potentially purchase the home.
7. Call the listing agent to gather whatever info is necessary to better understand the Seller motivation
8. Report back to Buyer and write the offer and all supporting documentation
9. Call the listing agent and ask to present the clients offer in person
10. Present offer to the Seller and listing agent and continue negotiations
11. Once negotiations are complete, congratulate the client on wining the home and start the escrow process
12. Open escrow and send all required paper work to the lender so they start the loan and order the appraisal
13. Schedule home inspection and any other inspection the client feels necessary, check in with the lender
14. Review all disclosures with the client so they are comfortable with the home and make sure there are no major problems with the home and check in with the lender
15. Negotiate any repairs if necessary and check in with the lender
16. Confirm all repairs are done, make sure loan is approved and docs are on the way
17, Client signs all loan documentation and escrow sends back to the lender
18. Loan funds and records
19 Escrow closes
20. Buyer gets the keys to their new home!
There is so much to the process and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to interview for the job of being your Realtor and answer your questions in more detail.
We have many testimonials of our success and how we work for our client's at our website, http://www.TheSoCalLife.com.
I encourage you to check us out there, review our resumes and what our clients have to say about us.
I hope to hear from you soon.