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From my blog
What a Buyer’s Agent Can Do For You
The CostPurchasing a home is a complex and a significant financial transaction. The seller’s agent (the listing agent) is not on your side. He or she is legally bound to represent the seller. They are trained and experienced in how to protect their seller’s interests. Even with new construction, that sales representative represents the builder – not you. The legal designation of a buyer’s agent was created to put buyers on equal footing by giving buyers an experienced representative with a fiduciary duty to protect them.
Think you’re going to save money buy going at it alone? That’s not the way it works. The seller pays the full commission (both seller and buyer sides) to the listing agent/broker. The listing agent then pays a potion of their commission to the buyer’s agent. If you don’t have a buyer’s agent, the listing agent still gets the whole commission. And you open yourself up to making expensive mistakes.
Specially Trained and Certified
Not only do we provide experienced representation to buyer, I’ve been specially trained as an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. The Real Estate Buyers Agent Council gives this accreditation to agents who complete dozens of hours of specialized training and have a required level of past experience representing buyers. Less than ten percent of Realtors nationwide hold this important designation.
Whether you’re moving to the county or a life-time resident, you likely do know have the detailed market knowledge to know what a home is worth today. There’s always lots of neighborhood gossip about what someone sold for, what someone else paid, etc., but these figures frequently do not include other accommodations between buyers and sellers or value adjustments for upgrades, amenities, deferred maintenance or other items. Plus, there are trends in neighborhoods, different long-term prospects and changes in surrounding areas that will affect value. We know these details and can help you be sure you’re paying the right price.
In addition to valuation, we know the neighborhoods themselves. Especially if you’re moving here, you’ll need someone who knows the areas so you are sure to move into the community that’s right for you!
Buyer’s Agency Agreement
The legal agreement that bounds your agent to you as your buyer’s agent varies by State. But, regardless of its name, this document is critical for you to understand your rights and to secure the legal and ethical representation. However, while it’s important to have an agency agreement in place, be sure to it gives you the right to terminate the agreement if you become unhappy with the relationship.
This agreement may state that you, the buyer, are bound to pay the agent. This exists for two reasons. First, by tying the fee to you, it binds the legal relationship between you and your agent/broker. Second, if you buy a home that is being sold without a listing agent (for sale by owner), you may need to pay your agent if he/she cannot structure a deal to have the seller pay a commission. The agent is providing you a great deal of value and is probably doing all of the seller’s work too!