Question of the Day: What makes a great buyer's agent

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Thu Mar 8, 2012

How does a home buyer identify a great agent? What are some key things he/she does?

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Dan Willard,…, , Wilmington, NC
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Using an Exclusive Buyers Agent assures no potential conflicts of interest which may occur in working with a traditional dual agent. In North Carolina, a "Designated" Buyers Agent represents the Buyer ONLY - even in an "In-House" Transaction - there is a wall of confidentiality drawn between the Listing side and the Buying side of the table.. An Exclusive Buyers Agent only holds the best interests of the Buyer in their head and heart. As a unique-differentiator, a Buyers ONLY Agent does not distract focus with listing tasks and activities - they work 100% of their time for Buyers only.

Standard Dual Agents are not supposed to take the Buyer's or the Seller's side, they need to remain neutral and move the transaction along. In Florida, I believe, they actually call Dual Agents "Transaction Agents". In my role as an EBA I actually take the Buyers side of the transaction, working work hard for my Buyer, and in a deep-diligence mode.

A true Buyer's Agent should dig ALL factors about a property - the good, the bad and the ugly - and keep the Buyer FULLY informed. A good Buyers Agent should willingly work FSBOS, REOs, and Foreclosures if a Buyer wants this type of focus. An employment agreement, in writing - outlining commission criteria and including a "client satisfaction" guarantee, allowing termination of the agreement if necessary, will differentiate an Excellent Buyers Agent. A good Buyer’s agent will absorb stress for his or her Client, and ADVOCATE for their Client across all those participating in the complex acquisition process - from Lenders, to Inspectors, to Insurers, to Attorneys, and others.

A good Buyers Agent must never rush a Buyer to making a quick judgment. It takes me about three hours to "prep" an offer to present to a Seller. I build full and deep Negotiating Scenarios to discuss with my Buyers as part of that preparation. I dig into Deed Records, prior to making an offer, to see the level of indebtedness of a particular Seller. This helps determine how aggressive we may be in our initial offer pricing. You would not want to put a Seller "under-water" if possible, but a good Buyers Agent will only consult and advise - the Buyer is ALWAYS the Boss!

A good Buyers Agent will have honed negotiating skills, DEEP Integrity, an excellent track record of smooth and on-time closings, and many Client Experience Testimonials to demonstrate their success from their Buyer's view. A Good Buyer's Agent will MINIMIZE RISK for their Buyer, and purchase a home with a Client like he or she is buying it for themselves or a Family Member.
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Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Thu Mar 8, 2012
The ability of the agent to work with the client instead of for the client.
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