Home Buying in Centerport>Question Details

Long Island…, Home Buyer in Centerport, NY

"Buyers" Agent with a contract versus "Sellers" Agent without a contract.

Asked by Long Island Buyer, Centerport, NY Tue Jun 23, 2009

We are looking for our first home in Centerport, NY. A recommended realtor will work as a buyer's agent only after signing a contract. The contract stipulates no upfront fee, but 6 months exclusive representation and a guarantee of 2% commission paid by buyer if not paid by seller. Alternatively this agent will work as a seller's agent without any signed contract. What is the norm on Long Island NY?

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Jerry Cibulski’s answer
If you have established that the agent is a professional, experienced and compatable person in regards to your home purchase you are half way towards your decision. The agent can work with you to purchase a home in either relationship. The largest difference you have to review are the differences in the New York State Agency Disclosure Form. As a sellers agent your agent is working in the best interests of the seller and is not working for the interests of the buyer. They are obligated to provide fair and honest dealings, disclose all known facts materially affecting the desirability of the property and negotiate a seller price on terms acceptable to the sellers.
If the agent is working with you as a buyers agent they are negotiating the purchase price on terms acceptable by you, working in your best interests and must deal with a seller honestly and fairly. Take a look at the two roles on the Agency Disclosure Form and make your decision on what role you would like your agent to work with you under.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
I would tell you that there isn't a "norm" however, most states utilize buyer's agents and seller's agents and all have signed contracts. You mentioned that the agent will work for the seller with no signed contract - all agents who show listings work technically as sub-agents of the listing agent and represent the seller. Their commission is paid by the seller so they do indeed have a signed contract with the seller. I would recommend that you interview agents just as you would if you were selling a home. The fees for buyer agency will vary, the same as they do when you are listing however remember the most important thing would be the services provided. If hiring a buyer's agent for 2 or 3 percent will save you thousands of dollars or help you buy a home for fair market value in a great neighborhood, school district etc. , isn't it worth paying for? Remember that most agents are paid out of the proceeds of the sale so, technically aren't you paying anyway in the price? Why not have a representative who has your best interests at heart which also may mean that if a home is priced correctly, you may even be advised to pay a bit more!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
You can still have representation without any contracts and no additional fees. Did your agent explain the difference to you I wonder and if so do what feels right to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
The Buyer Agent works in the best interest of buyer, however it does not require in Long Island, NY to Must Have Buyer Agent Signed Contract.
The buyer can work with Buyer's Agent without any signed contract. It means the buyer is not locked in for 6 months +/- or so, etc..
I am a Certified Buyer Agent (CBR), I represent them as a Buyer's Agent. They have stayed with me and bought homes with out any signed contract, because of mutual respect, honesty, trust, above & beyond customer service, etc.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.
Good Luck in your search..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
The norm for many years was that Realtors on Long Island had no idea what a buyer's agent was...we are the last to be civilized in the US!

That being said, we do represent buyers now and yes, it is typical to sign an agreement (length of time is up to the two parties...can be one day or one year). The percentage was probably stated at 2% because that is generally what is offered out to the "other" agent if a sale is made. This too is negotiable.

Is this asking a lot from you? When the listing agent signs an agreement with the seller for ...let's say 10% as an example...that 10% if accommodated for in the asking price so at the end of the day, the buyer is paying EVERYONE'S commission! It's all in the way you look at it.

Everywhere else in the US, none of this is an issue...there are buyer agents and they are reimbursed for their services.

You will find ABRs or CBRs in Long Island..if we don't have that designation, it doesn't mean we are not educated in buyer representation...it means we have not spent the money on the designation.

There are also a lot of Realtors who will represent you without signing the contract and obligating you and will merely seek the commission from the offered amount through the listing.

The important thing is to align yourself with an individual you like, you believe to be reputable, you therefore trust and displays knowledge in the field.

Feel free to contact me with any further questions or discussions. Centerport is part of my home base and I would be happy to discuss representation with you.

Gail@GailGladstone.com 631-425-6150
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
While I cannot speak for Long Island, it is typical practice to have a listing agreement to represent a seller (seller's agent). An exclusive right to buy, aka buyer rep agreement, is a fairly standard practice and is even required in some states.
A buyer rep agreement defines the ways in which your agent will work for you and you can typically add stipulations to that agreement including that they actively search for FSBO properties, etc. Keep in mind that if NY is a state that does not REQUIRE these agreements, it may not be a bad idea to check with a few other buyer agents. Checking out the REBAC website (rebac.net) and find an ABR (Accredited Buyer Rep) or just look for someone that has ABR on their card :-)
The ABR means they took a few extra classes on dealing with buyer related issues and may be slightly more qualified to help you if a buyer rep agreement is necessary.

Agency relationships also vary from state to state, but you can see a very basic overview of agency relationships by visiting one of my blog posts about them (in web reference below)

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 23, 2009
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