WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT:
When buying a home, you have several options on how you want to work with real estate agents. For instance, you may want them to represent only you (as a buyer's agent). You may be willing for them to represent both you and the seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you may agree to let them represent only the seller (seller's agent or subagent). Some agents will offer you a choice of these services.
But regardless of your relationship with agents, chances are you will probably have to work with at least one during the buying process unless the seller is selling the home himself and you choose not to have an agent yourself. Again, you’ll usually save yourself a lot of time and headaches by enlisting the services of an agent, however. They are professionals who know all the laws and ins and outs of negotiating, and they may well save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the long run.
If you choose to enlist the services of a buyer’s agent, that agent will be obligated to perform certain services for you.
Duties to Buyer:
- Promote your best interests
- Be loyal to you
- Follow your lawful instructions
- Provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions
- Use reasonable skill, care and diligence, and
- Account for all monies they handle for you.
A buyer's agent will perform a number of services for you. These may include helping you:
- Find a suitable property
- Arrange financing
- Learn more about the property and
- Other-wise promote your best interests.
A buyer's agent can be compensated in different ways. For example, you can pay the agent out of your own pocket. Or the agent may seek compensation from the seller or listing agent first, but require you to pay if the listing agent refuses. Whatever the case, be sure your compensation arrangement with your buyer's agent is spelled out in a buyer agency agreement before you make an offer to purchase property and that you carefully read and understand the compensation provision.
According to www.homebuying.about.com, there are some things you should understand before enlisting a buyer’s agent. Here are a few of them:
1) Understand Agents Work on Commission
- Very few real estate agents work on salary.
- Most real estate agents are paid commission. If an agent does not close a transaction, she does not get paid.
- Agents are not public servants and do not work for free. Do not ask an agent to work for you if you intend to cut the agent out of your deal.
2) Keep Appointments & Be On Time
- Be respectful, use common courtesy and don't expect an agent to drop what she is doing to run out to show you a home. You are probably not that agent's only prospect / client. And if you are, lord help you.
- Do not make an appointment with an agent and then forget to show up.
- If you are going to be late, call and let your agent know when you expect to arrive.
3) Do Not Call The Listing Agent if You Are Working With a Buying Agent
- Listing agents work for the seller, not the buyer. If you hire the listing agent to represent you, that agent will now be working under dual agency.
- If listing agents show you the property, the listing agent will expect to represent you.
- Listing agents do not want to do the buying agent's job. Let your buyer's agent do her job.
4) Be Ready To Buy
- If you aren't ready to buy, you don't need a real estate agent. You can go to open houses by yourself; call listing agents for showings -- but be honest, say you are "only shopping" -- ; look at homes online; but don't waste an agent's time if you aren't ready to act.
- If possible, hire a babysitter to care for children who are too young to stay out all morning or afternoon touring homes.
- Bring your checkbook. You'll need it to write an offer because earnest money deposits are required.
Using common sense and courtesy with your agent will earn his or her respect and help a great deal in making your home-buying experience a pleasant and worthwhile one.