John P. Wells – Mortgage Tips
What is a Buyer’s Agent and why do I need one? How does a Buyer’s Agent get paid? These are questions I find that most home buyers have.
Buyer’s Agency is relatively new. Little more than a decade ago, home buyers would discover a house they wanted to see (in the newspaper or an office window in those days before search services came online) and contact the office or the agent to show them the house. That agent always represented the seller. If that house wasn’t the one, the agent would show them others.
Throughout the whole process, the agent was representing the seller, although most buyers thought the agent was helping them. The agent was acting as a co-broke for the listing agent and paid by the listing agent. The buyer had no representation – it was a “buyer beware” scenario.
To correct this situation and protect buyers, the National Association of Realtors worked with States across the country and passed legislation creating Buyer Agency. Buyer Agents are paid the same way as before – sharing the commission with the listing agent – but now have very specific obligations to the buyers to protect their interests instead of the interests of the sellers. Buyers have benefited hugely from this change.
A good Buyer Agent will do much more than show you houses. The Realtor will start by identifying your needs and wants, and help you determine your budget by working with a good loan officer. It is always a good idea to work with a loan officer recommended by your Buyer Agent; experience has taught them who will serve you best and get your loan through with the least difficulty. Your usual banker is rarely the best choice.
A Buyer Agent’s job is not to sell you a home, but to help you make the right decisions. Many national franchises teach their agents to “get the buyer off the fence” and push you to buy – if your agent acts that way, get another agent. You should never feel pressured by the agent, although you may feel pressured by the market today, where good properties sell quickly and are often in bidding wars. I always tell my clients that they shouldn’t jump on a home unless they would be upset if someone else bought it…
Your Buyer Agent should concentrate on any flaws they see in the home, and an experienced one will closely examine the condition of the house as you go through it. If you decide to buy the