Exclusive Buyers Agency – Who Cares
Very few residential real estate companies practice exclusive buyers agency. Why would they? The industry is set up to allow agent to be the “agent” for both sellers and buyers, even in the same deal! Limiting yourself to only one side would theoretically cut your income in half. No one wants that!
What do buyers think about exclusive buyers agency?
They don’t. The whole agency concept is way too complicated for most buyers. Who wants to be bothered trying to figure out how this crazy industry works? Most buyers just want to get into that house they saw on that great street. Sometimes buyers think they have to use a popular company or they won’t see everything. That is not the case—almost every property is available on the local Multiple Listing Service (and by extension, many public websites as well) to be shown by any agent. That is the best way for sellers to get the most exposure and that is the way it is set up. So any buyer can see any house with any agent. Amazing!
How is exclusive buyers agency different?
Many companies practice representing both sides of the transaction. This is called “dual agency”. It makes economic sense for the company. But even though dual agency is permitted in many states, it is widely misunderstood. According to Realtor News, in a national survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, most agents reported that they did not even understand their obligations under those circumstances and they thought it created “confusion among all the parties”. The magazine further reported that the practice is a constant source of disputes and legal problems.
A typical situation would be to call the phone number on the sign in the yard. You speak with someone at the company and ask the price. They then ask you if you want to go see it. Of course you do! Do they tell you that you can come with your own agent? Of course they don’t. The company gets twice the commission in most cases if you go with their agent. But the seller pays exactly the same amount of commission regardless of whether you bring your own agent in almost all cases.
Buyers deserve true conflict-free representation. If you buy a home and use the seller’s agent or EVEN IF you are referred to another agent in that same office (both agents with the same company), you are at risk that you are not receiving the best representation.
For example, you might expect the agent showing you the house to tell you about problems it seems to have. How does the agent who represents the seller do that and be fair to the seller? You might want to know if you can negotiate a better price if they have already moved out or need the money. Should the agent who represents them (and you) tell you that? If you want to offer less than the asking price, will the agent back you up? What information about your need to buy a house will that agent tell the seller? And if the listing agent is in the same office with the agent you are using, how much information might be transferred? How much will one agent be willing to push another one to get a better price if they have to work beside one another?
Does using an exclusive buyer agent matter to the buyer?
No one can say that it will always make for a better result. But studies have borne out what common sense would suggest: people working with buyers’ agents see more homes, pay less and buy more quickly than those who do not have this representation. It is also more likely that you will get a good result if you use someone who exclusively represents buyers. Because, think about it. If all a company does is represent buyers, won’t that slant their entire process to favor them? Won’t they look for the best houses, the most thorough inspectors, the best lenders with the lowest rates? Won’t their passion for the buyer’s side translate into a better home at a better set of terms?
We Say: Exclusive Buyers Agency All the Way!
So go with a company that loves exclusive buyers agency so much that they give up listings. Only represent buyers. All the time. Do your homework. You can find them out there if you try!
Learn more about the advantages of using an exclusive buyer agent by contacting Sage Realty at 37 West Avenue, Suite 103, Wayne, PA 19087 by email: LindaWalters@SageRealtyLLC.com or by calling 610-687-4000. Visit www.FindAHominPA.com for more information about exclusive buyers agency and about the Philadelphia Main Line Area.