Buyer Agency Explained
What is a Buyer Agency?
Unless specifically agreed otherwise, a real estate agent represents the seller in a property transaction. That agent’s top priority is to solely protect the seller’s position. With a buyer agent, you are assured that your agent is working to promote only your best interests. A buyer’s agent is paid from the commission on the sale of a home. Any home listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), advertises a contracted commission to any agent who represents a buyer for the property.
Is it More Costly?
Using a buyer agent is almost never any cost to a buyer because the seller has already agreed to pay a full (read double) commission to his or her agent which that agent only has to share IF the buyer has his or her own agent. If the buyer does not, the seller still has to pay the full amount to their listing agent. The standard listing agreement does not allow there to be a savings for the seller if there is no buyer’s agent. So two agents is not a recipe for a higher price. But it is a recipe for real negotiations.
Why Select Sage As Your Buyer Agency?
From its inception, Sage was created to represent the client, not the deal. So a Sage agent will never try to sell you a house listed through Sage. At most large agencies, the agents wear the “Hat of the Day”, representing a buyer one day looking at a listing of a co-worker and a listing agent the next day, often telling potential buyers of that house that they can show them something else if this is not the house they want. Any potential for conflicts can be eliminated by using a buyer’s agent whose office policy is not to market its own listings to its client buyers.
Will A Buyer Agent Want to Push for a Higher Selling Price?
If an agent is compensated based on the sale price of a home, you would assume they would push for a higher price tag. The simple fact is the small increase in commission is never worth an unhappy client. If the agent has done his or her job you will be educated as to the correct price and will know you are not overpaying.
Do I Need A Buyer’s Agent Right Away?
If you are still “window shopping” you don’t necessarily need an agent out of the gate, but if you attend an open house and are seriously interested in the home, without an agent you may run into issues. Many listing agents will balk at sharing a commission if they feel they “sold” you on the house at the open house. Better to have your agent first.
Who recommends Buyer Agency?
This Old House Magazine
“When calling in response to a listing broker’s advertisement or showing up at an open house, be clear on one thing. This person is employed by the seller of the home. That seller . . . [is] paying the agent’s commission. If you want to be sure you have a pro looking out for you, enlist a buyer’s broker. This type of agent signs on to work exclusively for you in whatever deal you may strike, and can help you through the buying process, from search to offer, to contract, to closing.” ~15 Secrets No Real Estate Broker Will Tell You.
Business Week Magazine
“A conflict of interest is more likely when a real estate firm that represents sellers assigns you one of its brokers as a buyer agent. That’s why many people believe an “exclusive” buyer broker is preferable. If there aren’t any in your area, and you have to use a listing broker, make sure they disclose when they are showing you properties they have a financial interest in.” ~ Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumers Federation of America.
“You can’t have partial loyalty. An agent either works for you or works for someone else.”
“In many cases buyers may be at an advantage when they work with a buyer’s agent – at least compared to relying on a seller’s agent for advice or guidance. A seller’s agent is contractually obligated to help make the sale happen in the seller’s favor, often as close to the asking price as possible.”
The Washington Post
“It is vital that the buyer understand that the listing agent does not work for the buyer and does not owe a duty of confidentiality to the buyer. Anything a buyer reveals to the listing agent may be disclosed to the seller. Only a buyer’s agent has a fiduciary duty solely to the buyer.”