Answers to Home Buyers Questions from a Buyer’s Agent
Linda Walters, Buyers Agent and owner of Sage Realty, responded to many home buyers questions over the years. Here are some of those questions and answers:
- What’s the best advice for picking a settlement date?
- How does the appraisal affect the price?
- What are common appraisal and stucco issues?
- Should buying foreclosures be avoided?
- Does every home have to comply with building codes?
- Can you still purchase a home with credit issues?
- What are my options to keep my home after a divorce?
- What’s the best advise for downsizing and decluttering?
- What is a dual agency?
- What is a Good Faith Estimate?
- What is a Homestead Tax Exemption?
- Local Market
- Why can’t we have a survey done as part of our home purchase?
- Are there any risks to extending the closing date for the seller, such as a loss of the mortgage interest rate?
- What steps can we take now to prepare to downsize?
- How do I deal with the pressure to downsize?
- Is it a waste to search the Internet for homes?
- What is a Seller’s Disclosure?
- Should I be selective about the number of houses I see?
How does a Sage get paid?
Sage has no minimal fee or commission rate. We will show you any lot or home no matter how low the commission to us. We will always tell you the commission offered to the buyer’s agent. We are paid out of the commission amount that the seller agreed to pay the seller’s agent in the listing agreement as offered to us when the property is listed on the MLS. It is usually half of what the seller’s agent takes.
What Do Those Initials Mean?
Sage agents have been trained and certified in many areas, including:
ABR: Accredited Buyer Agent. The designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer Agent Council (REBAC) only to REALTORS® who meet specific educational and experiential criteria. When you see “ABR” after an agent’s name, you know you’re working with a committed agent whose focus is on your best interests and has the education and experience you want in a realtor.
Esq: Denotes that the agent is also an attorney and trained as an advocate and skilled at negotiating for you.
e-PRO: This title means the agent has passed a rigorous course centered around real estate technology.
SRES: Senior Real Estate Specialist. A REALTOR® who has qualified to specifically address the needs of buyers aged 50 or over through major financial and lifestyle transitions in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home.
ALHS: Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist. A REALTOR® who has taken specialized training to address the fine points of the luxury home market.
Sage is a new type of agency: one which accepts listings but never wavers from our commitment to fully represent only one side- either the home buyer or home seller.
Why would a buyer agent ever represent a seller? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
For many years, Sage only represented Buyers. We worked hard to establish trust and a good relationship with each one. And now, they think of Sage as their real estate company. Some are starting to think about buying a new home with Sage—maybe they have outgrown it or want a different school system. They would like to have Sage manage the process so that the sale of their existing house works together with the purchase of their new one.
In the past, we have referred these listings out to the best agents for that particular home/client. Sometimes that was a good fit and sometimes not. But what it wasn’t was the right way to treat these loyal clients.
So, now Sage has a new business platform. While we represent buyers alone in almost every circumstance, we represent sellers too. Is that a conflict of interest? Well, it would be if we were also trying to bring the buyers to that listing in order to get double commission while being unable to truly represent the interests of either side. But we never do that. Ever.