The job of a listing agent is to get the highest price possible, in the shortest amount possible, with favorable terms for the seller. Realtors work for the Seller not the Buyer unless…
The job of a buyer’s agent is to get the lowest price possible, with favorable terms to the buyer.
Simple right!?! Well not so fast…
There are things you the buyer should know:
Buyer’s Agent (A benefit that costs you the buyer nothing)
When you the buyer contact an agent for assistance and the agent provides assistance to you, even driving you around and showing properties to you, who do you think the agent is representing? You may be surprised to know that the agent you contacted who is providing assistance to you is acting as a transactional broker and not Your buyer’s agent. The agent represents the seller! That’s right, the seller. You the buyer; however, may have several choices in which to choose how your brokerage firm and its agents will work with you. Such as:
- You may want them to represent only You as a buyer’s agent
- You may be willing to allow them to represent both you and the seller as a dual agent
- You may agree to them representing only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent)
- You may agree to a designated agency where one agent within the firm represents the seller and another agent within the same firm represents the buyer
Note: Some agencies will offer you a choice of these services, others will not. Be sure you understand what your relationship is with the firms and its agents, what the agent will be doing for you in a transaction and put the agreement in writing as soon as possible.
Duties to the buyer by the brokerage firm and its agents are:
- to promote Your best interests
- to follow Your lawful instructions
- to disclose all material facts which could influence Your buying decisions
- to be loyal to You
- to use reasonable skill, care and diligence
- to account for all monies that they handle for You
- not to provide confidential information about you to the sellers or their agents without your permission (once a Buyer’s Agency Agreement is signed)
So you should avoid telling the seller’s agent anything you would not want disclosed to a seller prior to signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. Until you hire a brokerage firm and its agents as your Buyer’s Agent by signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents work for the seller.
Remember, without a signed Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents will be acting as the Seller’s Agent and must try to obtain for the seller the best possible price, terms and provide the seller with any information about you (the buyer) even personal, financial or confidential that will help the seller. Seller’s agents are compensated by the seller. Buyer’s agents are compensated by the seller if the property being sold/purchased is in a multiple listing service. If the property being purchased is a For Sale By Owner, the buyer may be responsible for compensating the Buyer’s Agent in the event the For Sale By Owner refuses to pay commission.
Donna Yates, Realtor serving the North Georgia Mountains in Blue Ridge. Please see great mountain properties for sale:
Move 2 North Georgia where there’s no place like “a North Georgia Mountain” home!