In Fact Why Do You Need To Work With Any Agent When You Are Buying A Home?
Why do you need a Realtor to represent you when you want to buy a home? Why not just let the Listing Agent write up the offer and present it to the Seller? Surely that makes sense?
The fact is, in California, unlike some other states, you can legally use the Listing Agent to write up your offer and present it to the Seller. The trouble is, there are some serious flaws in the concept.
The first and probably the most important thing to remember is that the Listing Agent has a Primary Fiduciary Responsibility to the Seller. That is to say that, whatever happens during the course of a transaction, the Listing Agent has a legal responsibility to always act in the Seller’s best interests. Now although California real estate law allows an agent to simultaneously act for the Buyer and the Seller, it seems fairly apparent that this may not be the best thing for the Buyer.
The agent representing the Seller can hardly advise a Buyer how to structure an offer to his best advantage while remaining impartial. In a Sellers’ Market when multiple offers are common and homes are selling very quickly, the agent representing the Seller is likely to encourage a Buyer to write an offer as far above asking price as he is prepared to go. In a Buyers’ Market, the agent can’t advise you to write a really low offer, even though it may be a reasonable thing to do, because that may not be in the best interests of the Seller.
After a sale has been agreed and inspections have been carried out, if any defects are discovered, the Buyer may want to renegotiate the price. Again, it is hard to see how the agent can represent both parties’ interests. Clearly there is scope for a conflict of interest here.
Obviously you need independent representation
This Is Why You Need Me To Represent You:
All real estate agents do not work in the same way. When I work with you as your Buyer’s Agent, I take my role very seriously. I know that the purchase of a new home is far more than just a business transaction and I go to great lengths to make sure that you are aware of everything on the market that could be of interest to you before you make any decision.
When I first meet up with you, my initial objective is to determine how you want to work with me. Certainly I want to sit down with you and discuss exactly what you are looking for but from that point on, how I work with you will depend on the approach that suits you best.
Many of the buyers I work are happy to leave it to me to decide which homes they see once they are sure I understand their wants and needs. If that is the kind of approach that suits you, you will appreciate one thing I do that I know sets me apart from most other agents:
Silver Dollar Homes
I make a point of previewing as many homes that I can as soon as they come on to the market, with a particular emphasis on homes that are extensively upgraded or remodeled to a high standard. I also preview homes that appear to offer outstanding value for money. All of these homes go into my “Silver Dollar Homes” file and when I start working with a new buyer, these are the ones I turn to first. I want my buyers to have the best homes available.
The first homes I will show you are those in your price range in my “Silver Dollar” file. This will very quickly give you an appreciation of what you can reasonably expect to get for your money when you buy. You may even find that one of these homes is exactly right for you. After all, they do represent the cream of the crop. If you don’t find any of these to be exactly right for you, I will show you other homes on the market that could be right for you and I will show you new listings as soon as they come on to the market. Often, especially if you are not a local buyer, I will email digital photos of homes to you that I think you would like (both outside and inside shots) so you can view them at your leisure prior to arranging a personal showing.
Not everybody wants to work in the same way of course, and that is why I tailor my service to suit your needs. You may want to sign up for my free Homes By Email service, 3, 6 or even 12 months before you plan to buy. With this approach, you will see details of every home that meets your criteria as soon as it is listed. Once you reach the point where you are ready to buy, I will either work with you as described above, or if you prefer, I will take you to view the homes that you select from the Homes By Email service.
Negotiating The Purchase
When you find a home you want to buy, I will advise you on how to structure an offer, which I will then present to the Seller or the Seller’s Agent. Here, my knowledge of local market conditions is invaluable as the price and terms I suggest can vary greatly depending on the type of property, recent comparables, how long the home has been on the market and other factors. This is one area where my local knowledge can save you thousands!
Sometimes, your offer will result in the Seller presenting a counter-offer and some more negotiation may take place before a sale is agreed. My aim is always to ensure that you get the home you want at a price that satisfies you.
The Escrow Process
Buying a home is not a simple process and even after the sale has been agreed it will normally be a few weeks before you can take possession. I will be in constant contact with you during the Escrow period and I will arrange home inspections, take you through all the paperwork, ensure that the seller delivers all of the necessary disclosures etc. and generally keep you fully informed at all stages. I will also be there with you at Close of Escrow to ensure that you understand everything you are signing and to answer any last minute questions.
What Does All This Cost?
All of this service costs you nothing
It isn’t really FREE of course, but as far as you are concerned, you have been taken complete care of through the whole buying process and it hasn’t cost you a cent.
I am often asked how I get paid. Many people assume that real estate agents are paid a basic salary plus commission on the transactions they complete but this is not how it generally works.
When a seller lists his home for sale, he traditionally agrees to pay a commission of typically 5% or 6% (sometimes more or less) to the listing brokerage. There are usually no other costs involved and if the home fails to sell, the seller owes nothing. When the home sells, a proportion of the commission (usually 50%) is paid to the brokerage representing the buyer.
Note that I say “broker” or “brokerage” rather than agent.
When the home sells, the listing agent gets a proportion of the listing side commission and the agent representing the buyer gets a proportion of the buyer side commission. The balance goes to their brokerage.
Almost all marketing costs for a home are borne by the individual listing agent, not by the brokerage. This includes advertising, brochure production, Internet advertising and much more. The costs can be significant to say the least. And in addition to this, as self-employed contractors, agents have to cover most of their own business overheads including insurance, MLS membership fees, auto expenses, gas, printing, mailings, postages and much more.
If you would like me to help you find your ideal home, E-Mail me below with your contact info and an idea of what type of home you’re looking for, and I will contact you very quickly.
Excerpt from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) website