Why you shouldn't search for your home alone
The listing agent is the homeowner’s biggest advocate. That's why home buyers should always have their own agent. Buyer agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for the buyer.
It may seem perfectly logical to call the agent on the window sign while driving around your dream neighborhood searching for your next house.
The sign might have a phone number to allow you to quickly access more information—but beware. It goes directly to the listing agent and the listing agent works for the seller, not the buyer.
Sellers and agents have a written contractual agreement outlining their relationship. It outlines the role of the listing agent, how they will market the party, the commission and the terms of the listing.
The Agent is the Seller’s Representative
That means the listing agent has a legal obligation to work on the seller’s behalf—to get the highest possible price and the best terms available for the seller, not the buyer.
The listing agent legally is obligated to share any information they learn about the buyer with the seller. If a potential buyer walks into an open house and strikes up a conversation with a personable listing agent, any information divulged there can and will be used against the buyer during eventual negotiations.
So telling a listing agent you are relocating within the next month for a new job at a high profile company with a great offer that increased your salary so now you can afford more house than before? That can hurt you later if it comes to a bid on the property.
Listing Agents Wear Many Hats
There are many facets to a listing agent’s job. They work closely with the seller and provide a bevy of services, but the most important is that he listing agent is the homeowner’s biggest advocate. That's why home buyers should always have their own agent. Buyer agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for the buyer.
Look for a buyer agent service to which will have their clients sign an agency agreement. It outlines their services, how they are compensated, and how they will work.
You wouldn’t hire your husband/spouse’s attorney to represent you in your divorce. The same goes for real estate. Why use the seller’s agent to negotiate your best interest? There is an inherent conflict of interest.
The home buying process is stressful enough without worrying about who you can and cannot trust. Your buyer’s agent is your trusted advocate. Make sure the buyer’s agent you select is familiar the type of property you want to purchase, the location you want to purchase in and the particulars of your situation. An agent is only as effective as the information they are given. Clients relocating from one city to another require a different set of skills from a client moving within the same area, for example.
Buying real estate is a big decision. The best advice is to call LOBA to guide you through the local market conditions.
Sandra Viana, LOBA House Hunting
#househunting #realestate #buyeragency
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