Dec 2, 2016

Buying a Home? Buyer Agents Work For You For Free

By Griff Christensen

As a Utah home buyer you should always have your own real estate agent representing you.  Buyer agents work for you to negotiate the best terms and price.  Best of all, the buyer agent’s services are free to the buyer.

Many people think they have to pay a sales commission when they use a Utah real estate agent as a buyer-not true.  The truth is that typically only the seller pays  the real estate commission.

Whether a buyer uses an agent or not, the seller still pays the commission.  The only person that wins when buyers are not represented is the listing agent (he/she can get the full or sometimes double commission).

Most buyer agents will have their clients sign an agency agreement, usually called an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement.  It describes their services, how they are compensated, and how the two parties will work together.

It’s a good idea to work with an agent who specializes in representing buyers.  Ask the right questions, when interviewing agents, to determine who will best fit your needs.

Remember, you wouldn’t hire your 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 working with your best interests in mind.

Buyer Agents Agreements and Working Relationship

According to most buyer agency agreements, the buyer’s agent agrees to do these things:

  • Keep their client’s financial information confidential
  • Provide buyer with professional real estate marketing advice
  • Negotiate the best possible price and contractual obligations for the buyer
  • Must disclose to the buyer if they are working with another buyer interested in the same property
  • Show all properties the buyer is interested in that fits their criteria and budget
  • Help to connect you with the service providers—inspectors, lenders, home warranty companies—to best suit your needs

The buyer also has some responsibilities to their buyer’s agent:

  • Buyers must work exclusively with their buyers agent
  • Buyers should never give personal information to any other agent or go behind buyer  agents back
  • Buyers should not call other agents to see properties, even if they think they are saving their agent some time and effort
  • Buyers should clearly define their must have criteria and deal breakers to help their agent streamline the showing process

Home buyers are the drivers in today’s housing market and at a premium.  Buying a Utah home is a big decision and can be a very complicated process.  Buyers should carefully interview agents just as seller’s interview listing agents.

It’s important to make sure the buyer’s agent you select is familiar the type of property you want to purchase, the area you want to purchase in and comfortable with the particulars of your situation. Agent’s rely heavily on the information they are given-so be sure to clearly communicate your needs. For example, clients relocating from one city to another require a different set of skills from a client moving within the same area.

Buying a home is typically one of the biggest financial decision one makes in their lifetime.  The best advice is to find a qualified local Utah real estate agent, or better yet a Utah Realtor, who will guide you through the home buying process.

 

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