I'm very surprised by the reaction of lot of buyer when it comes to buy a property.
Buyers think it's better to deal with the listing agent, in order to get the best deal ever, which is completely wrong and widely discouraged by consumer advocacy groups. That’s because there is no way to represent both parties to the fullest extent.
There is no way to fully protect the interests of all parties, no matter how ethical the agent is.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 88% of homebuyers use a real estate agent when purchasing a home.
Buying a home is complicated. The United States Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requires a written contract for real estate transactions for this reason.
Because these sales are such a big deal, it makes sense to have a professional in your corner.
Who Represents Whom?
In the past, it was common for a real estate agent to put up a “for sale” sign, show the home, take in offers and close the deal.
Many times, buyers were under the impression that the agent represented their interests, or was at least a neutral party.
In fact, that agent represents the interests of the home seller, and only the seller.
Today, most buyers and sellers have their own representation. It makes sense, because the buyer’s goal (to pay as little as possible and get the best terms available), completely conflicts with that of the seller (to get the highest possible price and best terms).
Understanding The U.S. Real Estate Market
In the United States, each state has unique rules for real estate transactions. Standard purchase contracts, closing procedures, and the duties and titles of everyone involved can vary a great deal.
Real estate listing information is shared by agents using multiple listing services (MLS). Consumers can access similar information using various online real estate sites.
Homebuyers do not have to pay anything to have an agent work on their behalf. The seller traditionally pays the real estate commission in the U.S.
Real estate agents must be licensed to represent buyers and sellers
The Listing Agent
It is not uncommon for a homebuyer to contact a real estate agent directly in response to an online ad or a yard sign.
When you’re the homebuyer, it’s important to understand that you are most likely contacting the listing agent.
The listing agent, also known as the seller’s agent, is a real estate professional legally obligated to protect the seller’s interest.
The listing agent’s primary role is to market the property, attract potential buyers, and work to get the highest possible price and the best terms for the seller.
Listing Agent Responsibilities
The listing agent’s responsibilities include:
- Properly value and price the seller’s property for sale.
- Suggest necessary repairs or improvements.
- Develop and implement effective marketing strategies.
- Present and negotiate offers on the seller’s behalf.
- Draft counter-offers for the seller.
- Help the seller complete state-mandated disclosures about the property condition.
- Follow through on contract dates, events and contingencies.
As a homeowner seeking to sell your property, the listing agent is your biggest advocate.
The Buyer’s Agent
Thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, today’s homebuyers have unprecedented access to property information.
Also known as the selling agent, the buyer’ s agent typically contracts to represent the buyer’s interest in a real estate transaction.
A buyer’s agent must put the homebuyer’s needs first. For example, he or she can’t tell the listing agent how much a client is willing to spend, how badly a couple wants the house, or anything else that would put the buyer at a disadvantage.
Buyer Agent Responsibilities
The buyer’s agent should:
- Pre-view properties to find homes that meet the clients’ needs.
- Show or arrange for property viewing.
- Provide information (when legal) about neighborhoods, schools, local trends and more.
- Develop a competitive market analysis of the property.
- Draft offers and counter-offers for the buyer.
- Counsel and negotiate on behalf of the buyer.
- Monitor and advise on all pertinent contract dates, events and contingencies.