Who Works for Whom?
From time to time, as a real estate agent, I see consumers who are confused with regards to being represented in a real estate transaction. You have probably heard of a friend, colleague, or perhaps a family member who went to an open house and bought the house with the listing broker, who first and foremost, represents the Seller in a real estate transaction. Or perhaps you know of a story where someone you know called a real estate office and went to see the home with the listing broker and ended up buying that same property. Again, the property was listed by the listing broker, who represents the Seller first. While there are real estate laws around disclosed dual agency, which we will get to in a future post, we're here to talk about Buyer agency and hiring a Buyer's agent.
A Buyer's agent is exactly what it sounds like, an agent of the buyer in a real estate transaction, whether it's Portland or South Portland, Maine, or Portland, Oregon. The agent represents you, the Buyer, in the acquisition of real estate by putting your interests first as the Buyer's agent is accountable to only you the Buyer in a real estate transaction.
In order to be represented by a Buyer's Agent in the State of Maine, a Buyer needs to enter into a written buyer's representation agreement, thus establishing a client-agent relationship between the buyer and licensed real estate agent. By entering into an exclusive buyers representation agreement, a buyer client can expect their Buyer's agent to;
1. Put the buyer's interest first and negotiate for the best terms and price for the buyer.
2. Disclose all material defects pertaining to the physical condition of the real estate that are known by the Buyer's agent.
3. Treat both the buyer and seller honestly and not give false information.
4. Account for all money and property received from or on behalf of the buyer.
5. Comply with all state and federal laws related to real estate brokerage activity.
6. Maintain confidentiality of specific information about the buyer, including bargaining position.
The exclusive buyers representation agreement details the terms of the agreement between the client and agent and most importantly explains the responsibilities of each party. Signing the agreement creates a win-win situation for both parties - the buyer's agent is now focused on delivering what you want, a new home, and you are committing to working exclusively with them as your real estate agent in your home search.
Understand that your Buyer's agent serves seven main roles which will greatly assist you in the purchase of a new home and enable you to focus on your day to day life like your job, children, and allow you to enjoy the process of buying a home.
The seven main roles of your Buyer's agent are;
1. Educating you about the real estate market.
2. Analyzing your needs and wants through a buyer's consultation.
3. Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
4. Coordinate the work of other real estate professionals to assist you (mortgage broker, home inspector, etc.)
5. Negotiate on your behalf.
6. Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines for you.
7. Solve any problems that may arise.
Your buyer's agent wears many hats. They should act as a real estate consultant, offering you all of the information to help you decide what is best for you. It's very important that you find a real estate agent that you are comfortable with and trust.
For more information on understanding Buyer Agency or to chat about the home buying process with no obligation, please feel free to contact Jeff Mateja of Keller Williams Realty by phone at (207) 233-2420 or through the Contact Us link.
Jeff Mateja is the CEO/REALTOR at Universal Properties at Keller Williams Realty in Portland, Maine, and founder of ILovePortlandMaine.com, a blog about everything Portland, Maine, and beyond. Jeff also offers two premier home search tools for Buyers via FindPortlandHomesNow.com and FindMaineHomesNow.com. If you would like further information on any blog topics, please e-mail Jeff Mateja.
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