Why hire an Agent
Why you should hire a Buyer's Agent
The Difference between a Buyer's Agent and Listing Agent:
A Buyer's Agent is legally required to represent the buyer, and the same applies for the Listing Agent representing the home seller, both have a fiduciary duty to to their clients. This is why we highly recommend that the buyer hire a Buyer's Agent! Just ask yourself: If you were getting sued, would you hire the same attorney as the person suing you? Of course not! You need someone who will be enthusiastically fighting for your best interests and rights!
For instance, you are visiting an open house and you are disclosing in confidence to the Listing Agent how much you love the home and that you plan to make an offer. Then you are also confidentially communicating to to the agent that you need to move soon because your lease is about to expire and you are panicking because you have been looking for a home for quite some time and this is the first home that suits all of your needs. The Seller's Agent could then use this information against you by informing his client, the seller, that you are in a bind, and advising them not to compromise on the listing price. Also, in some cases, if the Listing Agent is hosting an open house, he/she will tell you that they can represent you as well if you don't have a Buyer's Agent. This is called a Dual Agency, which means the agent is representing the seller and the buyer at the same time. If you are considering New Construction, it would still be in your best interest to be represented by a Buyer's Agent. If you let the Onsite Agent of the Builder represent you, that would also be considered as a Dual Agency.
Once you agree to work with an agent, your agent will ask you to sign an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement. This contract protects you and the agent legally and is outlining the agent's services, time frame and compensation (more on that next). This contract also indicates that this agent will be advocating for you exclusively and that you won't work with other buyer's agents.
How much do buyer's agents cost?
Home buyers don't need to worry about the expense of hiring a Buyer's Agent. Why? Because the seller pays the commission, for both the Seller's Agent and the Buyer's Agent. Typically the commission equals about 6% of the home's sales price, which is split evenly between both agents (on a $200,000 home, that would be $6,000 to each agent), unless stated otherwise.
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