The Truth about Buyer Agency

    A buyer agent acts as the buyer’s advocate which includes researching information, providing advice, suggesting broker approved special stipulations to protect the buyer, negotiating for the best terms and price possible, and looking out for the buyer’s best interests every step of the way.

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    In this relationship, the agent has a duty to keep the buyer’s communications about properties confidential.  Dealing with only one agent makes the process more efficient for the buyer, and usually results in a more accurate search as the agent gets to know the buyer’s unique needs. This broker-client relationship requires a written buyer agency agreement per Georgia Law.

    Agents work harder for buyers who make a commitment to work together as partners in the home search. Loyalty benefits both the buyer and the agent. An agent who has a loyal buyer will put a lot more effort into finding the right house, negotiating the best deal, and being more available to show homes.

    Experience matters when working with any professional, including a real estate agent or team. For example, a team that has handled transactions for 1500 clients, like Path & Post, will be able to navigate the complexities of a real estate transaction better than someone who only handles the typical four sales a year, which is the industry average. Buying or selling a home is too big of a deal to rely on someone who is only only a part time agent, dabbling in real estate.

    Trust & Loyalty is Earned

    Most successful agents expect a buyer to make a commitment to them once the agent has a chance to demonstrate the value they add to the process. When the buyer sees the importance of having a buyer agent advocate for them, the buyer agency agreement makes sense. A mutual commitment to work together means the buyer agent will pull out all the stops to find the right house for the buyer.

    Occasionally, a buyer will have one agent show them homes but then ask a friend or family member who is an agent to write the contract in order to get the commission. This can actually put the buyer in a sticky legal situation and is not a good idea. Most family and friends are happy to show homes in order to legitimately earn a commission.

    Agents who write contracts and collect commissions after another agent does the showings and legwork are called “parachute” agents in the industry. Ironically, it can actually hurt the buyer’s ability to negotiate if they use a parachute agent as the seller and listing agent often view the buyer and parachute agent as lacking integrity. The lack of trust impedes negotiations.

    Buyer agency is important and in the best interest of a buyer to have someone on their side. For such a major financial and emotional investment, having a strong advocate on the buyer’s side who is 100% loyal and committed to them makes hiring a buyer agent the smart way to go.

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