A buyer’s agent is a real estate agent who is representing and working for the buyer in a home purchase. It is similar to an attorney representing you in a court of law. A buyer’s agent walks through the entire process of purchasing a home with the buyer, watching out for his or her best interest during the entire process and transaction. The buyer’s agent schedules the showings, follows up on questions, researches the neighborhood market, consults with the buyer, creates the purchase offer, and negotiates the contract. The buyer’s agent should be an excellent communicator, keeping all of the many parties informed at every stage of the transaction. From your initial consultation to your closing celebration, your buyer's agent will be overseeing every detail of your real estate transaction to ensure that it will go smoothly and seamlessly.
In Ohio, the agent whose name and phone number is on the sign is working for the homeowner as a “seller’s agent.” The seller’s agent is obligated by law to work for the best interest of the seller, to get the seller the most money possible from the sale of the house. Any information that you provide to the seller’s agent (your home financing situation, how much you could pay, etc) can hurt you when buying the house because all the information is then passed onto the homeowner.
Many people believe this myth and have lost thousands of dollars. Here is what you need to understand. First, the agent whose name is on the sign and their real estate company already has a signed contract to pay their company a certain percentage of the sale price when the home sells (regardless if there is one or two agents involved). Second, a buyer’s agent is free to you as a home buyer. If you use a buyer’s agent, the seller’s real estate company will give your agent's company a portion of the commission (so your agent will be paid). Third, not only does it not cost you anything to have the service of a buyer’s agent, that agent could save you thousands of dollars off the asking price and potentially more money in negotiating necessary repairs to the house. (The seller’s agent cannot do that or they would be violating their contract with the seller!)
When you sign a buyer broker agreement, you are making a commitment to purchase a home in the future with a particular real estate agent and company. Typically, we will take a buyer out to look at houses for the first time without any commitment. We feel that we need to see if we can work with each other. If you desire to look at homes with us again, we will ask you to sign a buyer broker agreement at that second appointment. The reason for this is to protect our relationship as your representative and to ensure that our company will get paid for the time spent we spend with you as a buyer. It takes many hours to find the right home for a client and we are totally committed to spending as much time as it takes to find the perfect home for you. In return, all we ask is that you are loyal to us and allow us to represent you.
Call us! Email us! Do not call the listing agent. Remember that they are working for the seller of the property and not for you. We will be happy to find out the information that you need to know and will also be happy to show the home to you in person. That is our responsibility to you and we take our responsibility very seriously. If you see a home and have questions, let us do the research for you. It will protect our relationship and will allow us to represent you throughout the entire transaction, ensuring the best price and outcome for you!
This is a great question and one that probably causes more confusion than any other. We can and do represent buyers of new construction homes. If you are interested in checking out a builder, call us first. We will contact the builder for you, set up your initial consultation and attend the meeting with you. Throughout the selection process, we will advise you on the upgrades to make to your home, such as those that will impact your resale value, ask questions of the builder that you may not have thought of, and help you negotiate the best price that you can. We will also attend any and all meetings that you have with the builder if you would like, such as the pre-construction meeting, pre-drywall walk-through, and pre-settlement walk-through. We have the experience of working with various builders around the Miami Valley as well as the personal experience of building a home of our own, so we understand what you are going through and know the questions to ask.
If you are out driving around and see a community or a model home that you want to stop by and tour, they will ask you to register. You must tell them at that point that you are working with us as your Realtor. Something that you must understand is that the friendly staff that is working in the model home is working for the builder and is looking out for the builder’s best interest. They do want to help you, but they are looking out for the builder’s bottom line and are primarily interested in making a sale. If you do not tell them up front that you are working with us, we will not be able to help you later on when you need it. You have the right to work with a Realtor throughout the building process, but you must state that you wish to do so right at the beginning. The best thing to do is this: if you are considering checking out a builder, even if it is just to tour the model home, call us first. We can register you with the builder ahead of time, making it easier for you and them. One phone call will prevent problems later on.
No, your price will be exactly the same, whether you are working with a Realtor or not. It would be illegal and unethical for a builder to charge you a higher price on a home simply because you are working with a Realtor. Builders typically set aside an amount of money each year in a separate fund to pay the commissions earned by Realtors who bring buyers to their properties. It is very similar to marketing funds or advertising expenses. Builders realize the importance of Realtors in the transaction and are more than willing to compensate us when we bring them a buyer. If you come across a builder that is reluctant or is discouraging you from using an agent, beware!
If you would like to go through open houses on a Sunday afternoon, that’s fine. However, just remember that the agent who is hosting the open house is working for the seller. Do not give them personal information and be sure to tell them that you are working with us. We will provide you with business cards that you can give to the agent who is hosting the open house, so that they are aware that you are represented and so that there are no misunderstandings. You can also sign in by using our name and phone number.
There are no upfront costs to work with us. As your buyer’s agent, we will get paid when the purchase transaction is completed. For a buyer, the only out of pocket expense that they may have by working with a Realtor to represent them is a small additional commission (at RE/MAX Victory, we charge $295), which takes care of office expenses, paperwork, and record keeping. That amount varies from broker to broker and is a part of your closing costs.
Most Realtors are independent contractors associated with a particular real estate brokerage, (i.e. RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Irongate, Keller Williams, HER, Prudential, etc.) Probably 99% of Dayton real estate agents are not "employees" of the real estate brokerage. Most Realtors pay a monthly fee to associate with a particular real estate office. The real estate company does not provide a car, a computer, health insurance or a gas allowances for the agent. All of these are business expenses that come out of the agent’s bottom line. A Buyer’s agent is paid by his company after a house/property is purchased at the closing. The agent’s company will generally receive a Brokerage fee (commission) of 3% of the purchase price of the home from the seller’s real estate company. From that brokerage fee, your agent will be paid a percentage of the 3% as his/her commission after closing.
For these reasons, your real estate agent does want a commitment on paper to work exclusively for you as a home buyer. That commitment on paper comes in the form of a Buyer Agency Agreement that your agent will provide. Some buyers, not knowing how this works, have used one or several agents to view various properties and another agent to write a contract, thus creating confusion and commission disputes between companies. To minimize this issue and provide consistency in the quality of service a buyer receives, a Buyer Agency Agreement is necessary and fair since the agent will spend his/her personal monies up front, without compensation, to gas the car, schedule showings, and spend a large amount of time with you, until you find that home you would like to buy.
We look forward to serving you as your buyer’s agent, helping you to find the home of your dreams. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact either of us, Cyndi at 937-604-5194 or Don at 937-241-2124.