Buyer agents often get a bad rap for pushiness, limited availability, and a lack of interest or deep understanding of their clients needs.
Let’s take a deeper look at why…It’s often said that people don’t value those things which come to them for free. In real estate, in most cases, buyers can enlist the services of a Realtor at no cost. This is because MLS listings offer a “Cooperative Commission” to agents who represent buyers of the home and the commission is paid for by the seller. Due to this, a buyer can call up an agent and enlist their services, obtain their advice and view multiple homes, all at no cost. Regardless of whether they purchase a home, the services are free. There is no perceived risk – no cost – to the buyer. Sometimes, an agent may work for months with clients only to have them walk into an open house and purchase through the listing agent or purchase a property privately. Without a clearly defined agreement set out in advance, the buyer’s agent is often left uncompensated.Unfortunately, the combination of “free” services and lack of contractual obligation tends to encourage a climate of uncertainty between buyers and their realtors, which benefits no one.Obviously, educating our buyers, and building a mutual sense of trust and understanding, would be a good way to mitigate this, and I feel it is an agents responsibility to do so.A good agent will prequalify buyers to ensure they are ready, willing, and able to purchase in the near future, while a GREAT agent will ensure their buyers understand and sign a “Buyer’s Agency” agreement.Unfortunately the benefits of buyer’s agency are not well understood or utilized, even by agents. In addition many buyers don’t understand the point of a buyer’s agency agreement and think it only benefits their realtor.Buyer’s agency is an agreement between you and your realtor which outlines your rights and responsibilities to each other. It clearly explains how and where your agent will get paid, and what the agent will be doing to earn that pay. It creates clarity and accountability and you can expect the highest level of care and attention from your realtor. Why? Because your realtor is ensuring that they are making the most of their time.I believe a buyer can ensure they receive the best service only from a professional who cares enough to manage the number of clients they take on and clarify in writing exactly what their role and responsibilities to each other will be.Working with buyers is a time consuming, sensitive process. An agent working without buyer’s agency agreements is always unsure of whether their time, energy, effort, and expertise will be compensated. Not knowing if their efforts will be rewarded, they do not put their best effort forward. They are nervous, stressed, and it comes out in their service. Because they don’t have clarity, they must work with more clients, usually directing their time and attention only at the ones who are in the most immediate “need”, the squeaky wheels.I am trained in buyer representation and choose to work with clarity. Rather than work as a salesperson, I work as a consultant, and my time is that much more valuable. Clients who have signed an agreement with me are my priority, and I manage my time and energy so that they end up on the winning side in real estate.