Before working with any agent, there are three questions you should always be asking.
Who are you contractually obligated to represent? This is a commonly overlooked, but very important, question. Most people assume the person they’re talking to will be looking out for them, but the reality is that agents operate under contractual agreements. There are agents who represent buyers and agents who represent sellers. Often, a buyer will call an agent they saw advertised on a sign in a property’s yard, not realizing that this agent is working with that property’s seller. Therefore, the advice the buyer would receive from this agent would be in the seller’s best interest, not theirs. It is critically important in any real estate transaction to understand who an agent is representing, and to make sure that you are represented, yourself.
How are you compensated? The vast majority of the time, both agents in a transaction are compensated at closing by the seller. It’s rare in our market for buyers to pay a commission. However, there may be instances a buyer’s agent is incentivized to close by a certain date, get the buyer to submit a full-cash offer, or to operate under a number of other specific circumstances. As a buyer, it’s important to make sure any agent you work with will prioritize your needs over any incentive from the seller.
What kind of support do you have behind you? The vast majority of agents are independent contractors, doing everything themselves. That means these agents will be spread thin handling every aspect of the transaction. In my opinion, it’s best to work with an agent who is backed by a team. This way, the agent will be able to focus their time on helping you through the process.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.