It’s easy to find out what is on the market, visit open houses and even research sales data to come up with a reasonable price to offer for a home. So why would a buyer want to hire their own agent?
In a nutshell: to protect your interests as the prospective buyer in an expensive, often complex purchase that can become even more complicated by the labyrinthine of local zoning and custom. The major difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent is that we work exclusively on behalf of the buyer. A seller’s agent is constrained by their fiduciary duty to the seller – in general terms, this means they can’t or won’t disclose things about the property that might hurt the buyer in negotiations. A buyer broker’s fiduciary is not to the seller, it’s to you as the buyer. Most commonly, a buyer’s agent might help negotiate with the seller for a smaller purchase price for the house. Or help negotiate for closing costs or other concessions, find a real-estate lawyer to examine the sales contracts and an appraiser to examine the property being purchased.
In this do-it-yourself era of online real estate listings, it’s tempting to go it alone, but a buyer who relies on the seller’s agent to handle both sides of the deal may not hear about problems with a building, understand the zoning limitations, covenants and restrictions on farm land, or have a real advocate during contract negotiations to leverage aspects of the property the selling agent may not even be obligated to disclose.
As a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, NYSAR and the local Hamptons and North Fork REALTORS® Association (HANFRA), with access to the Multiple Listing System of Long Island, Property Angels works with the seller’s agent to show you suitable properties from multiple agencies. The seller always agrees the commission to be paid to their own Broker and to the Buyer’s Broker before the home is listed for sale, so it doesn’t save the buyer anything to go direct to the selling agent and the service they receive is not 100%.
The fiduciary responsibility of a Buyer’s Agent is to you as the buyer, not the seller. In New York, real estate agents must have their clients and customers sign a disclosure form that explains the difference between a seller’s agent, who provides undivided loyalty to the seller, and a buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer’s interests.
Once most buyers find a property they like, that’s when having your own Agent can help most. In almost all cases, the Seller’s Broker is already offering to split their commission with a Buyer’s Agent, and if not offered, we can make it a condition of any offer to purchase that the Seller pays our commission, even though we represent you, not the Seller. Who pays the Broker does not indicate who that Broker represents in the transaction. The only time we can’t give you 100% loyalty as a Buyer’s Agent is if the property you want to buy is our own Listing, meaning we have already contracted with the Seller to represent them. In that case, we can act as Dual Agent if both sides agree, but we cannot provide you as the buyer 100% fiduciary as explained above.
Whether you’re a first time buyer, moving up or moving down, looking for a second home, retirement home, land to build or farm, relocating your business or whatever the reason — there’s paperwork, process and often an emotional roller coaster to navigate as well. Choosing an exclusive buyer’s agent gives you the best representation possible in your purchase. Hopefully, that will be Property Angels.
Here are some articles about Buyer Representation that may also help with your decision:
- New York Times: The Buddy System – Buyers Broker Getting Started
- The Wall Street Journal: What you Should Know about Buyer’s Agents
Call us today to discuss hiring us to help you purchase your home, or go here and submit an inquiry.