Should You Hire a Buyer's Agent?
Updated: Mar 2
What IS a buyer’s agent?
In short …. A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who may also be a member of the REALTOR® Association, who represents ONLY the buyer and not both the seller and buyer.
According to the REALTOR® Association, “A buyer's agent serves as your representative during the home search and purchase process. The tasks that they perform can include helping you find a home that meets your needs, liaising with building contractors, providing you with an analysis of the prices of similar properties in the area and any property value trends and identifying any problems that might be associated with the property. They can also help you to negotiate the best price for the property as well as furnishing you with information on the seller and the reasons for the sale.”
Using the Listing Agent to purchase your home leaves you vulnerable to the unknown.
Listing sellers represent the sellers, and their fiduciary duty is to the seller. However, if you also use the listing agent, it creates a dual agency – which HAS to be disclosed. This is because the agent represents both sides of the transaction. Both agents’ commissions are paid through the selling side of the transaction.
However, can one agent work for both the seller and buyer? Of course, they can …but it may create a conflict of interest. As a result, one side may still be favored unintentionally.
To ensure a Buyer’s Agent represents you, a “Buyer’s Agreement” is signed by the Buyers and their agent. As a homebuyer, this is to your advantage as it confirms the agent's duties to you as their client under statutory law or as common-law fiduciary duties.
These duties include:
Undivided loyalty - the agent must act in your best interests at all times
Obedience - the agent must follow all of your lawful instructions
Reasonable care and diligence - the agent is required to protect you from foreseeable risks of harm
Full disclosure - the agent must disclose all information concerning the property and its purchase that might affect the decisions you make
Accounting - the agent must safeguard money or property held on your behalf
The agreement should indicate whether the agent will act for you exclusively, the parties to the agreement, the end date, a description and location of the desired home, the agent's duties and buyer's responsibilities. **Above provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.