a new home
When buying a home - whether it's your first, second, or a getaway
home - you're bound to have many questions. Our website offers
of information about the home finding
and buying process.
Choosing a Real Estate Professional
Whether you are
selling or buying a home, selecting a real estate sales professional
is one of the most important decisions you will make during the
process.There are some very important things you should consider
when choosing a real estate professional. One of the first considerations
is who the agent represents during the process.
Real Estate Agencies
It is important that you know the differences between a professional
who represents a seller (the "traditional" role of a
sales associate), a professional who represents a buyer, and one
who represents both. In most areas, real estate professionals
are now legally obliged to disclose, in writing, information on
the various types of real estate agency relationships that exist.
You should assume the real estate professional is working for
the seller unless otherwise stated.
* Seller's Agent - A real estate professional becomes a Seller's
Agent by entering into a listing agreement to represent the seller's
interests. Seller representation may also be created when a real
estate professional shows a property on the Multiple Listing Service
and "buyer agency" has not been created. The Seller's
Agent can provide information to assist the buyer, but they must
place the interests of the seller first. A buyer should not disclose
anything to the Seller's Agent they do not want the seller to
* Buyer's Agent - A real estate professional becomes the
Buyer's Agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer.
A Buyer's Agent can assist the seller, but does not represent
the seller. The Buyer's Agent must place the interests of the
buyer first. A seller should not tell the Buyer's Agent anything
they would not want the buyer to know, because the Buyer's Agent
must disclose any pertinent information to the buyer.
* Dual Agent - Dual agency occurs when a real estate professional
represents both the seller and the buyer. It can also occur when
the Listing or Seller's Agent works for the same real estate firm
as the Buyer's Agent. In most states, the buyer, the seller, and
the Agent must agree in writing for the creation of dual agency.
The Dual Agent is required to treat the buyer and seller honestly
and impartially. In dual agency, the professional's duties are
more limited and there is potential for conflict of interest.
You may hear the terms "transaction broker" and "intermediary"
in association with dual agency.
Real Estate Sales Professionals
If you are buying a home, the real estate professionals you interview
should cover the following:
* Agency relationships
* Many real estate professionals who primarily represent buyers
have been specially trained to do so and have received the Accredited
Buyer Representative (ABR) designation
* How much home you can afford
* The difference between being "pre-qualified" for a
mortgage and being "pre-approved" for a mortgage
* Key features you "must have" in your new home vs.
those you would like to have
* How to evaluate and compare the homes you see
* An overview of the local standard Contract For Sale along with
typical addenda and give you a copy for review
* The types of inspections you will want to have done on the property