What everyone needs to know about buyer broker representation
Buying a home is probably the most important purchase
you will ever make. Don't do it alone!
Smart home buyers receive undivided confidential representation by choosing
a "Buyer Agent". I work for you and
- Full Disclosure
But that is not all -- as your representative, I will
share valuable and essential information with you such as:
- Whether the seller will accept a lower price
- The seller's reason for selling and timetable
- How long the home has been on the market
- Strengths and weaknesses of the property
Most importantly, you can ask for advice and assistance
in setting your offering price and terms of your offer. Have peace
of mind knowing an advocate is working on your behalf to help you buy
at the best possible price and terms. For more information, please
read the article below.
BUYER OR SELLER AGENCY REPRESENTATION:
Which type of Agency Relationship is best for
In Nova Scotia, you the buyer have a choice of how
you wish to be represented in your real estate transaction. The following
explains the advantages and disadvantages to each type of relationship
to enable you to decide what's best for you.
We work using all types of brokerage, and
as such offer you a full palette of services from which to select. Unlike
some firms, which try to "push you" into one specific mold,
we believe that people do different things for different reasons, and
should have the right to choose the services that are best for them.
TYPES OF AGENCY RELATIONSHIPS
Choice #1 - A Sellers Agent. This
is what some call "traditional real estate" the way it has
been practiced for decades. Unless otherwise disclosed, the "listing
agent" in Nova Scotia represents the "Seller" in a real
estate transaction. The Agent is obligated to show Fairness and
Honesty to the Buyer as well as to Disclose any and all known Defects
or Issues which may affect the decision to buy the property.
Advantage - There is no binding
relationship to any one Realtor or commitment, other than perhaps an
obvious moral one, to work with any particular agent. You come
and go as you please. Your agent will efficiently show you any home
listed in the Multiple Listing Service.
Disadvantage - In a market like
the one we now have in the Halifax Regional Municipality, the available
listing inventory is extremely low. In times like these, many of the
most desirable listings never even make it to the market. If I
know that I have three listings coming on the market in the next week,
I will commonly contact all of the buyers I'm currently representing
as a Buyers Agent and give them a week or two notice prior to the home
coming on the market for the general public. While we do
not believe in the unethical practice of "pocketing the listing
for a week," it rarely happens that someone we speak with is ready
to put their home on the market today. Often, they will be tidying
up for a few days, doing a little painting, perhaps just waiting for
the job transfer to be "official." It is in that crucial
week, that my Buyer Clients can get the jump on the rest of the people
Because I have these Buyers "under contract,"
I have nothing to lose by giving them this information in advance. I
would not typically give such information to a buyer who did not commit
to working with me, because they could then take that information and
pass it along to another Realtor.
Another potential disadvantage in this type of Agency
Relationship is the sheer amount of time a Realtor will spend with a
buyer who tells them up front that they won't commit to working with
them. It's a little like asking an attorney to do all the research
on your case, but not saying you'll let him or her be the one to take
it to trial. They'll eventually do it, but the clients on retainer
will most assuredly take priority.
Choice #2 - A Buyers Agent - Available in many provinces for
years, Buyer Agency has truly taken hold in Nova Scotia only in the
past three or four years. In Buyer Agency, the Buyer will actually
sign a contract with the Agent. It really simplifies into a very
simple relationship predicated on a few basic concepts.
(a) The Buyer agrees to work exclusively with that
Agent to find them a home.
(b) The Buyer agrees to pay the Agent a fee for their
service, usually a percentage of the sales price. In Nova Scotia,
this fee is almost always paid by "The Seller" of the home.
The Seller is already offering a fee of X% to the Agent who brings
the Buyer, and the Buyer has this fee "Assigned to" their
"Buyers Agent" in order to fulfill their commitment to them.
Advantages - Since a Buyers Agent
represents the Buyer - not the Seller in the transaction, they can provide
additional services such as Researching the property, Showing properties
not in the Multiple Listing Service (FSBO, Bank Owned, Corporate, Expireds),
Performing a Market Analysis on the subject home to determine its value,
Negotiating with Builders and developers. These services are typically
offered with no additional fee to the buyer.
Since the Buyer has committed to work with that Agent,
the Agent knows that eventually the buyer will buy a home from them.
There is no "pressure" on the Agent to "close the
deal." Rather, by providing professional service and counseling,
and sometimes even telling a buyer when to "walk away" from
a deal, they can sometimes perform more functions.
Every day, more homes hit the MLS System. As
these are posted on the MLS system along with price changes and newly
expired listings I check daily for homes my clients may be looking for.
My Buyer Clients will get first chance.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, my Buyer Clients will
often have a few weeks notice in advance of the new listings hitting
the general market. Since my fee is guaranteed by
contract, I don't have to worry about giving out this information in
advance, since they can't "go around me" anyway.
Disadvantages - Don't pick the wrong
agent and get stuck with someone you're not comfortable working with.
Select your agent carefully before signing any agreements. Ask
the Agent to include a "Termination Clause" to get out of
the relationship if you're not happy.
Choice #3 - Disclosed Dual Agency. This occurs whenever
someone who I am representing as a Buyer Agent is interested in a property
listed by me or my company. Essentially it means that we're representing
both parties in the transaction fairly and honestly with the written
permission of both parties.
Advantages - Similar to Buyer Agency
Disadvantages - As a Disclosed Dual
Agent, we cannot come right out and tell you "what to offer,"
as though that was ever of much use anyway. We can give you, if
you ask, all of the comparable sales on the street and do a market analysis.
You have to then decide what price you think is fair. Other
than that, we're still obligated to disclose any defect or issues about
the home or area that may affect your decision. This is for your protection
as well as ours.
Both my team and myself are ready to go to work
for you in finding you the perfect home whether it be a starter home
or an estate. We work exclusively for the buyer on all relocation moves,
which means we will represent you and look after your interests.
While a lot more can be said about buyer representation, let me wrap
it up by saying that my team and myself will treat you the way we would
expect to be treated if we were in your shoes. We may not always tell
you what you want to hear, but we will always tell you what you need