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.”
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 – and 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? They can … but it may create a conflict of interest.
To insure you are represented by a Buyer’s Agent, 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 and the agent’s commission. (It is preferable that the agent receive a commission even if you purchase a property which is “For Sale by Owner”.)
Before you start looking at homes and talking with agents, be sure you find a buyer specialist who will only represent you – and sign a buyer’s agreement.
The Spring Bengtzen Realty Group is local experts who are ready to guide you through the home-buying process. We are committed to fast, professional and courteous service to help you understand and feel at ease throughout the home buying process. Our trained and licensed agents specialize in the Northern Utah area real estate market and are prepared to find the right home and get the best price.