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  • lzs
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Buyer's agent:Who pays them? I thought it was a split from the seller's comission?

I plan on buying a home in Franklin County, Ma.  Have no agent yet,nor have I found a house.
  • February 08 2010 - Coburg
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (12)

I have to agree with the comment about not signing an exclusive agency agreement with a buyer's agent.  It makes sense when an agent is selling your home to sign an agreement since they have to invest significant time and money posting advertisements for your home, taking pictures, hosting open houses, ect.  But when an agent is helping you find a home, other than a bit of gas, all they are investing is their time. 

When I was buying my first home I worked with three different agents over the course of two years.  The first one was great, but I ended up moving out of the area he covered. 

The second agent did not match my communication needs.  I wanted to have quick communication and have any appointments for occupied homes I wanted to see setup ahead of time.   Not being able to see a home I had emailed him about a few days before because he was just now calling to see if he could show it was not acceptable to me. 

The third agent was amazing.

It is important that you find an agent that matches your individual needs.  If you find one you like that requires an exclusive agency agreement, at least ask them to take you to see a few homes first to see if you work well together. 

If you have an agent that is not meeting your needs, and you don't have an exclusive agreement, tell them that, and then go find someone who fits your needs better.


 

  • February 11 2010
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  • Ice L.Zillow
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Pamela -

Please, no self-promotion in the forums. Avoid including links and contact information in your posts.

Thank you.
  • February 11 2010
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most real estate laws are national

quite the oposite, most real estate laws will be found in the state or local code, not in the USC.
  • February 10 2010
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  • February 10 2010
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Hi, the seller will always pay both agents. The disclosure simply let's the seller know that they're representing the buyer. This gives the seller full disclosure. This is needed as the seller is paying the commissions. Best of Luck! -Pat
  • February 10 2010
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I never ask buyers to sign them. If I cannot form the necessary relationship to ensure loyalty and trust, I have failed. Why should I bind somebody to me if things don't work out? Likewise, I like to reserve the right to kick them to the curb if I have had enough of the buyer too.

The first time I told a buyer to "find another agent" was tough. It becomes easier with time.

  • February 10 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

Sunny,

Agree whole-heartedly. As a buyer, the only leverage with the agent is the possibility they will be dumped and left out of a deal that they did not initiate (i.e., I had to go find the house myself). Why would I throw that leverage out the window?

Interestingly enough, the first I heard on the issue of "buyer's agency" was back in the mid-to-late '80s. At that time, questions were being asked about "how can someone represent the buyer when they are being paid by the seller?" At that time, it seemed that there was a real move towards "buyer's agency", where the buyer would actually compensate the agent vice the seller. However, my assumption is that this proved too difficult to effect (especially since the commissions were already built into the listing agreement), so the next logical step was to keep the current compensation mechanisms, but convince the consumer that a "buyer's agency" really exists.

  • February 09 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Ms. Howell said "When you sign that agreement you are saying "I am committed to working with you so long as you are committed to working for me

That is not what a buyers agreement says. That is a convenient way for an agent to describe it, but in fact exclusive buyers agreements are difficult for buyers to get out of even if the agent involved is clearly not doing the job that they contractually promised to do. Agents are protected well in these agreements while buyers generally are not. I strongly believe in honesty and agent loyalty, but I do not believe in unequal contracts.

As a buyer I appreciate good agents, but I want the option to dump any agent prior to making an offer that is not listening or is not helping me as a buyer as they promised. Exclusive agency agreements are not written to permit that in most cases so I would not sign one.
  • February 09 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

As long as this thread has already been hijacked...

I will never sign an exclusive buyer agency agreement. Why?

I may want to look in more than one area, and it's unlikely I will use the same agent for multiple areas (based on agent's familiarity and ability to specialize).

If I end up finding a house on my own, I want the freedom to bring in a different agent, or possibly go dual-agency, if the agent I was working with just wasn't working out.

  • February 09 2010
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First of do not sign a exclusive buyer agency agreement if just means that you will go through that buyers agent too buy a home.  Meaning if you did for some reason go through a different agent during the agreement time and you buy a home the first agent could sue you for that commision that you gave to anoth realtor.  Also it is the biggest purchase you will most likely meaning you should some work yourself  remember anybody can be a realtor! (scary).  As for me I went through the listing agent on all the homes I seen takes a little time but well worth it.  Think about how the commision is split and think who is really working for who! You can save money by just going through the listing agent.  Let me know if you want me to explain more.
  • February 09 2010
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You should find an agent, the agent will save you a ton of work and time by finding you a house. Part of the way they earn their commission is doing the leg/grunt work. There is a lot more to do that takes much more skill and finesse but finding a home is part of the work. Yes, the agent is paid by a split of the commission. But their LEGAL duties have nothing to do with how they get paid. Confidentiality, Obedience, Accounting, Loyalty and Disclosure are duties owed to you client, not the customer. By having a buyer's agent YOU are the client.

Your agent may ask you to sign an "exclusive buyer agency agreement" which amounts to this. Lots of clients jump from calling one agent to the next to the next. A REALTOR(R) can work with a buyer for months and the 10 minutes you can't reach them is when you call another REALTOR(R). And we don't get paid of efforts, only results. When you sign that agreement you are saying "I am committed to working with you so long as you are committed to working for me"

If a student fails a teacher still gets paid. If a theft takes place a security guard still gets paid. If a patient dies a doctor still gets paid. If the mail comes a week late the postal carrier still gets paid. Lots and lots of people get paid no matter how they do their job. REALTORS(R) only get paid when a transaction closes. Think about that. And if your REALTOR(R) asks you to sign an exclusive buyer agency agreement - sign it.

Can you imagine if you were getting married and promised to love, honor, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, as long as you both shall live.....and all your partner had to say was "as long as I can reach you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without fail on my first phone call"   Not exactly an equal commitment.

If you have further questions please feel free to call me as most real estate laws are national, only a few vary from state to state. If you would like the name of an agent committed to quality and committed to you, please call and I will get you in touch with one of my associates. And if you just want to read up a little more on what it takes to buy a home my website has oodles of information.
  • February 09 2010
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The buyers agent's commission comes from the fee that is charged the homeowners by the listing agent. 

When you work with an agent, you may have to sign an exclusive buyers agreement. Just make sure you won't be liable for paying your agent if there is a difference between what the listing agent is offering for a commission and what you have agreed to pay your agent. And if you find a home on your own or purchase a FSBO or For Sale By Owner, you may still be held liable for paying your agents commission if the seller does not pay commission.
  • February 08 2010
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