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hpvanc, while I understand your frustration, I disagree that buyer's agents could have prevented the rapid price increases in real estate during the "bubble." Real estate agents do not dictate the market, we work within the market.A number of factors combined to drive up prices. For instance, low interest rates and easy loans created bidding wars in many areas. Supply and demand was greatly distorted by this. There are many more reasons that are too numerous to discuss here.
Bankrate's website has an excellent article on buyer agency which includes a great comparison, "You wouldn't -- for a lot of good reasons -- go into a contested divorce proceeding without an attorney, or worse, take the advice of your spouse's attorney."
As I alluded to in my previous post, not all buyer's agents perform to the same level (which is true in any profession), so interviewing several agents is just as important to a prospective home buyer as it is to a prospective seller that wants to list their home for sale. As another Bankrate article puts it:"...a buyer's agent should perform services for you that the seller's agents can't, such as show you reasons not to buy a particular property; negotiate the best price and terms for you; include contingencies in the contract that protect you, rather than the seller as in most standard contracts; and keep confidential any information that could hurt your bargaining position."
Negotiating your best price in a transaction without representation by a professional can be done, but why not take advantage of buyer agency? States like Georgia with buyer agency laws have enacted them specifically to help protect the buyer.In Georgia, be aware that state real estate law requires both the listing agent and selling agent to represent the seller unless there is a written buyer's agent agreement. This means that the agent showing you the property, if different from the listing agent, is still legally required to represent the seller's best interests - not your interests - unless you have a written agreement specifically authorizing him to represent you.
Some buyers also worry they will have to pay the buyer's agent's fee, but in Georgia, this is not the case for listings on the MLS services (FMLS and GAMLS) because the seller has already agreed to pay the fee. Only with non-listed properties will this be an issue. In such cases you can cover this in the offer by including a stipulation requiring the seller to pay the buyer's agent's fee.As mentioned in previous posts, make sure to work with a knowledgeable buyer's agent that will devote sufficient time to your needs.
You don't have to only have a Buyer's Agent when ready to purchase a property. You can utilize a Realtor that is also a listing agent as well. However, buyer agents do specialize in assisting buyers. It allows them to focus strickly on all aspects of the buying process, there by, eliminating any possible controversy having to do with the listing side, especially if the buyer is not comfortable with working with a dual agent. That's a Realtor that represents both the buyer and seller for the same property.
No, you do not need one.As all the posts before me argue for the pros and cons of using a buying agent so I am not sure that I will say anything unique. My personal feeling is that I want the best information available for any decision I need to make. To do that, I seek out the help of experts. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You don't need to do anything, but you're welcome to use professional services.
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