It’s a buyer’s market in much of the country and today, home buyers have something they haven’t had in years, namely; negotiating leverage. According to Greg Swann of Bloodhound Realty (in Phoenix), savvy buyers should “make multiple low-ball offers on all the houses that might work for you, with all of those offers being subject to your final approval.” Some sellers won’t appreciate that that advice is being dispensed, but others will welcome your offer and as Greg says; “If you don’t flinch, the seller will.

According to a discussion on Zillow last week, buyers can also apply their leverage to finding a great real estate agent. Last week, Zillow member, 30sredux asked; “What are good questions to ask when interviewing a Buyer’s agent?” “Did OJ do it?” was one of the more ludicrous suggestions, but Randy_H in San Francisco offered some great advice:

Question 1: Will you work without an EBA? (I’m trusting you to negotiate me the best deal, you’ll have to trust me to not cut you out.)

If no, but you still wish to engage them, Question 2:
Will you accept this amendment to your EBA that limits exclusivity on the basis of performance and locality? If not, will you accept a 30day term, automatically renewing, but with the 30day periodic right to cancel at my discretion?”

An EBA is an Exclusive Buyer’s (agent) Agreement (not to be confused with an agent who exclusively represents buyers and goes by the same acronym.) In essence, Randy_H is suggesting you ask your agent to work without a safety net and many of the agents involved in the discussion agree; as Almay says:

“I work without a net (EBA). My logic is: If I’m doing my job properly, and you’re happy with my performance, you’ll keep me / and use me for the transaction. If you’re not happy with me and my performance, you’ll fire me, or find another agent to assist with your transaction (or do it yourself).

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