2012 is a Buyers Market! Six Tips to Keep in Mind if You are Using a Buyer Broker:January 23rd, 2012 | Posted by in Buying Tips | Real Estate News
So, 2012 looks like maybe hone buyers will be back out seriously looking at homes which means the whole issue of buyer brokerage will soon be among us again with untrained agents trying to represent buyers again. Thinking about that, I have created a six point template that every buyer thinking about getting a buyer broker should consider. Buyer brokerage is not for every buyer and/or every agent, and I believe all of these points should be considered before any buyer agency agreement is signed. Be sure the arrangement works for you!
POINT# 1: Value: Will hiring a buyer broker actually create value for either party? Do you as the buyer actually plan to guarantee a buyer brokers compensation? Do really plan to buy a home through this buyer broker and only this buyer broker or do you plan to drift into open houses and call on ads that you see in the paper, or on line, or in homes magazines, directly to whoever ran the ad? As a buyer broker do you actually believe that this buyer will actually follow through with their obligations to you? As a buyer broker will you actually follow through with your obligations to this buyer or are you playing the game of you pretend that they will honor the contract and they pretend you’re actually doing any work for them when in reality you’re both fibbing?
POINT# 2: Effectiveness: It is very important that both the buyer and the agent view this as an effective relationship and both understand its boundaries. Do you as a buyer actually believe that you will get better representation, (any representation), by contracting with a buyer’s broker? Do you think you’d get a better price and terms than if you dealt with the listing agent directly? As a Buyer Broker do you actually think you’re going to make more money than if you just sold the house as a Facilitator/Sub-Agent/Transactional Agent? As an agent are you prepared for the long term liability and lawsuits or is that “my broker’s problem”.
POINT# 3: Contact & Skills: Do you as a buyer actually think this buyer broker knows any more than you do? Have they even looked at the listing on line? Will they put you on a search that is simply an automated feed from the MLS or will they call you and track properties that you have expressed an interest in? If they are tracking properties for you how will they do so? Will they develop a spread sheet that shows the properties you’re evaluating with notes and comparisons or will they just “remember what’s important”? When and how will you be in touch with each other?
POINT# 4: Best Properties: Will the buyer broker be committed to getting the buyer in front of the best properties? Will they put the client’s interest in front of their own? Will the buyer be prepared to act when good properties are available? Is the buyer prepared to provide confidential financial information to the buyer broker and get pre-qualified by the buyer broker’s chosen lender?
POINT# 5 Long Term Relationship: Is this relationship going any place long term? Can the buyer and the agent see themselves working together long term? Will the buyer be sending referrals to the buyer’s broker? Will the agent be following up on post closing issues, i.e. errors in the Seller’s Disclosures, Mechanic’s Liens, boundary disputes etc.?
POINT# 6 Timeliness: Is this the right time for the buyer to higher a buyer’s broker or have they already entered into an agreement to purchase and now should really be hiring a lawyer to fix it or litigate it? Does the agent really feel they are entitled to a fee or are they just “trying to make a quick buck”?
By Dick Thackston CRB, ABR, ABRM
Broker NH, MA & VT