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Published August 19 2010 3:53 pm

 


Prior to substantive discussion, it is one of the most important duty of any Real Estate agent/ Realtor to make you an INFORMED CONSUMER when you are dealing with real estate issues and real estate community. This content is directly written for real estate home buyers, but as real estate home sellers, you too may benefit from understanding the position a buyer takes so that in the event of a sale, as a real estate home seller, you understand your home buyer's position.

Most of the time, when a buyer intends to purchase a real property, off s/he goes into looking at websites, perhaps even making phone calls to set up an appointment with the real estate agents to view some houses. They become really anxious and all they are really focused on are looking at houses. Often times, they skipped what is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP as a HOME BUYER - the DECISION to be REPRESENTED in the transaction or not.

This article is intended to best explain a Buyer's Representation agreement and to identify the duties of the agents that show you home before you begin.

From a Buyer's perspective, did you know there are 2 positions you may end up with in a real estate transaction?

Buyer Client & Buyer Customer

The major difference is in the LEVEL of SERVICE you may receive.

Texas Buyer's Representation Agreement


Here in Texas, you have a CHOICE to become a BUYER CLIENT or a BUYER CUSTOMER in a real estate transaction when you deal with real estate agents.


As a BUYER CUSTOMER, you are entitled to:

(1) Honesty
     Real estate agents cannot make incorrect or false information. All laws and regulations pertaining to the transaction must be followed.
     Real estate agents are required to treat you honestly and fairly.

(2) Accounting
     Real estate agents must report any money received and paid out and safeguard it on behalf of a buyer customer.

(3) Reasonable Skill
      Real estate agents must provide reasonable competency including writing a purchase contract at your instruction for you as a buyer customer.
      Real estate agents can also show you properties without representing you as well as helping you obtain financing for the property.

(4) Disclosure
     Real estate agents must provide you full disclosure and material fact about the properties you inquire. The agents must also disclose whom s/he represents.
     Real estate agents must explain the difference between a buyer client and buyer customer so that you (the consumer) can become an informed consumer and to protect your own interests.

As a BUYER CLIENT, you are entitled to:

(1) All the above from BUYER CUSTOMER and;

(2) NEEDS ASSESSMENT
     Your real estate agent that represents you pays full attention to your current lifestyle/ housing needs, financing situation, motivation and timing.
     Your agent may also ask relevant questions regarding your needs based on your lifestyle, health, transportation, school or other lifestyle needs that you may require.
     For the rest of your real estate agent's life, the information that you shared will be remain confidential. Thus, you can freely talk without harming your
     negotiation position.

(3) PROPERTY SELECTION
     Use available resources to find the BEST property for you, including those not published on the MLS system.
     Notify you of new listings before they are placed on the MLS.
     Help you compare competing properties and provide you with facts and advice to help make an objective evaluation of the property.
     Provide you with a comparative market analysis as well as educating you about your market (supply & demand).

(4) NEGOTIATIONS
     Your real estate agent will counsel you on the price, provide negotiating strategy that will help strengthen your bargaining position.
     Your real estate agent can negotiate the best contract for you.
     Your real estate agent also suggest protective clauses in the contract to safeguard your interests.
     During that time, your agent may still be on the lookout to make sure that no other "better" property fits your needs during negotiation.

(5) FINANCING
     With understanding of your credit and financing situation, your real estate agent can offer alternative financing options that best fit your needs.

(6) RECOMMENDATIONS of OTHER PROFESSIONALS
     Real estate agents who have networked in this business know whom are reliable trades in the industry. They can provide you a list of recommended:
          - Real Estate inspectors
          - Loan officers/ Mortgage
          - Home insurance
          - Home Warranty informattion
          - Title companies
          - Real estate appraisers
          - Other trades such as HVAC, Plumber, Electrician, Foundation companies

(7) EXIT STRATEGY
      Good real estate agents always plan for the "out" before the "in". They look at the salability of the home, evaluate the issues affecting the property that could potential help or hurt re-selling in the future.

 

The most important things to understand about the BUYER CUSTOMER and BUYER CLIENT are that:

When you are not represented by a Buyer's Agent, the agent that shows you the property technically represents the SELLER, which means you need to safeguard your interests when you meet the agent. Any information divulge during the meeting can be used against you during the negotiations.  Until you are represented by your Buyer's AGENT, no other agent owes you CONFIDENTIALITY and FIDUCIARY duties including the agent that show you the home.

When asked to sign a Buyer's Representation agreement, this is much more than the average consumer thinks that it is the real estate agent's strategy to tie  you down. A Buyer's Representation Agreement defines each person's role during the showing of properties, how the consumer should be treated and what information may be shared.

Information such as Days on the Market, Why is the Seller selling or opinions about the price are not to be shared until the SACRED BOND of Buyer's Representation is FORMED.

Download the Information about Brokerage Services form in Acrobat Reader.

 

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When she arrived for our appointment, we went through the normal preliminary procedures and all was fine. Then she surprised us. She had already done most of the work and only needed to take a few pictures of the inside and determine the price that we would be comfortable asking. She also spent a great deal of time explaining to us how the whole sales process work and what we could expect.

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I just want to thank you again for your help in selling our house. In this tough economy and market, I really didn't expect to get an offer. But you counseled me so well in pricing the house to sell and yet not letting me accept an offer that was too low. I believe we got the best deal we could have. I was so pleased and surprised with what we walked away with.

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