WHAT IS A BUYER\'S AGENT? A SELLING AGENT? A LISTING AGENT?
Q: What is a Buyer\'s Agent?
A: A Realtor who represents you and your interests EXCLUSIVELY when you are purchasing real estate.
Q: Is it necessary to have a Buyer\'s Agent?
A: Not unless you prefer having everyone working in the Seller\'s interests
Q: Can\'t the Seller\'s Agent represent me as well?
A: Yes, that\'s called Dual Agency, (prohibited in some states, for good reason). Caution! The Sellers and their agent have had a longer contractual relationship, so can you be sure that the Seller\'s Agent is going to negotiate a good deal for you?
Q: What does it cost me to have a Buyer\'s Agent represent me?
A: Absolutely nothing! Zero! But he/she could save you a small fortune!
Q: How does a Buyer\'s Agent get compensated?
A: When a seller "lists" his house (puts it on the market), he agrees to pay the listing broker a certain commission. The listing broker, will in turn, list the house in the MLS system and disclose what he/she will pay to any other broker who brings the buyer. Otherwise the listing broker keeps all of the commission if he/she finds a buyer.
Q: Do Buyer\'s Agents and Seller\'s Agents have the same qualifications and licenses?
A: Yes! They have to sit for the same examinations and continuing education classes and generally belong to the same associations.
Q: Are there any other differences?
A: Not really. Seller\'s Agents are typically very good at, and prefer, the marketing challenge of selling a house. Buyer\'s Agents are very comfortable with investigative analysis of real estate, and counseling Buyers. Many agents can do both very well.
Q: If a house catches my eye and I want to investigate further, what steps do I need to take?
A: Contact a Buyer\'s Agent FIRST, before contacting the Seller\'s Agent. This will ensure a smooth transaction for you should you decide to purchase the house.
Q: If I walk into a sales office for a new community being built, can I negotiate a discount because I don\'t have a Buyers\' Agent?
A: No. Each builder has contracted to pay a set fee to the marketing company (sales office) on each house sold, irrespective of the number of agents involved (even if you should negotiate directly with the builder, he still has to pay the same fee to the marketing company).
What can you expect from me?
As Your Agent, I Will:
- Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.
- Guide you through the entire home buying process, from finding homes to preview, to getting the best financing.
- Make sure you don\'t pay too much for your new home and help you avoid costly mistakes.
- Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.
Before You Start Looking For Your New Home:
- Check your credit rating.
- Straighten out any errors on your credit report.
- Determine a comfortable monthly budget for your new purchase, including down payment and monthly payment.
- Find a loan program that meets your needs and get pre-qualified (preferably pre-approved).
- Choose a REALTOR© that you trust and who understands your needs.
- Determine what neighborhood best matches your needs.
- Identify important features you need your new home to have.
Closing Costs to Expect:
- Lender fees include charges for loan processing, underwriting, preparation and establishing an escrow account.
- Third-party fees include charges for insurance, title search, and other inspections such as termites. Government fees include deed recording and state & local mortgage taxes.
- Escrow and interest fees include homeowner\'s insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, and occasionally private mortgage insurance.
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A Buyer\'s Agent (or Representative) works only for you and has NO legal or other responsibility to the Seller. On the other hand, a general real estate agent has LEGAL obligations to the SELLER even though they can help the Buyer with the transactions such as presenting the offer or doing the paperwork on any property you choose. THEY STILL REPRESENT THE SELLER AND BY LAW MUST GET THE SELLER THE BEST PRICE FOR THEIR HOME.
As Your Buyer\'s Agents, I will provide you with maximum information about buying a home, including but not limited to, disclosing specifics about location, property values, offering price, negotiations, counteroffers, contingencies, financing and the entire closing process.
SO IS THERE REALLY A FEE TO USE A BUYER\'S AGENT?
Please remember that services to the Buyer are always FREE. The Buyer\'s Agent is compensated through the listing (or Selling) agent\'s commission.
DO HOMEOWNER\'S NEED THE HELP OF A BUYER\'S AGENT?
Absolutely! When buyers work with a Buyer\'s Agent who is 100% loyal and completely committed to them, the entire home buying process will go smoothly with more buyer satisfaction. Problems can arise, and you will have a Buyer\'s Representative that is legally responsible to YOU, and committed to helping protect your best interests in the purchase. As Buyer\'s Agents, we are fully qualified, experienced and highly skilled in the back and forth negotiations and financing queries that precede the closing of most real estate transactions. In addition, we will be forthcoming with any negative aspects about properties that you\'re investigating for purchase. Armed with such vital and detailed information, you\'ll be thoroughly prepared to make decisions that are right for you and your family!!
CAN A BUYER\'S AGENT SHOW US PROPERTIES?
Yes, a Buyer\'s Agent can show you every home listed in the Realtor\'s Multiple Listing Service, MLS, FMLS, Bank or Corporate owned properties, and For Sale By Owner properties. In addition, a Buyer\'s Representative can also show you NEW construction homes and unlisted homes. When you find that special home, we\'ll discuss the best strategy regarding negotiations, offers, counteroffers, financing, inspections, and closing. We will help you prepare the offer with the terms and stipulations weighed on your behalf. Our goal is to help you get the best home for the least amount of money! For your convenience, we will provide listings by email. We pride ourselves on repeat business and hope you\'ll come to understand why.
MUST I SIGN A CONTRACT WITH A BUYER\'S AGENT?
NO. Buyer\'s Agency is NOT a contract. It is an agreement of written permission to have a Real Estate Professional in your corner! Georgia Law only requires written permission and the Buyer\'s Agency is minute to minute.... YOU MUST BE SATISFIED or you can cancel the written agreement at any time in the homebuying process.