Home buyers - thinking about a Move 2 North Georgia or maybe a second home in the cool North Georgia Mountains? Please take a minute and think about this...
As a licensed Realtor in the state of Georgia, I feel it is very important for home buyers to understand buyer representation and give serious consideration to entering into a Buyer's Agency Agreement with a trusted Realtor. Without buyer representation, the default is for the real estate professional to represent the seller (not the buyer) in all dealings with the buyer.
So what is buyer representation and why is it important for the buyer to be represented? I think when I address what buyer representation is, the reason why it is important will be evident.
Buyer representation means that the buyer hires a real estate professional to advocate and work solely on behalf of the buyer to obtain the best deal and terms. The real estate professional no longer represents the seller by default. He/she can assist the buyer in acquiring and interpreting information about a property, its condition and the seller's motivations. He/she can develop a negotiation strategy and assist the buyer in determining a reasonable offer. Buyer representation fosters greater loyalty and frees the real estate professional in a way that seller information can be disclosed to the buyer. A Buyer's Agency Agreement affords the buyer client level services as opposed to customer level services.
How does a "client" differ from that of a "customer"?
Simply put, real estate professionals work FOR clients and WITH customers
Breaking it down... (this list is meant to be used as a sampling and is not all inclusive). This list shows the contrast between buyer client/client level services compared to that of a buyer customer/customer level services.
If the buyer is a client
If the buyer is a customer
Pay full attention to the buyer's needs
Maintain loyalty to the seller's needs
Disclose all the agent knows about the sellers
Tell the seller all that is known about the buyer
Keep all information about the buyer confidential
Keep all information about the seller confidential
Find the best property possible
Get the best offer for the seller
Get first opportunity to view new listings
View new listings after buyer clients
Give advice with facts
Provide only material facts
Compare competing properties to assist the buyer in making a realistic offer
Cannot help the buyer compare competing properties
Attempt to solve problems to the buyer client's advantage and satisfaction
Attempt to solve problems to the seller client's advantage and satisfaction
It is important to note that a real estate professional owes fiduciary duties to both a client and a customer. But the extent of duty owed to a client surpasses that owed to a customer as shown above.
As a home buyer, ask yourself these questions and then decide if you want buyer representation?
- Do you want to be told what the lowest price a seller will take?
- Do you want help with developing a negotiating strategy?
- Do you want to be told if the property is thought to be overpriced?
- Do you want to know if the current use of a property is in violation of zoning laws or deed restrictions?
- Do you want to be told of any counter offers made by the seller?
- Do you want assistance in making an objective comparison of competing properties?
- Do you want to know (if known) that the property has been the site of a homicide or suicide?
- Do you want advice on what clauses to include in an offer in order to protect your rights?
- Do you want to know how long a property has been on the market?
- Do you want assistance in determining what to offer based on comparables?
These questions are just a small sampling of what a buyer's representative can do for you. As a home buyer, you are making one of the most serious and probably most expensive purchases of your life, don't go it alone.
Donna Yates, Georgia Realtor primarily serving the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains located in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Donna is dedicated to the real estate profession full-time and is ready to help home buyers nationwide. Donna is an advocate for home buyers and firmly believes buyers need full representation.
Email: Donna@ellijay.com Call 706-633-0644 cell. Visit Donna's website to view great mountain properties: www.move2northgeorgia.net
Copyright: Donna Yates, Georgia Realtor, "Around the Mountains with Donna" May 8, 2008
Thank you to Cynthia Tilgham of Active Rain for her tips on how to change font size and color --- http://activerain.com/cjytilghman
Thank you to Tom Gillett, Real Estate Educator --- http://www.thomasgillett.com/about.html