5 Misconceptions about Choosing a Buyer Agent

Real Estate Agent

Tricia Robben Real Estate

So you’ve chosen me to be your buyer agent...what does that really mean? 


In most areas of the country, when you choose a real estate agent to represent you as a buyer, you will be required by state law to sign an agency agreement.  Ideally, this should take place before you ever set foot into a single property with the agent you select to represent you.  Signing papers before you go out to look at properties can be intimidating, so here’s the lowdown on the contents of the document.

1.    We wear a lot of hats, but we are ONLY your agent, not your. . . attorney, accountant, structural engineer, lender, home inspector, roofer. . .you get the picture. 


We can always give you advice, our thoughts Tricia Robben Real Estate Washington DC Condos Columbia Heights Condosand impressions based on our experiences, but the best thing we’ll give you is a referral to another professional whenever it is warranted.  We sell property, and while this is a fairly complex sale, our expertise is limited to helping you buy your home.


2.    We can’t tell the seller’s agent anything about your finances, or... pretty much anything to do with breaking your trust in our relationship. 


I’m not going to tell a selling agent that you are using every last dime to buy a home, 

Tricia Robben, Washington DC Real Estate H street condosor that money is no object and you will spend whatever it takes to finance your dream home.  I will not disclose any personal information unless you advise me to do so.  Wikipedia has a nice description of this concept -For details CLICK HERE.


3.    We don’t cost a thing for you to use our services. . .this may vary by state, but in DC, MD and VA (which is where I am licensed) buyer agency is free to buyers – our commission is paid for by the seller.  There is no reason not to use a licensed agent to assist you in purchasing property.  Obviously, you have access to a lot of the same information about homes for sale that we do, but our value comes in neighborhood knowledge, expertise in negotiating, and avoiding the landmines in the contract process. And it’s free!


4.    We understand not every relationship is not a match made in heaven...most agency agreements have a termination date that is agreed upon by the buyer and written into the agreement by the agent. 


Here’s the thing – if you decide to work with us for a definitive period of time, and after the first few times we meet it isn’t working out, you can opt out by terminating the relationship in writing.  And guess what?  We can do the same!  We don’t want you to be unhappy, and frankly, we don’t want to be either.


5.    This is our career, and it’s how we make a living – so when you agree to honor our relationship by giving our card to the agent at the Open House, or the new home broker, or a random seller of a home you happen to wander by, it shows us that you value our relationship, and you respect the time we give you. 


We receive a commission when you settle on your new home, and if you’ve hired the right agent, you will be happy when he/she receives compensation for their hard work on your behalf.  



Posted by


Herb Johnson
Access Capital - Florence, KY

Great post and information, it amazes me still how many people really don't know how Realtors are compensated.

Aug 23, 2010 03:17 AM
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Very well written post, all great information that I wish was common knowledge.

Aug 23, 2010 03:20 AM
Peggy Magnanelli
RE/MAX Results - Frederick, MD
Homebuyer/Seller Specialist

Amazingly well written post.  this explains it really well.  I will be quoting from it when I have my new buyers sign the buyer agency agreement.  thanks much. 

Aug 23, 2010 03:51 AM

Informative and well done.  Keep it coming!

Aug 23, 2010 02:44 PM
David Langlois
One Percent Realty Vancouver Island - Victoria, BC

Very well said.  And I really like your logo!

Sep 01, 2010 01:37 PM