In Wisconsin, you are "an agent of the Seller" UNLESS you have a Buyer Agency agreement in place to allow an agent to work for the Seller.
Taking the ABR(Accredited Buyer Representative) course may be recommended...but not required to serve in this capacity.
What does being a Buyer's Agent really mean? It allows the agent to pass along observations about the property...the pricing..the position in the market. Serving in this capacity allows an agent to perform and explain a valuation of the property to determine a price for an offer. Beyond that...the Buyers agent works on behalf of the Buyer for "all things negotiated in a contract". This can mean the date of closing..a Seller option to rent back and the terms that apply...the closing date...and the very much all important...home inspection...what needs to be fixed...or not...what might merit walking from the offer. Working with an experienced home inspector and learning various aspects of home construction...having reliable contractors in the trades to refer to when a question arises from the inspection are all very valuable things to have in the tool belt of a Buyer's agent.
What is NOT valuable to the Buyer...to the Agent and his/her reputation as well as the reputation of their brokerage is the Sledge Hammer of Distrust and The Saw of Disrespect . The unwise use of the Hammer is seen when the agent questions everything the Seller and the Seller's agent says...the age of this...the warranty of that...honesty on the Condition Report. It takes the atmosphere of the transaction from sunny to very dark clouds as the Agent and the Seller who are often more experienced are pounded on beyond any reasonable measure disguised as a "working for the Buyer" kind of posture.
The Saw of Disrespect cuts into the transaction when the agent "assumes" a time is convenient for an inspection, a contractor review or walk thru....and then when that time is ignored and people show up at will...there is no explanation...and certainly no apology for any inconvenience...In the mind of the Buyer's Agent...they are "just doing their job" as destructive as this unnecessary may become during the transaction. What may be a momentary "rush" the agent gets from this perceived power position...is lost in benefits the Buyer will never receive.
Whether it is power, agent ego or a misconception of the what is perceived as a "necessary attitude" of a Buyer's agent often not supported by lots of experience...it erodes the relationship of Buyer and Seller....agents and agencies.
At any and every stage of your career you should be open to learning...there may be a better way...a new solution...a situation that is new to your experience. Whether the agent is from the same brokerage or another...they may well have greater understanding or more experience...having ears and mind open and mouth and keyboard silent are the Buyer's agents valuable tools.
Benefits besides the tone of the transaction that are lost can well include things that the Sellers may have left for the Buyer(s). The lawn and garden tools...the lawnmower, patio furniture etc. that may not be a part of their move are now donated or sold to others because of the bad taste that the Seller(s) have developed over the course of the transaction.
Things the Buyer will never know...and their agent has no idea that teh cause of the loss was how the transaction was handled...or more accurately, mishandled.
This has been a professional courtesy post brought to you by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates with EXP Realty hoping that every agent who reads it keeps it in mind as they begin their next successful transaction.