Being an exclusive buyer's agent, I think that buyer representation is extremely important. For this reason I am a member of both the National Buyer's Agent Association (NBAA) and the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents (NAEBA). Both organizations promote buyer's agency and act as resources for consumers wanting to learn more about buying real estate.
Recently NAEBA released a list of questions to ask a potential Realtor, which I think is particularly good.
Some of those questions include:
- How long have you been licensed? Do you work in real estate full time?
-What percentage of your business is working with buyers?
- How familiar are you with the area where I want to purchase?
- Do you have references from other buyers who have used your services? Do you have an association membership that has a published code of ethics or standards of practice?
- Please tell me how you represent buyers to help them get the best price and terms.
- Do you have a written agreement? What is the duration of that agreement? What if I see a for-sale-by-owner house on my own?
- How would you represent me as a buyer client for properties listed with your firm? Will you change your relationship with me to "dual agency", "designated agent", or "transactional broker"? How might that affect your ability to negotiate on my behalf for those properties?
For the Full list of questions and to go to NAEBA's website click here.
The most important thing to know when thinking about buying property is that you have options when it comes to who you work with. Just because you call in on a listing doesn't mean you are in any way obligated to use that agent. The listings agent's first obligation is to the seller. Understand how this works and the options you have.