do I need my own realtor?
It is a common misconception that by not having your own representation, you are some how saving money. The Seller’s agent has been hired to assist in a favourable outcome for the seller. read that again.
why would you not want your own representation? It costs you no more.
do I have to sign a contract?
You do not. That’s the short answer.
As Realtors we are obligated to work in the best interests of the contracted party.
If there is no contract with the buyer, there is with the Seller, via a listing agreement. In that case, the buyers agent is obligated to work in the best interest of the Seller. crazy right?
However, I appreciate the apprehension in signing a contract. I take a ‘test drive” approach. You are not obligated to sign immediately. Only when you are comfortable.
will I pay more, if I have my own agent?
Absolutely not! Market value includes brokerage fees & it is included in the price already. So even if you do not have your own agent working for you, you still pay it. There is no discount for being unrepresented.
customer or client? what does this even mean?
The same level of commitment, that is offered to sellers, is offered to buyers. You get to decide if you want to be a client or a customer. But you have to decide before viewing homes.
If you are a customer, I am working for the Seller.
The only way to attain client status, is to have a buyer representation agreement in place.
In the absence of the agreement, the Realtor works for the Seller.
If, for example, you meet an agent at a property, they are not working for you. They are working for the seller. (Anything you share with them, could later be used against you at the negotiating table).
If you have an agent show you multiple properties, build a relationship with them, that agent is still obligated to work for the best interests of the Seller. Unless you have an agreement in place, stating otherwise.
how this looks in the real world…
During the offer presentation, I overheard the details of a completing offer. Yes, yes I did!
These details would definitely benefit my client, the buyer. Two offers were sent back for the opportunity to improve, ours & one other.
My clients were willing to increase their offer by $8K. However, after I had shared with them, what I had just found out. I knew they wouldn’t have to. They were able to leave their offer as is, $8K lower than their max & still secure the property for themselves.
If they were not clients but rather customers (meaning no buyer representation agreement), I am obligated to keep what I know, confidential from the buyers. Because it wouldn’t serve to the best interests of the seller.
I must present their higher offer price to the sellers.