IF BUYER’S ONLY REALTY CAN SAVE ME MONEY ON PRICE, WHY CAN’T TRADITIONAL AGENTS?
THE REALTOR’S GUIDE TO COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW OF AGENCY states that agents are “to reveal to the seller information concerning the ability or willingness of the buyer to complete the sale or to offer a higher price.”
Therefore, legally the other agents must not only do all they can to sell the property for the highest price, but they must also inform the seller if you, the buyer, are willing and able to pay a higher price.
This prevents agents representing sellers from promising to save you money on the price of the home. Only agents who represent the buyer can work to get the buyer a lower price.
WHY CAN BUYERS ONLY REALTY SAVE ME MONEY?
Just as other agents work for the seller, we work for the buyer. Therefore we are obligated, according to THE REALTOR’S GUIDE TO COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW OF AGENCY to reveal to the buyer: the willingness of the seller to accept a lower price, any facts relating to the urgency of the seller’s need to dispose of the property, and any information that would affect the buyer’s ability to obtain the property at the lowest price and on the most favorable terms.
HOW CAN I TELL IF THE AGENT WILL REPRESENT ME AS A BUYER?
Everyone Knows You Can’t Serve Two Masters!
If the real estate firm for whom the agent works has any homes listed for sale, to be safe, you should consider that agent as one who represents sellers.
The HUD Settlement Booklet says:
Frequently, the first person you consult about buying a home is a real estate agent or broker. Although these agents and brokers provide helpful advice, they may legally be representing the interests of the seller and not yours.
It is your responsibility to search for an agent who will represent your interests in the real estate transaction. If you want someone to represent only your interests, consider hiring an “exclusive buyer’s agent”, who will be working for you.
Remember, what the agent says is not as important as what he/she does. There simply is no way an agent can negotiate price and terms on behalf of both the buyer and seller.