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Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. Why should I use a buyer's agent?
  2. Buyer agency sounds too good to be true, what's the catch?
  3. How much does this service cost me?
  4. Who actually pays the buyer agents fee?
  5. What is the legal definition of the buyer/agent fiduciary relationship?
  6. When choosing a real estate agent, what is my option?
  7. Can you help us obtain a free mortgage pre-approval?
  8. How do you find a home to match my needs?
  9. Will I have many homes to choose from?
  10. How will I receive my daily home updates?
  11. If this is so good for the consumer, why isn't everyone offering buyer agency?
  12. Why would you want to negotiate a lower price for the buyer? Won't that reduce your commission?
  13. The last time I bought a home, I thought my agent did a good job. Why should I consider a buyer agent now?
  14. Can any real estate agent be a buyer agent?
  15. Won't I get a better deal if I buy directly from the listing agent?
  16. Do seller agents have problems dealing with buyer agents?
  17. Why would the seller's agent put the home into (MLS) Multiple Listing Service, won't they make more money if they sell the home themselves?
  18. What is the "due diligence" service that you offer?
  19. What other differences can I expect from my buyer agent?
  20. Why do you pay for the buyer's real estate attorney?
  21. Do you help us select our home inspector?
  22. I own a house that I will have to sell in order to buy a new home. Can you help me with the sale of my house?
  23. What should a buyer know about attending open houses?

 

Q. Why should I use a buyer's agent?

A. The emergence of buyer agency is probably the most significant change in the real estate industry in the last 50 years. Buyer agents help homebuyers search the entire market for the best possible home and then negotiate for the best price and terms. They also help buyer's shop for the best terms for a mortgage loan, the most effective real estate attorney; the best qualified home inspectors and home insurance. As a homebuyer, if real estate was a tennis match, every time you step out on the court you are always alone and facing a doubles team of the seller and their agent. While a friendly agent may have introduced you to the game and given you a grand tour of the court, he or she is on the seller's side of the net to help them. Hiring an exclusive buyer's agent specialist makes the game equal, or to your advantage! After riding around in a car with a real estate agent for two weeks looking at houses, bonding, confiding your finances and motivation, you may assume the agent is negotiating for your best interests. Wrong! Traditional real estate agents always represent the seller and are obligated by law to share their information about you for negotiating the best possible deal for the seller. Unless you specifically contract with a buyer's agent to represent your best interests, the agent, even if it is your neighbor and best friend, legally must remain loyal to the seller. A negotiator can only take one side! It's one or the other. Hiring a buyer's agent eliminates any uncertainty of getting the best deal possible. It's what you hire them to do! An exclusive buyer agent is your full time advocate, researcher, advisor, confidant negotiator and community expert. Hiring an exclusive buyer agent gives you an immediate advantage in the home buying process. I represent buyers only. I never represent sellers! There is never a conflict of interest! With an exclusive buyer agent working for you, you are on equal footing with the seller.

 

 

Q. Buyer agency sounds too good to be true, what's the catch?

A. This is a question that we hear all the time! There is no catch, I work for you! Once homebuyers realize that there is no catch, no strings attached and no downside to hiring a buyer agent, they are thrilled with the benefits and the clear advantages of exclusive buyer representation.

 

 

Q. How much does this service cost me?

A. There is no additional costs to you for our service! Although you are hiring the buyer agent, the compensation usually comes from the real estate transaction. You as a buyer, have included the buyer agent's fee in your OFFER to PURCHASE .

 

 

Q. Who actually pays the buyer agents fee?

A. You do! You have always paid it in the sale price of the home! It is included in your offer price for that home. You just haven't received representation for your money. The cost-of-transaction has always been taken from the money you paid the seller. It was just labeled differently at the closing. The seller called it their expense and deducted it from their asset basis when figuring taxes, but the money always came from your savings or the amount that you borrowed for the mortgage, and was part of the sale price of the home.

 

 

Q. What is the legal definition of the buyer/agent fiduciary relationship?

A. The fiduciary relationship between the buyer and their buyer agent is based upon trust, including, Undivided Loyalty, Obedience, Full Disclosure, Confidentiality, Reasonable Care and Diligence, Accounting of Money/Property.

 

 

Q. When choosing a real estate agent, what is my option?

A. Exclusive Buyer Agent: I work exclusively for the homebuyer! I do not take property listings and 100% loyal to the buyers 100% of the time. I adhere to a very strict standard of practice and code of ethics. I am required to negotiate the lowest price and most favorable terms for you, the buyer client. In addition, I give you reasons not to buy the property, we also advise you on property flaws for negotiation purposes. I renegotiate the flaws after the home inspection. I am a true consumer advocate! There is no additional cost to you?

B. Seller's Agent: Traditional agents who represent home sellers in all dealings with potential buyers. They take listings and also sell to buyers unrepresented in the transaction. They are legally bound to negotiate the very best price and terms for the seller and to disclose to the seller all that they know about the buyer. Why would you work with an agent who is under contract with the seller to get them the best possible price for their home?

C. Non-Exclusive Buyer Agent: These buyer agents work in real estate offices where listing agents represent sellers. They don't specialize in buyer agency service and often resort to dual agency when the buyer is interested in a property listed by their firm. When you interview this type of agent, you need to ask them how they handle conflicts of interest. Why would you get involved with a real estate agent who may choose to be disloyal to you?

D. Dual Agent: Real estate agents attempting to represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. Undisclosed dual agency is illegal. Disclosed dual agency is only legal if there is full disclosure to all parties of potential conflicts of interest and the implications of this watered down service. Under this arrangement both the buyer and the seller agree to give up their rights to loyalty, advocacy, opinions of value and negotiating help. The Bible says you cannot serve two masters, so why would you agree to this type of relationship!

 

 

Q. Can you help us obtain a free mortgage pre-approval?

A. Yes! Having your mortgage pre-approved makes you the same as being a "cash buyer" when your buyer agent is negotiating the sale price on your new home. Your offer will be accepted over same-priced pre-qualified buyer offers! We have lenders who will pre-approve you at no charge.

 

 

Q. How do you find a home to match my needs?

A. All homes that are currently available on the market (listed) are fully available to you via our membership in the Statewide Multiple Listing Service. I simply listen to your needs, wants and payment requirements, and then match you to the homes that are available via the large inventory of homes that are currently for sale. I then locate the best homes and negotiate the best price and terms on your behalf.

 

 

Q. Will I have many homes to choose from?

A. Yes! All agents have access to the exact same "pool" of homes on the market. My computers will provide you with free daily access to the multiple listing service for the entire state of Massachusetts. This makes the home buying process faster, easier, and more economical. I want to help you save time and money on your home purchase. You will receive full listing information including photos and the addresses. I will help you search and find your new home as if we were looking for our own home! This service will put you the buyer, in the driver's seat! You can shop the entire homes for sale market, not just the homes that the seller's agent decided to advertise. I will also search the for-sale-by-owner homes, new construction and even homes that are not on the market for you. You can do "drive-bys" on all of the homes available at your own pace and pick the "best of the best" within your price range. My mission is to make sure that you have access to "every home that is currently available!" Once you find your perfect home, there will be absolutely no doubt in your mind, as you will be completely educated regarding the entire homes for sale market.

 

 

Q. How will I receive my daily home updates?

A. It's very simple! All I need are the towns, the type of home and the price range that you are interested in and I will take it from there! I will email, fax, phone or mail all of the homes that are available within your guidelines to you on a daily basis. Your daily home listings will include full information sheets and the addresses!

 

 

Q. If this is so good for the consumer, why isn't everyone offering buyer agency?

A. Income! Many realty companies are resisting change because they like the old way of listing homes and representing sellers as their clients, and the buyers as customers. This has been their source of income for many years. Other companies across the country are changing their methods just enough to accommodate the growing consumer revolution of buyer agency. They offer you buyer agency and then can switch to dual agency when they have a new home listing! Exclusive buyer agency is recognized as a growing, new industry and one that is definitely here to stay. The consumer has demanded change and "exclusive buyer representation" is the only way!

 

 

Q. Why would you want to negotiate a lower price for the buyer? Won't that reduce your commission?

A. The way that a multiple listing co-broke normally works is that on a 5% commission, 2.5% would go to the listing agency and 2.5% to the buyer agency on behalf of the homebuyers. The commission is then split again 50/50 between buyer agency and the buyer agent. Thus, for every $1,000 that we reduce the sales price, your buyer agent's commission will be reduced by only $12.50. It is our job to make sure that you are an extremely happy, fully educated real estate consumer.

 

 

Q. The last time I bought a home, I thought my agent did a good job. Why should I consider a buyer agent now?

A. There are good agents everywhere, but unless the agent you mentioned declared in writing to you that he/she represents only you, that agent probably was the seller's agent. Even worse, the agent could have been an undisclosed dual agent--which is illegal. Our industry has tried for years to represent the seller client while working with the buyer as a customer only. Required agency disclosure changed all of that! Buyers discovered that they had no representation, much less "exclusive" representation. The buyer demanded change, because they have long realized that they are the true source of all the funds for the purchase. We believe the consumer deserves, and needs, equal representation.

 

 

Q. Can any real estate agent be a buyer agent?

A. Yes! Any licensed agent may be a buyer agent. The keyword is "exclusive" and only a few have made the total commitment to become exclusive buyer agents. We don't believe you can list homes for sale and then turn around and try to represent the buyer on those homes. This creates a conflict of interest for both buyers and sellers.

 

 

Q. Won't I get a better deal if I buy directly from the listing agent?

A. NO! The listing agent owes his or her loyalty to the seller and is required by Massachusetts State law to get the best deal for the seller. The listing agent must negotiate the price upward! The buyer agent has the obligation to work on your behalf and will negotiate the price downward. The negotiating process may include price, closing costs, terms, closing date and repairs. I work exclusively on your behalf. This is a major homebuyer advantage!

 

 

Q. Do seller agents have problems dealing with buyer agents?

A. No! Most homes that are listed with the multiple listing service are sold as co-brokes. That normally means that the listing agency receives 50% of the commission and the sub-agent or buyer agency receives the other 50%. The seller agent's primary job is to get the seller's home sold in the shortest period of time with the least inconvenience to the seller. The seller agent doesn't get paid unless the home sells!

 

 

Q. Why would the seller's agent put the home into (MLS) Multiple Listing Service, won't they make more money if they sell the home themselves?

A. Sellers insist on the exposure that MLS gives their property! According to the MLS, it is rare for the listing agent to sell their own listing. In fact, 90% of the time the commission will be split between the listing agent and a seller sub-agent or buyer agent that brings the buyers. In addition, per the MLS rules and regulations, the seller's agent has 24 hours from the time the seller signs their listing agreement to get the home onto the MLS computer and out to all of the real estate agents. We make sure that you are updated on a daily basis on every home within your price range!

 

 

Q. What is the "due diligence" service that you offer?

A. Before you make an offer on a particular home, I will do a competitive market analysis to determine the value of the home and what price you should offer. I also search the public records, prior listings, how long the home has been on the market, any price reductions, etc., etc.

 

 

Q. What other differences can I expect from my buyer agent?

A. I am not salesperson, I am a true consumer advocate! When you hire an exclusive buyer agent, the entire home buying process changes. Unlike the seller's listing agent who is hired to use salesmanship to press the sale of a particular property by selling you on the good points only, the buyer agent will help you discover both good and bad features of all the homes that fit your needs. An exclusive buyer agent will also prepare a contract that offers the buyer client better terms and conditions and will target closing dates that favor the buyer. Since the exclusive buyer agent does not represent any sellers, the agent will also look more diligently for a home to suit your needs. I make the entire market "your market." I will protect your interests should any problems arise during home inspections, and will always negotiate in your best interest.

 

 

Q. Why do you pay for the buyer's real estate attorney?

A. It is our job to protect you! In the past, most buyers relied on the bank's attorney to protect their best interests. When in reality, the bank's attorney was only protecting the bank's best interests. Every homebuyer needs legal representation! Almost every contract that you will touch in a real estate transaction (standard offer forms/purchase and sales agreements) were written to protect the sellers.

 

 

Q. Do you help us select our home inspector?

A. Yes! I know who the very best home inspectors are! You need an inspector that will go through your new home with a fine tooth comb! If your home inspector finds any major or minor problems, it is your exclusive buyer agent's job to renegotiate with the sellers or the seller's agent to remedy the problems that were found in the home inspection, or to reduce the sales price accordingly. This becomes the buyer's second round of negotiations!

 

 

Q. I own a house that I will have to sell in order to buy a new home. Can you help me with the sale of my house?

A. No! I can't represent you in the sale of your existing house. However, having been seller agents for over 15years prior to becoming exclusive buyer agents, I can help walk you through the process of selling the house yourself (For-Sale-By-Owner) or I can refer you to the very best local listing/seller's agent to represent you.

 

 

Q. What should a buyer know about attending open houses?

A. Buyer Be-Aware! Ninety-nine percent of the time, if you walk into an open house, you are talking to the agent who listed the house or their seller sub-agent. Their legal responsibility is to separate you from as much money as they possibly can for their client, the seller.

 
© A Buyers Friend.com 2003