A buyer's agent or in our case, an exclusive buyer’s agent, is a real estate agent who represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction.
The fee paid to the buyer’s agent is typically a percentage of the purchase price of the property. The percentage will vary. The fee, called the cooperative commission, is included on the property listing on the Multiple Listing Service website. If a home is being sold by the owner, the buyer's agent fee may be paid by the seller, the buyer or a combination of both.
The buyer's agent fee is usually paid by the seller as part of the closing costs of the property. Keep in mind that the home buyer is funding the sale of the property.
So who pays the fees?
The simple explanation is since the cooperative commission is included on the listing in the MLS, it indicates that the commission is paid by the seller. Technically, it’s the buyer who brings the funds to the settlement table and finances the transaction.
As I write this article, the MLS cooperative commission requirement is being challenged in U.S. courts. Whether or not this will be a part of the listing agreement may be determined by the outcome of the cases.
Note: If you are buying a home listed in the Multiple Listing Service, there will be a cooperative commission offered as payment to the buyer’s agent. Some brokerages require an additional percentage of the sales price. Before you sign a buyer brokerage agreement, understand the terms and be aware of any additional fees that you may be required to pay.
In addition, you should understand real estate representation. As exclusive buyer agents & brokers we believe home buyers should understand who represents them. This is a critical first step in the home buying process.
Do you need representation when buying a home?
We think so! It’s likely you are making the biggest financial decision of your life. Having an advocate by your side to help navigate every detail is essential for your success.
Top things an exclusive buyer’s agent should do for buyer clients
Listening to you: Your agent should hear you and accommodate your needs. Where you start to look for a home may not be where you end up. You may discover the house style you thought you’d like doesn’t really work for you. Or after touring several properties, you may realize you want more privacy in a backyard. And so on.
Buying a home is a process. Your buyer’s agent should tune in to your needs. Listening is a top skill your exclusive buyer agent should possess.
Explaining the entire process from start to finish: Your buyer’s agent should walk you through each step from house tours to the settlement table and beyond. We teach a free online home buying class several times a year. Check our website or contact us to learn more about the home buying process.
Negotiating the purchase price: A buyer's agent will negotiate the purchase price on your behalf, helping you to get the best deal possible. They will provide a comparative market analysis to show you what similar properties sold for in the past 6 months. Evaluating the condition of other similar properties helps you determine the value of a home.
Writing the contract offer: A buyer’s agent will review the details of the contract, explain all contingencies, write all pertinent information on the contract and send it to you for electronic signature. This can take several hours as it involves coordinating with the lender, settlement office and meeting all your expectations and concerns regarding the offer.
Coordinating the closing process: A buyer's agent will help you navigate the closing process, including handling paperwork and communicating with other parties involved in the transaction. If you are buying a home in an HOA, co-op or condo association, there will be documents to review. In addition, your buyer’s agent will assist you as you review the disclosures from the seller, the home inspection report and other documents regarding the home.
Providing market expertise: A buyer's agent can provide you with valuable insights into the local real estate market and help you make informed decisions about your purchase. This is particularly important as you evaluate the location, lot and property to determine your offer price.
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How can we help?
The exclusive buyer agents at HomeBuyer Brokerage specialize in serving home buyers. Please reach out with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.