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Old 04-10-2007, 10:59 AM
2 posts, read 9,633 times
Reputation: 10


Does anyone have any information/guidance regarding negotiating a Pennsylvania Buyer's Agent Agreement?

We are planning on moving up to the area later this year due to a work transfer and so I am interested to know if you can negotiate the following:

1. Buyer's commission- 3% is stated by Prudential (they seem to have the majority of the market cornered). I understand that commissions are generally split between Buyer's and seller's agent, but I am concerned that there may be a situation where the commission split does not get our agent the full 3%, in which case we would be on the hook for the difference. Have buyers had any success in getting the buyer's agent to reduce the commission amount or is this pretty much set in stone? Also, is it possible to force the agent to waive the "administrative fee," something which seems ridiculous to me, when you consider that the agent could be collecting a commission in excess of $20,000.

2. Scope of Area- the agent we are currently looking at engaging is well wired into the Main Line area, which is currently the area where we have concentrated our search. We are contemplating an expanded search area, as we have heard of other areas in the region (particularly Abington, Jenkintown, Elkins Park, etc.) which may fit our needs as well, if not better (seems like you can get more house for much less money in those areas, with only a marginal (if any) drop off in schools) than the Main Line. Can I build into the agent agreement a scope reduction so that our current agent only covers the Main Line, thus allowing us to engage an agent for the other areas?

Any other advice for negotiating with a buyer's agent would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can provide.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:44 PM
Location: Newtown Square, PA
179 posts, read 991,992 times
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there are basically two types of buyers agent agreements, non-exclusive and exclusive.
non-exclusive means you use that agent for as long as you wish, if you decide to buy a home and that agent showed it to you then you must use that agent. but if you are unhappy with that agent for any reason you can find another at anytime.
exclusive agreement means you are stuck with that agent for a certain period of time, what ever you sign onto, plus some agents do ask the buyers to agree to guarantee them the full 3% even if the listing only pays 2 or 2.5%. 90% of all listings are currently at the full 3% because it's a very strong buyers market.
I would suggest you sign only a non-exclusive agreement with no stipulation about commission or about and time length. this way if you like you agent and they are doing a good job you keep them if not move on. All real estate companies share all their listings with everyone, just because an agent is based in the main line doesn't mean they are the only ones that sell there. I work for century 21 out of havertown and have sold in delaware, montgomery, and chester counties.
It's just my personal opion but I have never asked a client to sign a exclusive buyers agreement, for two simple reasons. 1 if they don't like me then I certainly don't want to work for them, 2 if I don't like them or they're idiots wasting my time I want to be able to dump them.
The agent you are speaking with might want to get an exclusive agreement because you are relocating and they figure you will take up alot their time and they just don't want to lose the possible commision.
also the additional areas you spoke of might scare the agent away!! LOL
Those areas are 30-45 minutes from the mainline and are no comparison to the mainline both in price or in schools. the mainline is the mainline the rest are just faking it!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:11 PM
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Many thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:46 AM
Location: Philadelphia
23 posts, read 88,099 times
Reputation: 22
Default Are Elkins Park and Jenkintown bad??

William, I'm wondering why Elkins Park and Jenkintown would scare agents away? We definitely cannot afford the Main Line and are considering Elkins Park and Jenkintown as areas we can afford a home in, have decent schools and shops/restaurants to walk to.

I'd appreciate your input
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:22 PM
Location: Newtown Square, PA
179 posts, read 991,992 times
Reputation: 62
just the travel distance to and from the mainline and elkins park area. some agents won't go that far
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:33 AM
12,767 posts, read 28,906,844 times
Reputation: 7341
snrub1, Those are excellent questions. We had an experience with our last move where we were looking at homes in one area and had a realtor that knew those areas well. Then we decided to look in a different area and the realtor was just slightly familiar with it but we stuck with her anyway. In hindsight, it would have been better to get a more local person that would know it better. There's nothing like a realtor that lives and works in a town he/she is showing. No regrets about where we ended up but I think it was more luck then realtor know-how.
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