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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Durham County
1 posts, read 2,346 times
Reputation: 10

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I know there are quite a few licensed real estate agents and brokers in this forum, and others who have probably used buyer's agents in the past. I would love to hear any experiences or opinions.

My question is despite the legal and contractual duty to represent the "buyer" during the transaction, does this happen in reality? In other words, other than fulfilling the letter of the law and the contract, does the buyer agent really act in the interest of the buyer?

My gut based on past experiences and the way the thing is structured is that their compensation comes from the sale being completed (and them getting a percentage), unless they are directly compensated by the buyer (rarely the case it seems). In this scenario, it would seem in their interest to represent the sale (more aligned with the seller rather than the buyer), and really no different from the selling agent..
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:42 PM
 
9,197 posts, read 23,494,891 times
Reputation: 8556
I think most Buyer's agents are ethical, and some are truly excellent in delivering service to their clients. I would not buy a house without a Buyer's agent that I didn't trust. But I understand their role - and it's no different than many other roles that involve facilitating a deal. They help negotiate a deal for you on a non emotionally-invested basis. That means at times they are going to diverge slightly from your emotionally-driven response to every big and little issue as they try to mediate with the other side and strike a bargain. They'll help you get what you want.

But any representative is not you. You have to accept and recognize that, and decide how much trust you want to put in that person. If you don't fully trust them (or are uncomfortable letting go of a little bit of control), then don't share what you don't need them to know (like how far you'll eventually go on a price negotiation).
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:47 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 8,352,636 times
Reputation: 2080
i used a buyer agent when I bought my house. They negotiated the seller paying closing costs and other minor repairs and things be ing done that I wouldn't given a second thought to or may not have even noticed. It was a pleasant experience, and made the process alot less stressful than it would've been otherwise.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
39,058 posts, read 67,665,365 times
Reputation: 39956
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthDurhamDenizen View Post
I know there are quite a few licensed real estate agents and brokers in this forum, and others who have probably used buyer's agents in the past. I would love to hear any experiences or opinions.

My question is despite the legal and contractual duty to represent the "buyer" during the transaction, does this happen in reality? In other words, other than fulfilling the letter of the law and the contract, does the buyer agent really act in the interest of the buyer?

My gut based on past experiences and the way the thing is structured is that their compensation comes from the sale being completed (and them getting a percentage), unless they are directly compensated by the buyer (rarely the case it seems). In this scenario, it would seem in their interest to represent the sale (more aligned with the seller rather than the buyer), and really no different from the selling agent..
Why not pay the Buyers' agent directly, and remove that doubt?

Generally, stupid and weak agents can lose focus, but without doubt, it is absolutely in agents' best interests to strive to fulfill their legally and ethically defined role, whether representing one of the parties, or working in dual agency.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:58 PM
 
746 posts, read 2,125,563 times
Reputation: 391
CHTransplant's post is spot on. The most important piece of it is FIND AN AGENT YOU TRUST. Use this forum, if you like - but make sure the recommendations come via private message. We used a buyers agent when we bought our home - our first - and regret using him. He showed up at closing - and literally, when the line about commissions was signed, he looked at his watch and said, 'well folks, hate to do this, but gotta fly" and that's the last we saw of him. We bought new construction. There was never a recommendation of an inspection. MISTAKE! He wasn't there for any of the walk-throughs. MISTAKE! He got his money, we did not get the best deal we could have (we now know more about the process!)

Find someone you trust - with recommendations - that you like - that is responsive and will work with you. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
39,058 posts, read 67,665,365 times
Reputation: 39956
Quote:
Originally Posted by NcerfromNY View Post
CHTransplant's post is spot on. The most important piece of it is FIND AN AGENT YOU TRUST. Use this forum, if you like - but make sure the recommendations come via private message. We used a buyers agent when we bought our home - our first - and regret using him. He showed up at closing - and literally, when the line about commissions was signed, he looked at his watch and said, 'well folks, hate to do this, but gotta fly" and that's the last we saw of him. We bought new construction. There was never a recommendation of an inspection. MISTAKE! He wasn't there for any of the walk-throughs. MISTAKE! He got his money, we did not get the best deal we could have (we now know more about the process!)

Find someone you trust - with recommendations - that you like - that is responsive and will work with you. Good luck!
I certainly agree with your first point.

But, I sure wish you had more widely separated the concept of finding an agent on the forum from the mention of the feller whom you did hire....
Ouch. That is an awful story.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:06 PM
 
746 posts, read 2,125,563 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
I certainly agree with your first point.

But, I sure wish you had more widely separated the concept of finding an agent on the forum from the mention of the feller whom you did hire....
Ouch. That is an awful story.
he was a scumbag with a capital S. And, guess who did our closing ? YOU GUESSED IT - another scumbag - McDonald - the one who fled to Mexico. Nice, warm fuzzies!

THE RE AGENTS ON THIS BOARD DO NOT SEEM TO BE SCUMBAGS! YOU MAY WANT TO POST A THREAD SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OTHER POSTERS - SENT TO YOUR INBOX - ABOUT BUYERS AGENTS. I assure you, there are many vocal people on this board, who will give you great advice that you won't get from driving around meeting people. Particularly if you go to this one particular agent's office in Cary ...

There.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:14 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 3,318,432 times
Reputation: 831
I had a buyers agent and it worked out well for me. I do think I paid a little bit more for the house than a should have but I am only talking about 5-8 grand more. I think my agent let that happen as I was emotionally attached to the house. He didn't have to do much as I did most of the work, as far as finding the house. I wanted him there for the paperwork/inspections reasons of which I knew nothing about.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,999 posts, read 36,894,317 times
Reputation: 15563
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthDurhamDenizen View Post
I know there are quite a few licensed real estate agents and brokers in this forum, and others who have probably used buyer's agents in the past. I would love to hear any experiences or opinions.

My question is despite the legal and contractual duty to represent the "buyer" during the transaction, does this happen in reality? In other words, other than fulfilling the letter of the law and the contract, does the buyer agent really act in the interest of the buyer?

My gut based on past experiences and the way the thing is structured is that their compensation comes from the sale being completed (and them getting a percentage), unless they are directly compensated by the buyer (rarely the case it seems). In this scenario, it would seem in their interest to represent the sale (more aligned with the seller rather than the buyer), and really no different from the selling agent..
The real scoop is that good ethical agents will protect you and bad ones won't. Ethics is something innate and can't be taught in classes. I have an attorney who agreed to do something for me on a contingency basis. I don't question his ethics in the least because he gets paid out of the winnings. It's the same thing...

Some buyer agents enjoy "the thrill" of negotiating their buyers a great deal on a house. The "out negotiating" their counterparts is enjoyable to some agents and they get more pleasure out of that aspect then an extra $200 in commission.

I totally get your concern about ethics as the payment system doesn't jive with fiduciary duties but many agents pull it off well and a few are exceptional.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,222 posts, read 19,972,094 times
Reputation: 9030
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
I think most Buyer's agents are ethical, and some are truly excellent in delivering service to their clients. I would not buy a house without a Buyer's agent that I didn't trust. But I understand their role - and it's no different than many other roles that involve facilitating a deal. They help negotiate a deal for you on a non emotionally-invested basis. That means at times they are going to diverge slightly from your emotionally-driven response to every big and little issue as they try to mediate with the other side and strike a bargain. They'll help you get what you want.

But any representative is not you. You have to accept and recognize that, and decide how much trust you want to put in that person. If you don't fully trust them (or are uncomfortable letting go of a little bit of control), then don't share what you don't need them to know (like how far you'll eventually go on a price negotiation).
An excellent post.
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