Finding Your Dream Home
Buyer Agency -- What's It All About:
Until recently, if you were looking to purchase a home, you had only one way of working with a Real Estate agent -- the agent would show you properties but represented the seller.
- As a buyer/customer, you were not represented by anyone other than yourself.
- Negotiations over price and terms were entirely your responsibility.
In today's Real Estate market, there is another way -- Designated Buyer Agency.
- Designated Buyer Agency allows me, as your agent, to provide you with the highest level of service.
- It permits me to act on your behalf in all negotiations to insure that your interests are upheld.
- You become my client and I am bound by written agreement to be your advocate in the search for your new home.
When an agent represents a buyer:
- All the fiduciary duties (loyalty, diligence, confidentiality, obedience, disclosure, accounting, and reasonable care) are owed to the buyer, not to the seller.
- The buyer is free to discuss the value of properties, negotiating strategies and personal finances with the agent.
- The buyer can consult the agent concerning the condition of the property, the effects of improvements, the seller's motivation, and other information that a seller's agent cannot provide.
Although the traditional agent will work hard to find the perfect property for the buyer's needs, the traditional agent is limited because of duties owed to the seller. A buyer's agent, on the other hand, makes a commitment to locate a property that best fulfills the buyer's wish list. This includes searching for homes that may be available for sale even though they are not listed with a Real Estate company.
Dual Agency is a third type of agency of which you must be aware. When Dual Agency occurs, it alters the agency relationship. But, everyone's goal remains the same -- to buy or sell a property with mutually agreeable terms. Under Pennsylvania law, DUAL AGENCY would exist if you, as my Buyer client, make an offer on a property that I have listed.
As a licensed Real Estate agent, I list properties for sale, as well as help buyers find homes. The Listing Contract creates a Seller Agency relationship between my sellers and me. And, I am obligated by the laws of agency to represent their interests just a fiercely as I would yours as a buyer.
Signing a Designated Buyer Agent Contract with me creates an agency relationship, as well. And, just as with my sellers, I am bound by the laws of agency to put your interests first.
If Dual Agency arises, the agent and his clients must agree in writing to modify the agency relationship. The agent must not disclose any information that would create a negotiating advantage for either client. The agent must treat the interests of the buyer and seller equally.
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Who Pays the Buyer Agent's Commission:
Under most circumstances, the seller pays the Buyer Agent's commission. The commission to be paid to the Buyer Agent is negotiated between the Seller Agent and the seller at the time the Listing Contract is signed.
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My Promise to You as a Designated Buyer Agent:
I will work with you to determine your needs and identify available homes that meet those needs -- this includes properties listed by:
- Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
- other Real Estate brokers
- For Sale By Owner properties.
I will provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision concerning a property. This includes:
- community and school information
- past appreciation rates for homes in the community.
I will advise you on financial matters, especially:
- the amount of mortgage you qualify for
- the financing options available to you
- finding a mortgage broker that best suits your needs
- an accurate estimate of the total cash required for your purchase.
I will help you with the inspection of the property prior to settlement.
I will keep you informed throughout the process, explaining all documents before you sign them.
I will be there with you at settlement.
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What Are You Looking For in a Home:
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you begin the search for your dream home:
- What architectural styles do you prefer?
- Do you prefer new construction or an existing home (if so, think about the maximum age acceptable to you)?
- What features are important to you (number of bedrooms and baths, bedroom on first floor, family room, fireplace, etc.)?
- What "extras" are you looking for (central air conditioning, ultra kitchen, type of heating system, etc.)?
- Have you established a price range?
- What is the maximum amount you have for a down payment?
- What is the maximum acceptable commuting time? Will you commute by private car, or do you need to be close to public transportation?
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Working With a Buyer Agent to Find Your New Home:
Teamwork is perhaps the most crucial element in making the purchase of your new home easier and more pleasant. Here are a few suggestions to help the process run smoothly.
Choose your Buyer Agent carefully.
- Make sure that they are a full-time professional trained to service your needs.
- Your Buyer Agent should not only be knowledgeable about the Real Estate market, but should also be well versed on financing, zoning, school systems, and the various public facilities and services available in each community.
- You have the right to expect your Buyer Agent to go that extra mile to serve you.
Once you've decided to work with a Buyer Agent, there are a few ways you can help:
- Most important, be frank with your Buyer Agent about your price range and your needs. This information is essential to guiding you through a successful home search.
- If you see an ad in the paper or spot a "For Sale" sign on a property that interests you, DO call your Buyer Agent and ask him or her about it. It may be a home you have already seen and did not recognize in the ad. In fairness to the office that has the listing, do not call and inquire since you are not going to be using their services.
- Let your Buyer Agent make the inquiry. He or she can obtain more information from their fellow Realtor that will ultimately be more beneficial to you and all parties concerned.
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- Narberth Real Estate: the Heart of the Main Line -- New!!
- Why You Should Live on the MAIN LINE -- New!!
- Relocating to the Main Line Suburbs of Philadelphia
- The Lowdown -- Real Estate in Philadelphia Suburbs
- It's the Law -- Real Estate Consumer Rights
- Six Ways to Your First Down Payment
- Glossary of Real Estate Terms
John A. Benigno, ABR
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
355A Lancaster Ave
Haverford, PA 19401-1554
Office Phone: 610-658-8900
Licensed in Pennsylvania (Lic. No. RS210740L)
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