What is a Buyer’s Broker?

Update: Questions? Comments? Please ask.

I read this at UrbanDigs, thanks to Curbed, and thought it worth republishing (with permission, and a few edits to make it applicable to the Central Va market) –

“My Definition of a Buyer Broker: A broker who represents the buyer and has a fiduciary responsibility to the buyer in finding a property that meets their needs on all levels (price, location, size, condition, style, and living quality). A buyer broker should look to find the best value for their client and negotiate on their behalf during the bidding process to get the lowest possible purchase price from the seller. In times of bidding wars, the buyer broker should advise their client on how high over ask the buyer should bid without overvaluing the property or putting their client in financial risk.

In addition to these services a Buyer Broker will prepare the client for the real estate transaction in a number of ways:

1. Assist the buyer in finding a mortgage broker if one is needed. A good buyer broker will ask their client what their strategy is with their investment and advise their client on possible mortgage products that could be used. Ultimately, the mortgage broker is the professional you should rely on for the final product to use.

2. Co-ordinate visits to the property for contractors as needed and accompany the client on the final walk-through prior to closing to fully inspect the property based on the contract of sale’s terms and conditions. All electrical, plumbing, and appliances should be in working order (or not, per contract – JD).

Most buyer brokers, also known as Real Estate Salespersons or Agents, are in real estate as their full time profession which does not mean they know what they are doing. It is up to the buyer to determine whether or not their buyer broker is responsible, knowledgeable, and privy to the current housing market prices and developments.

I can tell you that as a broker (aka, Real Estate Salesperson) there is a ton of competition out there and very little loyalty. The more experienced brokers understand the need to ‘set themselves apart’ by offering their clients exceptional service in the most professional manner possible. My thinking is:

I am going to find you the highest quality property that meets your needs for the lowest possible price, and do it in a way that makes this transaction a positive experience for you that you will refer my services to all of your friends and family when they need to satisfy their real estate needs. (I have referred to this in the past as Raving Fan service – JD)

As a buyer you should be especially vigilant that your buyer broker is really out there to assist you, and is not just trying to make another sale. Is your broker showing you properties in your price range? Is your broker going out of their way to accommodate your schedule? Is your broker constantly showing you properties that are away from your desired neighborhood? These are the things you should ask yourself when analyzing your broker.

In the end its not about the deal, its about finding you the best home possible and making you happy with your new home and investment!”

What he said.

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10 Comments

  1. vivageneva January 5, 2006 at 02:01

    The City of Geneva, on Seneca Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, is putting many pieces of land up for development. You might be interested.
    You can check it out at http://vivageneva.blogspot.com

  2. TrvlnMn January 6, 2006 at 13:11

    Vivageneva wrote:

    The City of Geneva, on Seneca Lake in … blah blah blah…

    Jim, looks like one slipped through your spam filter.

  3. Jim January 7, 2006 at 14:24

    I thought so too, but after reading the blog a bit, I don’t think it’s a splog. I could be wrong, though.

  4. TrvlnMn January 7, 2006 at 20:39

    I read through it as well, and it seemed like they were mainly pushing/selling/promoting their town as a “place to be” for businesses etc.. a guerrilla marketing type of thing. Kinda like something that would be hosted/run by a local chamber of commerce and/or tourist bureau. At least they weren’t trying to push viagra, or home mortgates.

  5. vivageneva January 7, 2006 at 21:37

    No, I’m not a spammer and I’m not a marketer. I’m a member of a group in Geneva who is fed up with the really poor development decisions the city leaders have been making. As a matter of course, we go around and investigate what other areas with similar marketing characteristics are doing. Hence, I stumbled upon this blog and thought it was relevant enough to leave a link. Because we have two colleges in the City and about 10 more in the surrounding counties, we attract a lot of out of town developers. However, the city still goes only to local people when soliciting infill proposals(and they do crappy modular stuff with no architectural merit). It’s frustrating and I’d welcome any ideas you have on how to get around it. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a ‘splog’ before. I assume that’s a combination of spam and blog, but I hope it’s clear to the people who read mine that it’s just a place to rant and rave. If my desperate pleas lead someone to take notice and start competing with the locals, wonderful! (But that’s not my primary aim).

  6. Jim January 7, 2006 at 21:42

    Thank you for the clarification.

    –Jim

  7. TrvlnMn January 8, 2006 at 03:45

    vivageneva wrote:

    However, the city still goes only to local people when soliciting infill proposals(and they do crappy modular stuff with no architectural merit). It’s frustrating and I’d welcome any ideas you have on how to get around it.

    I think it’s good that your town is willing to share business with the local guy. Looking at the local news here i think there is a perception that we don’t include the local small builder enough- I disagree with this. Most of the big builders here are also local.. they’re just not “small” anymore.

    I suppose after a point going back to the same local builders could seem like a “good old boy’s club.” As for your observations about your local “small” builder.. putting (sp?) up the same type of buildings… I understand that and can relate. I find that to be true with builders here as well.

    A lot of times they’re just “contractors” who know how to put together a house but have no sense of architextual design. Then because they’re just contractors they stick with what they know- building variations of the same old house over and over because it’s what’s they know and its regionally acceptable. Unfortunately at this point I can’t offer a solution you might be looking for.

    On another note… Glad to hear you’re not a spammer. I’m sorry but it wasn’t immediatly evident from your post or your blog. And I did browse your blog. However it’s purpose, as stated here, wasn’t evident to me. Elsewise I wouldn’t have posted the comments I did.

    I would also offer the advice of “try to keep on topic,” or to be a little more specific in what sort of input/traffic you’re looking for, as you’ve done with your follow up post.

    Anyways- Welcome to Jim Duncan’s exceptional real estate blog. I hope you’re able to find some of the solutions you’re looking for.. and if you find them here then that’s all the better!

  8. vivageneva January 8, 2006 at 21:55

    Great! Thanks for the feedback…point taken about staying on topic.
    The blog is relatively new and being frustrated often leads to being impatient, so I was just looking to connect with people who might be willing to take a look and offer suggestions.
    I don’t mean to disparage ‘local’ builders…it came out wrong.

    I’m just frustrated by having bids put out and it’s the same 2 people who respond to everything. There are more than 2 good contractors in this area. We’re right between Rochester and Syracuse for pete’s sake. But these guys seem to ahve a lock on all contracts. they also consult with the city’s economic development department when they are formulating the bids, so it’s no surprise that they have an inside track. And this isn’t speculation…we’ve seen it firsthand.

    I have had the privlege of scanning other posts, and they are great! The latest one on property tax is very good. I’m suprised that your taxes are so low. Maybe that’s part of what’s scaring people off up here, our city’s taxes are $18.06/$1000 RAV.

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