Working with a competent buyer’s agent is perhaps the most important decision you will make in the buying-a-home process. Jonathan’s chronicle of getting burned by a buyer client of his (as well as on AG) is worth reading – for both Buyers and Realtors.
Realtors have created this situation for themselves, and Dingo’s comment on this thread about ZipRealty on BHB highlighted a simple problem – most buyers have no idea what Buyers’ Agents do.
From a buyers point of view, we could not care less about the running of the organization. Most people don’t really care why you can get something at Target or Wallmart for a low price. Things have changed change with the internet, and realtors don’t have to put in that much time for buyers. I screen what’s available, I call her up, she shows it to me. We are in in the midst of making a purchase. Cumulative amount of time that she has put out has been probably no more than 6 hours thus far.
There is so much more to Buyers’ representation that merely “finding” a home. Driving, negotiating, assessing, knowing what questions to ask, know when to ask, knowing zoning, political influences, legalities, contingencies, and on and on and on. There is no substitute for experience.
Buyers have been told that a buyer’s agent’s services are “free” because the “seller pays.” This is not an accurate representation. (more on this in a post later today)
If you are searching for a Buyer’s Agent, please start here –
Being Selective, or how does Buyer Agency/Buyer Brokerage/ Exclusive Buyer Representation benefit the agent and the the Buyer?
Here are a few questions to ask your prospective representative. I take what I do seriously, and put my clients’ best interests ahead of mine (and sometimes my family’s).
If you’re a Realtor who chooses not to use Buyers’ Agency agreements – why not?
Update 4 December 2007: Athol posts a great suggestion that the NAR could/should be marketing exactly what Buyers’ Agents do.