Choosing the Right Buyer’s Agent in Charlottesville

Last week’s article in the Daily Progress was good (edit: now-broken link), but as I told the journalist at the time – there is so much more I wanted to go into that article, and newspapers are so limited by what they can offer in print. They deal in inches, and for better or worse, bloggers don’t have those limitations. With that preface, this is one of things that didn’t make it in the article due in part to space limitations – My advice to buyers in the Charlottesville area –

Choose the right representation

Choose the right buyer’s agent. Choose someone whom you trust and get along with and like – not just because you met them at an open house, or because they have a blog, or because they are your sister’s husband’s friend who is just getting started and needs a break. Choosing the wrong representation is not just not worth it.

A good (great) buyer’s agent is someone who will advocate 100% on your behalf – simple. Contrary to public opinion, a good buyer’s agent is focused on the client’s needs more than their own. If you feel that “your” Realtor is focused more on the “sale” than your best interests – tell him.

Going waaay back in the archives to 2005, citing a WSJ article

“Finding a real estate agent is kind of like dating. You have a small window to make an impression and then you’re with that person for a long time.

Here is my business philosophy when I work with buyers – I want to sell their house when they move. Every buyer client represents a minimum of three transactions –

1) The house they are buying right now.

2) That house when they move (everybody moves, even if “this is the last house I am going to buy”)

3) At least one of their friends or family when my clients proselytize for me

I work with Buyer-Broker agreements with my buyers for a variety of reasons – first and foremost because we negotiate my fee upfront, and I am free from the perception that I am not showing unrepresented sellers’ (FSBO) houses or those houses that are offering lower commissions in the MLS than many Realtors are used to. And – it formalizes the contractual relationship that I have to my clients and that my clients have to me.

You can find a sample (although a bit dated) Buyer-Broker Agreement here.

Updated – this is a current sample Buyer-Broker Agreement. Note that it takes two sections to warn/educate about Dual Agency.

My advice is this – do your due diligence. If you have questions about the process, what questions to ask (or if you have an experience you would like to share) please contact me anytime.


And the coup de grace with regards to what blogs have over print – here are a bunch of very relevant links to help you get started in your research:

Here are some questions to ask when hiring a Realtor, courtesy of Redfin.

Do you like/do Dual Agency? One of my favorite posts I have written about Dual Agency is this – Dual Agency – Who Benefits? —- The Realtor.

Representation isn’t free

How to Choose a Realtor

Great Questions for a Seller to Ask

Questions to ask your (potential) agent in Charlottesville

Steering Buyer’s Agents

Why Use a Realtor – Decoding NAR-Speak

Rolling the Dice with Buyers

Being Selective

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  1. ttc June 19, 2008 at 09:53

    Renting vs. Buying — Looking at the market right now in Charlottesville, it still looks cheaper to rent than to buy (assuming 10% down) for the same type of property.

    What are rental rates doing there while the median price is slowly declining?

  2. Daniel June 20, 2008 at 06:52

    Jim, FYI – Your sample agreement on the linked post comes up as NOT FOUND. I’d love to take a look at it.

  3. Jim Duncan June 20, 2008 at 07:48

    @ttc – I’ll respond with a post next week.

    @Daniel – The link worked ok for me, but I added an updated Buyer-Broker agreement. 6(f) is a bit out of touch with today’s market, too.

  4. ttc June 20, 2008 at 15:07

    Thanks! Looking forward to it…

  5. Jay Thompson June 23, 2008 at 17:06

    “Do you like/do Dual Agency?”

    I avoid it like the plague. It’s evil.

  6. Jim Duncan June 23, 2008 at 17:16

    The great thing about doing what I do – both blogging and volunteering in Realtor associations – is that I can say that I am actively working to get rid of Dual Agency. I hate it and wish Realtor Associations would suck it up and work to eradicate it.

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  10. Exclusive Real Estate Buyers Agent May 12, 2009 at 01:05

    As a potential real estate buyer you really want your interests represented by a Real Buyer’s Agent. It is critical in purchasing real estate for a buyer to work with a Buyer’s Agent so look for a buyers agent who will negotiate hard on your behalf, focusing on services that benefit you, and is knowledgeable about the things that is important to a buyer.

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  15. Buyers Agents May 3, 2011 at 07:34

    you could also ask advice from several people you know who have experienced or have hired a buyers agent

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