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.
“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: