Blog Wayback – What is a Buyer’s Broker?

The Blog Wayback Series plugs on

From January 2006: What is a Buyer’s Broker?

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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  2. Richard Stabile Bergen County Real Estate June 7, 2009 at 22:24

    Are you doing any exclusive buyer brokerage agreements? It seems to me that if a broker is to be comfortable with the extra responsibilities that true buyer brokerage brings, there should be an exclusive agreement. Just like an exclusive right to sell is for a seller relationship.
    We have been discussing these ideas in our area, Bergen County New Jersey. It will new for us.

  3. Jim Duncan June 8, 2009 at 05:34

    Richard –

    Thanks for the comment.

    I absolutely work with Buyer Broker agreements. They help define the relationship for both parties as well as formalize the compensation.

  4. Manassas VA Homes September 23, 2009 at 19:35

    Buyer brokerage is the only way a buyer can buy and have peace of mind that their interest are first. Buyers need someone in their corner working with their interest in mind as an advocate and trusted advisor.

    1. Buyers Agents April 11, 2011 at 05:38

      i’d agree to what you said, at least buyers should make sure the advisor is committing only to their interest


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