How to decide if committing to one real estate agent is important, or should you “play the field”. We wanted to take a moment to explain a bit more about the Buyer-Broker agreement, why we use one, and why it is important to you as well.
Most agents will attempt to work with 20-30 prospective buyers at a time in the hope that one will purchase a home through them—that’s an outdated model. We take a more focused approach. We work with no more than four buyers at a time in order to provide a heightened level of service. We’re not here to just set you up on an automated email list for homes—you can do that on your own. We set ourselves apart by taking proactive steps in finding you the ideal home. Our team meets each week to discuss new off market opportunities for our clients. We also door knock and direct mail to targeted neighborhoods to find you a motivated seller.
Networking to uncover off-market opportunities is our main focus during your home search. With the advanced search engines available on the internet, anybody has access to the public
inventory. We try and deliver homes to which otherwise you would not have access.
Initially, we like to tour several homes in various areas with our clients to understand their wants and needs first-hand. This is a valuable aspect of the process, since we use this information when we go to work locating properties which are good fit for our clients.
But even focusing on working with just four buyers, it’s impossible for us to be showing homes every weekend to our clients (we also work Monday through Friday trying to find off-market properties and previewing homes). This is why open houses are a great way for you to visit homes at your leisure. If you zero in a perspective home, that’s when we make an appointment to show you the home in private and uninterrupted. We employ our many years of visiting and following inspectors around properties to help put the deficiencies in the inspection reports into perspective. We’ll tell you if we wouldn’t buy a particular home, and we can do that because we’re confident that at some point, we will find you the ideal home. Would you want your agent to pressure you into buying a home, out of fear they may lose you to another agent? Or rest assured knowing that your best interest is always first and foremost. This is just one of the important reasons that as a buyer, you should want to have an agreement in place.
Another reason to work with an agreement, is to distinguish yourself from a customer and become a client. And the difference is whether or not you are committed to the relationship with an agreement. A “Customer” does not enjoy the same legal protections that are afforded a “Client”. Many agents will work strictly with customers, because they are desperate to land a sale. The last thing you should want is a desperate agent trying to find you a home.
And then there’s the practicality of with whom we decide to work. As a client, you are privy to our “Pocket” of off-market listing. These are of course reserved for those with whom we have a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
The agreement also protects us against the threat of “procuring cause”. You see, when you walk into an open house, that agent could lay claim to you as the procuring cause of locating the home, and we may be excluded from representing you. These cases of procuring cause actions typically involve a hearing or even a lawsuit to unravel. But the issue you will encounter is that you will no longer have your own representation. In this situation, if you want to buy that home, you wmay be forced to work with the seller’s agent. When this occurs, Dual Agency representation exists and the agent can no longer advise you on how to proceed with an offer, but rather becomes an “order taker”—we’re willing to bet that’s not the kind of assistance you want when purchasing perhaps your largest investment ever.
Lastly, imagine your own employment situation. Would you go to work everyday wondering if you’ll ever be fairly compensated for your work? We assume enough risk already, as many buyers change their minds and never purchase a home.
We hope that this will shed some clarity on why a written working understanding is important to a mutually respective relationship.
Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS/NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 20 years of experience in helping sellers and buyers in their community. As Diamond recipients, Drew and Christine are ranked in the top 50 RE/MAX agents nationwide. They may be reached at (650) 508.1441 or emailed at email@example.com.
The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.