We are an exclusive buyer agency company. All the agents in our company are licensed real estate agents and work for buyers all the time - full time buyer representatives, specialists.
How is that different from most real estate companies?
Most real estate companies focus on listing properties for sale for sellers providing seller agency services. Through open houses, multiple listing services and advertising, these listings attract buyers. If a buyer becomes interested in purchasing a listed property, that agent and/or that company may offer buyer agency services to the buyer. Since agency services are obligatory upon the entire company, it is quite easy for one company to be offering them to buyer and seller of the same property at the same time. When this occurs it is very easy for conflict of interest to become a factor. Potential for conflict of interest is the main reason we have opted to specialize in representing BUYERS ONLY.
Click play to view The Balancing Act - "The Smartest way to Buy A Home"
Live on 3-18-10 with NAEBA Executive Director Kim Kahl and President Benjamin Clark.
Have more questions about exclusive buyer agency? [How It Works - Buying Decisions]
Welcome to our office at the port in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This view from our office complex is looking East down the Piscataqua [Pis'cat'-a-qwa] River towards the Southern Maine Coast, open ocean and eventually... England. The large ship anchored is delivering rock salt from the Far East which will be shipped throughout New England by truck. Tomorrow, this ship will be gone and the view will change...
Our view of the world of real estate is also unique.
We are an exclusive buyer agency and have been since 1990. That means that we choose to represent only BUYERS of real estate. We DO NOT list property for SELLERS. Why is that important? Our interest is YOURS, the buyer, and is therefore not compromised by the selling office's interest to promote the sale of one property over another. If you are relocating to this area make sure that the real estate agency you choose will have only YOUR interest (the buyer's) in mind! Only an exclusive buyer agency can make that pledge.
However, paying less is not one of our foremost goals in representing buyers: we are not “discount brokers”. On the contrary, there is nothing “discounted” about our service. We are committed to counseling and educating the real estate buyer, and thus they make better choices throughout the buying process. Buyers have a trusted partner through which they can ask questions and bounce ideas, helping them balance emotion and practicality in making one of the largest investments of their lifetime.
The savings are just part of what happens with a protected relationship. And dollars are not the only savings! Most of our past clients, when asked what was the BIGGEST plus to our service said, “Reduced stress!” We support the buyer throughout the process, guiding them in selecting other professionals in the process and making sure they know the “next” step to avoid unpleasant surprises. Through questioning and listening to the buyer, we can guide the buyer in selecting the best location for them.
If you choose an Exclusive Buyer's Agent with Buyer's Brokers of the Seacoast, you can be assured that YOUR interests are represented 100% of the time with no conflict. We are Realtors® who work ONLY for you, the buyer!
There may not appear to be a difference, except when you change your perspective. Buying a house and selling a house are two distinctly different actions and require expertise on both ends.
Our office displays an ever changing WALL OF BOUGHTS which is extremely helpful for relocation clients. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, they quickly can grasp what styles, prices and locations are a good fit for them, and we in turn can relate their choices to their wants and needs.
We also use our BOUGHT data on a 24/7 Power Point display at our office. This movie also presents a "Dollars Saved" feature which many people use to keep a pulse on the ever changing market.
When we started offering our buyer only services in 1990, it soon became evident that we had not SOLD our clients a property, but had helped them BUY, and thus the BOUGHT sign became our sign. Much of our work is counseling and advising and we highly respect our client's ability and right to make their own decisions.
We are proud to display our BOUGHT sign on a property, once it is purchased, to let neighbors know that it has indeed changed ownership and that we helped the new owners in the process.
Since we have no seller clients, the buyer can be assured we have no secondary motivation to move a particular property!
SALEM, Ore. (CNN/Money) –You wouldn't randomly choose a real estate agent when selling a house. You'd get recommendations, interview candidates and make sure you found the right fit.
Yet, when it comes to buying a house, many of us aren't so diligent about finding a buyer's agent.
"What often happens is people call about a specific property and speak with an agent who happens to be working that day," said Ron Phipps, principal of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. "Even if that specific property doesn't work out, the agent will probably try to continue working with you."
Before you know it you've seen a dozen houses with an agent who, you later realize, is the office rookie, clueless about the kind of property you want or just not a great match.
"Agents who list property in the Multiple Listing Service agree to share commissions if other agents bring a buyer to the table," said Walt Molony, spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). "Unless the agent has a buyer's agreement with you, the agent may be working as a sub-agent of the seller and obligated to get the highest price for the seller."
"Although sub-agents are increasingly uncommon, buyers should never assume that an agent is working for them until they see an agency disclosure," said Harley Rouda Jr., CEO of Real Living, one of the largest real estate firms in the Midwest.
Most states require that agents disclose their relationship as a seller agent or a buyer agent at the first substantive contact, he explained. A good agent will explain this early on, law or no law.
"By the time you get in the car and start looking at houses you should know whether the agent represents you as a buyer or a sub-agent of the seller."
With so many online tools for finding property, why would you want a buyer's agent?
In competitive real estate markets, you may need an agent to give you a heads up on property as soon as it comes on the market.
The commission paid for selling a house is fixed, usually at 5 percent to 7 percent, and paid by the seller. If a sub-agent or buyer's agent brings you to the table, the seller's agent splits the commission. If you opt to not have a buyer's agent, the seller's agent has dibs on the full commission.
Some buyers reason that if they don't have an agent, the seller should be able to negotiate for a lower commission and share some of the savings with the buyer.
"The seller can try to negotiate with his or her agent for a lower commission if you don't have an agent," said Eric Cunliffe, senior vice president with LendingTree.com, which has an agent referral services for buyers and sellers. "But they aren't obligated."
In most markets, said Real Living's Rouda, it's unlikely that a seller's agent will agree to take a lower commission. "If a buyer is not represented, the seller's agent will make the case that they will be doing the work of two," he said.
Rather than finding a buyer's agent by luck of the draw, consider looking for one before you start shopping around for your dream house.
Start with old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. If you're moving to a new area, try one of the many free referral systems now online RealEstate.com, RealLiving.com and HomeGains.com. Sites such as these match buyers with agents, based on their budget, lifestyle and housing preferences.
Then interview two or three agents to get a better sense of their experience, knowledge of the area, contacts and personality.
If you do find an agent you like, you don't have to commit to working with him or her exclusively. But etiquette calls for you to be loyal to an agent who spends a good deal of time and effort shopping for houses.
"Several years ago, I had a buyer who looked at 70 properties," explained Phipps. If that buyer happened to find a house with another agent or on his own, "I would have been really distraught."
To that end, buyer's agents are increasingly asking buyers to sign exclusive agreements. This contract, said Rouda, outlines the agent's responsibilities, the term of the agreement (usually six months) and your obligation to work with that buyer's agent, even if you find a house on your own.
"If you spend three hours with me and don't want to use me, you don't owe anything in my office," said Phipps. "But at some point, I'm going to ask you to make a choice."