Even in today’s market where buyers can search for and look at home photos online, a full-service buyer’s agent is invaluable. Searching for homes, touring homes with you, previewing them to narrow down the ones you need to view in person, educating you about the positives and negatives about each property, helping secure a lender, inspector, homeowner’s policy, escrow agent, and writing a personalized offer that is airtight and has the best chance of convincing the seller to choose your offer, are all essential tasks that we perform throughout our relationship.
However, even if you go househunting on your own and decide to buy the first home you see, you should still get a buyer’s agent. Because of the way agents are paid, it costs you nothing to have your own agent, but it is the best way to make sure that you are represented by someone who is duty-bound to protect your interests. If you attempt to buy a home with only the help of the agent who listed the house, you must remember that that agent represents ONLY the seller’s interest. Their goal is to get the best price on the best terms for their client, and not for you. You could end up paying many thousands of dollars more than you should if you don’t have a buyer’s agent to advocate for you.
When we enter into a working relationship with you to help you find a home, we become your buyer’s agents and are bound by a code of ethics that we take very seriously. Not only am we required to exercise skill and care and act with honesty in all dealings, but we owe you a duty of confidentiality and loyalty. This means that we must never take any action that might be detrimental to your interests in the transaction. We must, and do, put your interests above anyone else’s, including our own.
If you work with an agent who also represents the seller, she may ask you to sign an agreement that makes her a “dual agent,” which means she represents both you and the seller equally. Although dual agency is legal, a dual agent does not have a duty of loyalty to either party. This is why we have a policy to only represent one party or the other. We believe this is the best way to make sure that we look out for only your best interests. If you interview multiple agents in deciding who to work with, you may want to ask each agent whether they have a similar policy to represent you without also representing the seller.
Finally, because we spend a great deal of time working for each buyer, we only take on a limited number of buyers at a time. For this reason, we do ask that you commit to use us as your agent when we agree to work together.