by Jeff Hammerberg
Real estate agents often wear many hats, and their roles and responsibilities can sometimes shift back and forth between the buyer and the seller in a so-called 'dual agency' capacity. The 'dual' agent is legally responsible for fairly representing both the buyer and the seller. But some people who are shopping for real estate feel more confident working with a realtor who has only one job and goal in mindnamely, to work solely and exclusively on behalf of the buyer, with no special obligations to the seller.
For example, consider this situation: A real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller. One day, a buyer tours a house and tells the agent 'I want to offer $300,000but I am happy to pay as much as $350,000 if that is what it takes to get this house.'
Because the agent is bound by the rules of dual agency, with responsibilities to both the buyer and the seller, it may be incumbent upon the agent to share this information with the seller. Typically, as soon as the agent delivers the initial offer to the seller, the seller will ask, 'Do you think I should accept this offer at this price, or do you believe that the buyer is willing to pay more if I counter with a higher price?'
The agent has a responsibility to disclose to the seller that indeed, the buyer has verbally stated a willingness to go as high as $350,000.
Buying and selling often involves negotiations, and in a negotiationjust as when playing pokerit is generally best to 'play your cards close to your chest' so that the person you are playing against doesn't know exactly what cards you hold. In the scenario outlined above, the buyer would probably be wise to keep the willingness to pay $50,000 more a secret, rather than risk revealing 'all the cards' to the seller by telling the agent … who has to try to represent the interest of both parties.
Because of the potential for this kind of natural dilemma to occur during a real estate transaction, the special designation of Exclusive Buyer's Agent came into existence. This unique type of realtor offers exclusive services to buyers who want to work with an agent who can represent them and negotiate for them 100 percent. In order to ensure that the relationship is genuine, Exclusive Buyer's Agents are not allowed to accept any listings. You will never find their names on yard signs, because they never contract with customers to sell houses, only to offer services for buying them. The reason they refuse to accept listing agreements is that they don't want a conflict of interest.
If an agent has a house listed for sale and a buyer they are working with wants to purchase it, then it is impossible to act 'exclusively in the sole interest of the buyer'because the agent has already signed a contract to work on behalf of the seller. Dual agency is possible and practical in that situation, and that is why many agents work as dual agents, enabling them to offer a full range of buying and selling services. But if you are buying a home, you may prefer to work with an Exclusive Buyer's Agent.
Here are some of the characteristics you can expect from an Exclusive Buyer's Agent or Broker that set them apart from other realtors:
The office where they work does not take listings of any kind and represents only buyers. If you want to sell a house, they can't help you.
Because these realtors only represent buyers, sellers of homes are unaware of the top price buyers are willing to spend.
The Exclusive Buyer's Agent works to get the buyer the lowest price on the best terms.
They will give you the facts about the property and the seller as they know themboth good and bad.
Exclusive Buyer's Agents have a legal and ethical obligation to put their clients' interests first. Because they are not motivated by listing and selling property, they don't spend any time trying to get listings or advertise property for sale. They focus on the kinds of needs that are most important to buyers.
If you are in the market for a real estate purchasewhether as an investment, as a second home, or as your primary residencean Exclusive Buyer's Agent may be right for you. These agents and brokers help buyers with purchases of all kinds of property, including vacant land, single family homes, condos, townhouses, and resort property. They can represent you from the initial house hunting stage until the final closing of the transaction.
Visit www.GayRealEstate.com . The company helps many to buy homes throughout the country and takes special pride in serving the LGBT community.