Exclusive Buyers Agents
There are two sides to all residential real estate transactions, the buyers side and the sellers side. In most real estate sales, these two sides are made up by different Realtors; one who is representing the buyer and one who is representing the seller. These are known as the buyer agent and the sellers agent.
Real estate agents have a fiduciary to their client. This means that they need to put their clients needs and well being BEFRORE the needs and well being of themselves.
When you have a buyers agent representing the buyer of a property and a sellers agent representing the seller of a property, this is a pretty well laid out system.
Dual Agency is when ONE licensed real estate agent is representing BOTH sides of the transaction. In a dual agency situation, a single REALTOR will have to provide a fiduciary to both the buyer and seller of the home.
You can see how knowing the sellers “bottom line” or knowing that the buyer is willing to spend more, can become a touchy situation when the agent in the middle (acting as a dual agent) knows those numbers. In addition, it can be tricky when trying to diffuse disputes.
Dual Agency is not legal in every state. In some states, although legal, they have additional rules that are applied. Some states say that even if two different agents work for the same real estate brokerage, there is a dual agency situation.
Real Estate Commission
There are two sides of the real estate commission; the amount paid to the buyers and the amount paid to the sellers agent. As a general rule, this total commission is split between the two sides. If the agent is a dual agent — and on both sides of the transaction, they get paid twice.
Advantages of a Buyers Agent
Most home buyers will call the agent that is listed on the sign or otherwise found on the listing online. In that instance, they are usually calling the listing agent, putting them in a position of dual agency.
Having an exclusive buyers agent in real estate can have several advantages:
- Agent words specifically for you
- The Agent has no conflicts with the selling agent
- The buyers agent doesn’t care which home you buy — as long as its the right home.
- No dual agency
Buyers and Sellers Agents
The vast majority of real estate agents will work with both buyers and sellers. Although their perspective and skillset may lean towards one side of the transaction or the other.
There are some REALTORS that choose to work primarily with sellers – as a seller agent. Some choose to work specifically with buyers as a buyers agent.
Exclusive Buyers Agents
An exclusive buyers agent is one that ONLY works with buyers. They hone their skills specify on the buyers side of the real estate transaction . They have a higher incentive to find you the perfect home for YOU as opposed to one that pays them more.
There are not many agents that market themselves as only buyers agents — but some do exist. An example of a respected buyers only REALTOR is Don Wessel with Wessel Real Estate in Greenville South Carolina.
In many instances, an agent that works exclusively with buyers may ask that you sign a buyers brokerage agreement. This document agrees that you will use them as your buyers agent and they are guaranteed a specific commission percentage on the home sale.
Choosing the right real estate agent is as important as finding the right mortgage. Having an exclusive buyers agent can insure that you have a highly qualified REALTOR in your corner that doesn’t have a financial benefit to steer you towards a specific property.
Although signing the exclusive buyers agreement can be scary — it simply lays out who will be paid for the services they provide.