Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENT?
A “buyer agency agreement” is a contract between a buyer and a real estate agent. Contracts can vary in length, and can include or exclude certain geographical areas. The buyer agency agreement lays out the commitments of the buyer to the agent, and of the agent to the buyer.
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO USE A BUYER’S AGENT?
The compensation that a buyer’s agent (also called the “selling agent”) receives typically comes from the seller’s proceeds, and that information is provided in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In such a case, there is no cost for a buyer to be represented by an agent. If a buyer is interested in purchasing a property not listed in an MLS, it is possible that the seller will not compensate the buyer’s agent. In this case, a buyer agency agreement would detail the buyer’s obligation to compensate their agent. Typically, even with unlisted properties, the seller compensates the buyer’s agent.
DOES IT COST ME MONEY TO MAKE AN OFFER?
If the offer is accepted, you will be expected to promptly submit an earnest money deposit. This deposit is a sign of your good faith that you are seriously committed in buying the home.
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN OFFER IS LESS THAN THE ASKING PRICE?
If you offer less, the seller has three options: they can accept the lower offer, counter your offer, or reject it completely. Remember that there could be another buyer who is also interested in the home you’ve chosen. There are usually many aspects of each offer to consider, but ultimately the seller will want to accept the best and most complete offer. In active real estate markets, home often sell for their listed price. In hot markets, there may be many buyers vying for the same house, which sometimes drives the final sale price above the original listing price.
HOW DOES MY OFFER GET PRESENTED TO THE SELLER?
We will call the listing agent for the home you have chosen and make arrangements with the seller to present your offer. We will present the offer, explain the details and negotiate on your behalf.
WHERE DOES MY EARNEST MONEY GO?
Once the buyer and seller have a mutually accepted offer, the earnest money is deposited into an account held by Escrow and becomes a credit to the buyer toward the purchase.
CAN I LOSE MY EARNEST MONEY?
Real estate contracts are complicated legal transactions. This is another area where having a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent is a necessity. Rarely does a buyer lose the earnest money. Most often, if the transaction falls apart, there are circumstances beyond the buyer’s control that cause it to happen.
If the buyer willfully decides they no longer want to buy the house and has no legal reason for rescinding their offer, the seller has the right to retain the earnest money.
WHAT IF I NEED TO SELL MY HOME BEFORE I BUY A NEW ONE?
To put yourself in the best negotiating position before you find the new home you want, hire a qualified real estate agent to help you put your home on the market. Once you write an offer on a new home, your offer will be “contingent” upon the sale of your home.
A buyer in this position may not have the same negotiating power as one whose home has already sold (or at least has accepted an offer). The seller may be hesitant to accept your offer because there are too many things that must happen before the sale can close.
WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION WILL YOU NEED FROM ME?
To do the best job for you, we will need the best information you can provide including:
- target price range
- number of bedrooms / bathrooms
- preferred style of home
- size of yard
- preferred school districts
- geographical areas / neighborhoods of interest
- special needs / special interests which your home needs to accommodate
Keep in mind that a very specific set of criteria may narrow your list of potential properties, while a very broad list may lead to an overwhelming number of properties to view.
CAN I GO TO OPEN HOUSES WITHOUT YOU?
Yes. However, when meeting the agent hosting the open house it’s best if you immediately identify yourself as working with us. If you don’t, we might not be able to help you write an offer on that property in the future.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT NEW PROPERTIES?
We will determine how often you want to receive updates on available homes, and your preferred method of communication (email, text, phone call). Clients using email can receive automatic updates from most MLS systems as soon as new listings are entered.
CAN YOU PROVIDE INFORMATION ON PROPERTIES LISTED WITH OTHER COMPANIES?
Yes, provided I am a member of the MLS where the property is listed in our area that shouldn’t be a problem.
WHAT IF I FIND A PROPERTY ON MY OWN?
Contact me with the address or the MLS number of the property in question. We will contact the agent for the property. It is never appropriate for you to contact the seller of the home directly, nor should you contact the listing agent directly when working with a buyers agent.