How can you tell if your Buyer Agent is providing a high level of representation? What should you expect from the Realtor® you hire to represent you in the purchase process?
First you need to know that unfortunately, not every real estate agent understands the responsibilities of a buyer agent and perhaps not even obeys the local and state laws under which they practice. The role of a buyer agent did not even exist several years ago but that is no excuse for any licensed real estate agent today to claim negligence as it is their duty to understand and practice in accordance with all local, state and federal real estate laws to maintain their license to practice.
Buyer Beware: Who Is A Buyer Agent?
A Buyer Agent represents the best interests of the buyer, not the seller. In some states, like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is mandatory that every real estate agent explain to home buyers or home sellers the types of agency relationships available and the right of buyers to work with a buyer agent who will represent their best interests. Not only is it required to explain agency relationships; but the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that consumers sign the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure form upon the first meeting before discussing any specific property with a buyer or seller.
Not all states require a mandatory agency disclosure during the first meeting and according to the National Association of Realtors® 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers; only 30% of all buyers profiled signed an agency disclosure statement during the first meeting with a real estate agent.
The percentage is staggering because it means that 70% of buyers surveyed did not sign an agency disclosure statement during the first meeting or discussion to understand how the real estate agent was working with them and who the agent was representing in the transaction.
In addition, 68% of all buyers profiled reported that they interviewed ONLY ONE real estate agent to act as their buyer agent.
The choice is yours to make as consumer protection laws provide increasing protection for home buyers. Check local and state laws before you meet with a Realtor® or real estate agent to ensure you understand their responsibilities under the law.
If they do not meet these requirements during the first discussion or meeting, then the message is clear. Find a Realtor® who will act according to all agency relationship laws to ensure they will protect your best interests – beginning with the very first meeting.
Even if your state does not require an agency disclosure by law – ask for it! Purchasing a home may be the single most expensive purchase you make in your lifetime…protect your best interests and set your standards of practice and service before you hire a Realtor® to represent you and your best interests.