Q. What is For Buyers Only Realty? We’re a real estate buyer’s brokerage. We offer our clients exclusive buyer’s representation as well as mortgage brokerage services. What follows is a summary of reasoning as to why every real estate buyer should use an exclusive buyer’s agent.

Q. What is an exclusive buyer’s broker? A buyer’s broker is one who never takes a listing, and therefore, only represents buyers in real estate transactions, never the sellers.

Q. Why do I need a buyer’s agent? Buyers and sellers of real estate have completely different interests. One agent cannot properly serve the needs of both. An exclusive buyer’s agent (EBA) is contractually bound to negotiate solely for buyers and to strictly maintain confidentiality of the buyer’s financial information, motivation and other factors that were they known to the seller, could impair the buyer’s negotiating leverage. Isn’t this the person anyone wanting to buy most advantageously should first call? In fact, there is no logic behind any buyer having to first contact either the seller or their agent – both of whom are dedicated (and in the case of the agent, contractually obligated) to getting any buyer to pay a maximum price. Yet this is precisely what happens when you respond to any newspaper ad.

From your buyer’s agent, you’ll receive access to comprehensive information on each and every property available for sale — not just those on which commissions on both sides of the transaction can be earned. You’ll receive completely objective counsel on the pluses and minuses of each property of interest. You’ll obtain objective information about recent sales of similar properties to help you judge the value of your target. You’ll have a strong advocate on your side during the inspection phase. You’ll also learn what the seller paid and currently owes on the property — this is all key to maximizing your negotiating leverage while helping you design an offer that will be of interest to the seller. Acquiring the best possible property with the most favorable terms at the lowest possible price, is more likely when a buyer’s agent is representing your interests alone.

Q. How does this differ from traditional real estate buying methods? Seller’s (listing) agents traditionally advertise their listings to solicit inquiries from prospective buyers. When buyers respond to the ads, or run into the seller’s agent, say at an open house, the buyer is seen as a potential customer to whom the agent hopes to sell that property (or if not that property, any other property that the agent might have a listing on, or otherwise be aware of). If you are not represented by your own agent at this time, the listing agent often ends up representing both you and the seller. This is the definition of a dual agent; one who cannot vigorously represent either the buyer or seller.

A buyer’s agent owes you a fiduciary responsibility to represent only your best interests and therefore seeks to find you the ideal property that best fits all the important criteria you establish — vastly different from someone ‘selling‘ you any specific property.

Q. Are there differences among buyer’s agents? Absolutely! A true buyer’s agent (an exclusive buyer’s agent), will never take a listing and therefore, never represents sellers. In this way, you, as the buyer client of a true buyer’s agent will receive 100% loyalty, 100% of the time, from your agent. Some agents call themselves “buyer’s agents,” but they also solicit and accept listings. If this kind of agent shows you a listing of their own or any property listed by any other agent in their firm, their loyalty is automatically and instantly divided and, by definition, they can no longer act as your exclusive agent. This is a big problem for agents in larger companies when trying to faithfully represent you or any other buyer exclusively. From this, you can see you could begin a relationship with a ‘buyer’s agent’ and wind up in dual agency relationship.

Q. What is dual agency, and why should it be avoided at all costs? Dual agency is the term invented by the real estate industry to describe the situation in which one agent represents both buyer and seller in the same transaction. You should AVOID DUAL AGENCY. The only individuals that benefit from dual agency are the agents themselves, as they receive twice the amount of commission. Neither buyer nor seller has exclusive representation, which both are entitled to and should strive to have.

Q. Yes, but why shouldn’t I represent myself, and deal directly with the seller’s (listing) agent, or even the seller? Of course this is an option, but there is no real benefit to handling a transaction in this manner. And in many cases, it can wind up costing you more. Any seller who has listed their property for sale with an agent has already agreed to pay a commission to any agent representing the buyer of that property. If you have no agent representing your interests, the entire commission is paid to the seller’s agent. And, as stated, no one is looking out for your interests, which can in the long run, be the most costly scenario for you as the buyer. As far as dealing directly with the seller, unless you are very close friends (and this could easily result in the end of the friendship) this is a situation destined for difficulties and one that might find you and the seller at opposite ends of a litigation. There are many reasons for this, chief among them, that someone needs to know the applicable rules of disclosure (vitally important to you as a buyer) as well as the many other facets of what is an intricate and complicated transaction. As the buyer (the one bringing the money to the table), you will want to be very certain that all the “I’s” are dotted and all the “T’s” crossed before handing over such a large sum of money to someone you barely know.

Q. Can a buyer’s agent show me each and every property that is for sale? As a member of the Multiple Listing Service, your buyer’s agent can and will show you any and every property that is listed with the MLS. In addition, your buyer’s agent will seek out and thoroughly investigate all properties that fit your criteria, including those in new subdivisions, even properties not appearing on the MLS (e.g., those that are for sale by owners and bank-owned properties).

Q. What does it cost for me to use an exclusive buyer’s agent? Typically, it costs you nothing out of pocket. As mentioned above, half the commission the seller pays the listing agent is allocated to the agent representing the buyer. Even with properties for sale by owner, sellers are often willing to cooperate by paying a commission to the buyer’s agent. If not, a diligent buyer’s agent can and often does save their clients more than the commissions involved, through skillful negotiations, not only with regard to the purchase price, but also when inspection items and resulting repairs need to be addressed.

Q. Why should I consider For Buyers Only Realty as my exclusive buyer’s broker? As our name indicates, we are true exclusive buyer’s agents, which means we never take listings so there can never be a conflict with your interests. As well, For Buyers Only Realty can obtain a mortgage pre-approval and originate your loan at highly competitive rates with outstanding service, which permits the entirety of this important transaction to be smoothly and seamlessly coordinated. The result is to minimize the stress on you, which can be a very valuable (even if intangible) asset to any buyer of real estate.