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FAQs about Exclusive Buyer Agents

  1. What is a buyer agent/buyer broker?
  2. Why do I need a buyer agent?
  3. Why is it important to look for an Exclusive Buyer Agent?
  4. What are the differences between an Exclusive Buyer Agent and a Traditional Real Estate Agent?
  5. Wouldn’t any agent who shows me homes always be representing me by law?
  6. What about “home buyer agents,” “home buyer brokers,” or “home buyer representatives”? Are they loyal to the home buyer?
  7. Can the seller's agent represent me?
  8. What kind of information is vulnerable if I am not working with an Exclusive Buyer Agent?
  9. How much does it cost for Exclusive Buyer Agency services?
  10. Why would an Exclusive Buyer Agent work for a better price for the home-buyer if their commission is from the seller?
  11. If I decide to purchase a for sale by owner (FSBO) home, will an Exclusive Buyer Agent still represent me?
  12. Will there be a charge for the real estate services if I decide to purchase a home from a for sale by owner (FSBO)?
  13. Will my Exclusive Buyer Agent help me negotiate the sales price?
  14. Can an Exclusive Buyer Agent help me sell my home?
  15. Do you have a web site disclaimer?
  16. Is there anything else I should read on this web site?

If you have other questions please feel free to contact an exclusive buyer agent.

1. What is a buyer agent / buyer broker?
A buyer agent or buyer broker (sometimes referred to as buyer agency or buyer’s agents) represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. Buyer agency is defined as follows: A principal agent relationship in which the broker is the agent for a buyer, with fiduciary responsibilities to the buyer. What does that mean? It means that a buyer agent is tied to the buyer, and that all of that agent's loyalties are to the buyer.

The seller's agent, or the listing agent, represents the seller, not the buyer, and his or her loyalties are to the seller. They must tell the seller anything you tell them, even if it hurts your negotiating position.

Although the benefits of a buyer agent are obvious, remarkably many individuals do not know they can have their own real estate agent look out for their best interests.

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2. Why do I need a buyer agent?
Simply put, there isn't any reason not to have a buyer agent represent you and many important reasons to hire a buyer agent.

A buyer agent represents the buyer, never the seller, and looks out for your best interest. Buyer's agents have a duty to get the best possible deal for the buyer.

A buyer agent earns the same seller-authorized commission split that is offered across the board to any agent who brings a buyer, so the buyer agent generally will not collect any fees from you, the buyer.

A buyer agent will pass along any information about the seller or his or her property to help the buyer make a smart decision and get the best deal possible.

A buyer agent should have no interest in any particular piece of property; therefore your agent will provide you with objective advice with no exceptions. A buyer agent will spot potential problems with a home or any material defects. The seller's agent will not.

For years now consumer advocates have encouraged homebuyers to use a buyer agent / buyer broker. Read what they've been saying.

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3. Why is it important to look for an Exclusive Buyer Agent?
In the National Association of Realtors® publication, “Agency – Choices, Challenges, and Opportunities,” an Exclusive Buyer Agency is defined as “the practice of representing only buyers and never sellers in a transaction. The company never lists a seller’s property and thus never has a seller as a client. Agents never accept subagency that is offered by a seller’s agent.”

An Exclusive Buyer Agent (EBA) has no risk of being a double agent or facing a conflict of interest. By only representing buyers, an EBA is 100 percent loyal to the buyer, acting completely in their interest.

An EBA also earns the same seller-authorized commission split that is offered to any agent who provides a buyer, so the EBA would be getting paid by the seller, but working exclusively for you, the buyer.

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4. What are the differences between Exclusive Buyer Agents and a Traditional Real Estate Agent?
The important question to ask when dealing with any real estate agent is: Who are they representing?

An Exclusive Buyer Agent represents the buyer exclusively, and so will aim to get the best deal for the home buyer. An Exclusive Buyer Agent generally splits commission with the seller’s agent.

A Traditional Real Estate Agent represents the seller and is legally obligated to disclose any personal information about a potential buyer that may affect the sale price – income, for example. The seller pays commission, which is build into the price of the home.

There are also Dual Agents, who work for a listing agency (which works for the seller) but are assigned as a broker to the buyer. These agents will often push the buyer towards homes on their own seller’s lists, thereby restricting the inventory of homes a buyer may have the opportunity to explore.

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5.Wouldn’t any agent who shows me homes always be representing me by law?
Not without a written Agency Agreement. An agent who lists properties is likely to have a signed contract to represent the sellers, and is often allowed by that contract to use a “sub-agent” to help make a sale. So, unless you have a written Agency Agreement with a real estate agent who has pledged to represent only your best interest, you may be working with an agent whose loyalty, and possibly obligation, is to the seller.

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6. What about “home buyer agents,” “home buyer brokers,” or “home buyer representatives”? Are they loyal to the home buyer?
Not necessarily. It is possible for an agent whose title implies that they are working for the home-buyer to be representing both the buyer and the seller. The only way to be sure that your agent is representing your interests alone is if they are an Exclusive Buyer Agent, “exclusive” being the key word.

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7. Can the seller's agent represent me?
Although possibly helpful in other areas of the real estate process, a seller's agent cannot be your advocate or counsel you about a property's value or negotiation strategy because he or she works for the seller. In addition, if you work with a seller's agent he or she must disclose to the seller anything he or she knows about you or your circumstances that could give the seller a competitive advantage or affect their decision making.

The only way to insure absolute loyalty is to work with your own Exclusive Buyer Agent. Exclusive Buyer Agents represent ONLY home buyers and individuals buying commercial real estate. We do not ever list homes for sale.

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8. What kind of information is vulnerable if I am not working with an Exclusive Buyer Agent?
Unless you are working with an Exclusive Buyer Agent, there is a risk that your agent might reveal certain critical information to the seller. Non-exclusive agents may be bound by their employer, written contract, or law to disclose:

  • If you would be willing to increase your price
  • Your deadline for buying a home
  • The amount of mortgage for which you qualify
  • Why you like/dislike a certain house
  • and many other pieces of information that would be confidential if you were working with an EBA.

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    9. How much does it cost for Exclusive Buyer Agency services?
    Since Exclusive Buyer Agents take their fee from the sales commission paid by the seller, you receive professional advice without spending a penny more than you would if you handled the transaction on your own. Technically, however, one could argue that the cost the seller has to pay his or her agent is reflected in the sales price of the home for sale. But studies suggest that professional buyer’s agents help home buyers save both time and money, according to the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents.

    “If you ever doubted the value of real estate agents who work solely for home buyers (as opposed to traditional agents who report to sellers), consider this: A recent study by U. S. Sprint found that 232 relocating Sprint employees who hired buyer’s brokers paid an average of 91% of a home’s list price. People who use traditional agents typically pay about 96%.” Money Magazine Read Full Article

    Just make sure your Exclusive Buyer Agent is up front with you about your financial responsibilities. Not all Exclusive Buyer Agents are cost-free.

    It is also possible that you could receive other services from your EBA in addition to their traditional responsibilities. For example, Buyers Brokers Only, LLC, this website’s host organization, was founded by two lawyers and offers legal services to their clients in addition to their buyer’s broker responsibilities. For more information, follow this link to our home page.

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    10. Why would an Exclusive Buyer Agent work for a better price for the home-buyer if their commission is from the seller?
    The way the commission works, a $5,000 or $10,000 difference in price would result in a minimal change in what the agent would receive. It is much more valuable for the Exclusive Buyer Agent to satisfy the home-buyer and reap the benefits of good will and word of mouth advertising than make a few extra bucks, not to mention the legal obligation to represent the home-buyer’s best interest.

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    11. If I decide to purchase a for sale by owner (FSBO) home, will an Exclusive Buyer Agent still represent me?
    Yes. Most Exclusive Buyer Agents will assist you in purchasing a home that is for sale by owner, but it may depend on the Agency through which you have hired your EBA. Make sure to check with your agent before you begin if you want to include for sale by owner homes in your real estate search.

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    12. Will there be a charge for the real estate services if I decide to purchase a home from a for sale by owner (FSBO)?
    It depends. In many cases individuals selling their homes without a broker will offer a commission to buyer agents / buyer brokers for bringing a buyer to them, and so may not be much different than the commission split between the seller’s agent and the buyer agent in a normal real estate transaction. The buyer agent’s fee, in the case of a for sale by owner home purchase will be dependent on both the seller and your Exclusive Buyer Agency, so it is important in these situations to keep an open financial dialogue with your agent.

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    13. Will my Exclusive Buyer Agent help me negotiate the sales price?
    Absolutely. Besides having access to a great deal of information on home prices and sales, an EBA can research comparable home sales when you find a home you're interested in making an offer for. Because we work as your Exclusive Buyer Agent, we only represent your best interest.

    It is a good idea to design a strategy for negotiation with sellers and their agents before you make an offer to purchase. It's important to know your spending limits and avoid being swept away by pressure from agents or competition with other buyers.

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    14. Can an Exclusive Buyer Agent help me sell my home?
    No. Exclusive Buyer Agents only represents buyers of residential and commercial real estate; however, if you are selling your home and plan to buy another home, we can represent you regarding the purchase of your new home. You do not have to use the agent selling your home as your buyer agent. Even if you already have an agent listing your home for sale, we can still provide buyer agent services for your search for a new home.

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    15. Do you have a web site disclaimer?
    Yes. We encourage you to read our terms of use.

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    16. Is there anything else I should read on this website?
    Yes. We strongly suggest you visit our "links" section for more information or to get connected to Exclusive Buyer Agents in your area. We also encourage you to refer to our Buyers Brokers Only, LLC home page for more information about our company and our Exclusive Buyer Agents.

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    Exclusive buyer agents make every effort to get the lowest possible price for their buyers."

    - The San Francisco Examiner

      • Find My Dream House Now. Search MLS
      • I am ready to find an Exclusive Buyer Agent

      • For a comprehensive real estate glossary, visit the National
      Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents web site.



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