The best way to make sure an agent is working for your best interest, as a buyer, is by having a buyer's representation agreement with the agent. Once an agreement is signed a buyers representative works for and owes a fiduciary responsibility to the real estate buyer and must put the buyers best interests first.
A good buyer representative will:
- Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
- Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range and locale.
- Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.
- Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase the property.
- Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
- Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.
- Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.
- Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
- Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services are needed.
- Most importantly, fully-represent the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.
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