SO you have decided to buy a home.Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. Depending on the laws in your province and the business arrangement you have with a licensed real estate agent, that agent may actually be negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. The best way to be certain that an agent is working in your best interests is by signing a buyer representation agreement with an agent.
What is a Buyer Representative?
A real estate buyer's representative represents the buyer who is purchasing a property in a real estate transaction. Research by the National Association of REALTORS has shown that when a buyer's representative is used, the prospective buyer found a home one week faster and examined three more properties than consumers who did not use a buyer's representative.
The buyer's representative works for, and owes fiduciary responsibilities to, the real estate buyer and has the buyer's best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate process. A buyer's 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 ensure 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.
The Buyer Representation Agreement
It is important for the buyer to discuss the buyer's representative's compensation in the initial interview. In many cases, it is recommended that the buyer and the buyer's representative agree to the terms of compensation prior to viewing properties, and sign a written agreement based on those terms. The agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the real estate process.
In some provinces, legislation has been enacted to protect the buyer to the point that, absent a written agreement, the buyer's representative represents the buyer throughout the real estate transaction. Consult your REALTOR for complete details when you begin the purchase process.
Why you should use an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR)
Why should you look for the ABR designation before looking for a home? These three letters after a REALTOR's name tell you that you will be working with buyer representative who is committed to your best interests. The ABR Designation is awarded by REBAC to those REALTORS who have met the specific educational and experiential criteria needed to provide the high-level quality service required by REBAC (Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council).
About the Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council (REBAC)
The Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council, REBAC, was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer representation skills and services. An affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS since 1996, REBAC's membership now numbers well over 40,000 and is the world’s largest organization of real estate professionals concentrating on buyer representation. Members who meet all course and professional experiential requirements are awarded the ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) designation. It is one the only designations of its type recognized by NAR.
The ABR designation is geared towards agents who wish to enhance their buyer representation skills and provides proof to prospective buyer-clients of their proficiency at servicing the special needs of buyers?