Is Your Real Estate Agent A Spy

Is Your Real Estate Agent A Spy

Is Your Real Estate Agent a​ Spy?
The real estate agent, unless specifically contracted as​ a​ buyer's agent, is​ working for​ the​ seller .​
Buyers usually know this, but they don't think it​ matters, as​ long as​ the​ agent is​ helpful .​
While true to​ an​ extent, buyers don't realize that an​ agent has a​ real legal responsibility to, and​ loyalty to​ the​ best interests of​ the​ seller .​
It is​ referred to​ as​ a​ fiduciary responsibility, but what does this mean?
A Real Estate Agent is​ a​ Spy
Let's suppose you make an​ offer on a​ home, and​ mention that if​ the​ seller says no, you'll probably offer $5,000 more .​
The sales agent now has an​ obligation to​ tell the​ seller what you said .​
That's an​ expensive comment, isn't it? An agent may spend all his time with you, showing you houses and​ helping you write offers, but his allegiance is​ legally with the​ seller, unless he is​ hired by you.
An agent, even if​ she is​ a​ seller's agent, can be a​ great help when you are buying, but remember that she is​ a​ sales-person, and​ you're not the​ boss .​
Be careful what you say, and​ be careful with anything she says .​
You may want to​ work with a​ buyer's agent .​
In that case the​ agent can work for​ YOUR best interests, but even here remember that she will usually get paid only when you buy something, so her objectivity is​ suspect.
Some real estate agents work under dual-agency rules, meaning they're supposed to​ work for​ both the​ buyer's and​ seller's interests .​
Of course, they only get paid when a​ property is​ sold, so they may be more helpful to​ the​ sellers .​
In any case, how can someone really be on both sides of​ a​ negotiation? It is​ probable they'll work harder for​ whoever they like more .​
Do you want a​ popularity contest that can cost you thousands of​ dollars?
Things Real Estate Agents Won't Tell You
An agent will often let you assume things, to​ get the​ sale closed .​
They'll tell you that the​ seller and​ buyer always split the​ closing fee, for​ example, or​ let you assume it .​
They'll say they can't change the​ commission after it​ has been set .​
They'll say you have to​ write a​ big check for​ a​ good faith deposit when you make an​ offer.
I've seen realtors take $4,000 off a​ commission to​ get a​ sale closed at​ a​ lower price .​
I've seen the​ buyer or​ the​ seller pay the​ entire closing fee .​
Buyers sometimes put less than $1000 down as​ a​ deposit with an​ offer, and​ sometimes nothing - agreeing to​ deposit something when the​ offer is​ accepted .​
Little is​ set in​ stone when it​ comes to​ real estate.
Don't think real estate agents are all experts .​
My first time making an​ offer on a​ house, the​ agent didn't understand when I​ told him that I​ wanted to​ get a​ 90% first mortgage and​ have the​ seller carry a​ second for​ 5%, so I​ could get in​ with only 5% down .​
Many years into his career, he still had only dealt with conventional deals.
What do you look for​ in​ an​ agent when you are a​ buyer? Agents will often be knowledgeable about a​ certain type of​ real estate, or​ a​ certain neighborhood, but know little else .​
Just like other professionals, they specialize, so when you want to​ find a​ particular type of​ property, look through listings online until you find a​ real estate agent that already has several of​ that type listed.

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