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Free buyers Representation, How, Why
Most buyers are aware that representation by a Real Estate agent is free, so the question is how is it free, and why should a buyer seek representation.  To answer the first question, buyer representation is free because virtually all sellers are offering a commission to an agent who brings a buyer.  Even in the case of a for sale by owner, the seller is usually open to paying a commission to a buyers agent.  To answer the second question "why" , well the answer to that is what do you have to lose.  It doesn't cost you anything, and you are not under any obligations, and the agent only gets paid if you buy a home.

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One thing to be aware of with a buyers agent is that the agent is not always paid the same for selling every house.  Commissions are usually paid as a percentage of the sales price, but the percentage can vary, or the commission might be a flat fee.  Ethically an agent is bound to find the best house for their buyer, but I think it is logical to assume that there are agents who are swayed by the amount of the commission.  I don't see any reason not to ask the agent what they stand to get paid, this way you can quickly judge if the agent might be swayed by commission.  I have found that it is a big enough job just finding a house for my buyers, and if I don't find them a house, then I don't get paid.  So I can't worry about the exact amount of the commissions, I just trust that it all averages out in the long run.

When I said you are not under any obligation to your buyers agent, well there is an exception to that statement.  You can sign a contract with a buyers agent.  As I see it there are several advantages to having a contract with your buyers agent.  The biggest thing is does is reduce the doubts that an agent has about the likelihood of getting paid and encourage the agent to put in the time required to find the perfect property. The contract creates a relationship with your agent, requiring that you as  a buyer use that agent in the purchase of your property (it can be cancelled).  The contract may also establish that a commission will be paid, which will encourage the agent to seek out options that they might have ignored because little or no commission was being offered.  I think it is important to make sure that a buyers contract can be cancelled at any time, this way if an agent is not performing, then you can move on and find another agent.


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