representing the seller , not buyer . If the agent can’t explain agency concepts to you, then move to the next agent. Be sure that the agent will be showing you all listings or properties on the market that meet your requirements, not only listings that are handled in-house. Buyer’s agents have the legal duty to put buyer’s needs ahead of their own. Even when an agent will be paid more for selling an in-house listing, they must inform you about other available, suitable listings and take you to see those you believe are viable prospects. A good buyer’s agent will provide a home-buying education. The listing agent will point out all the features of a home; a good buyer’s agent will point to the faults — or advise when they can be overlooked. Competent buyer’s agents help their buyers to think clearly as the home- buying process unfolds. For example, if a house is a good buy, a buyer’s agent might suggest looking past the dated bathroom and kitchen and look at the space above the garage that will make the perfect studio you desire. Likewise, a cute house with all the amenities, but with knob- and-tube wiring or a 40-year-old roof might not be worth the asking price. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Home Guide, if you decide to buy with the intention of building an addition, the agent should advise you to check the zoning before making an offer. Agree to sign a buyer’s agency agreement after you have met with an agent. Some people sign an agency agreement after attending a showing given by the agent. Working with a seller’s agent is a mistake, according to an article by Amy Fontinelle of Forbes’ Investopedia . Any information you reveal will become leverage that the seller can use in a purchase negotiation. A buyer’s agent is legally required to maintain your confidentiality, disclose material facts to you, and maintain loyalty to you. These are fiduciary duties. LOOK FOR PROPER CREDENTIALS You wouldn’t trust a doctor who doesn’t have the proper credentials and licensing. Don’t trust a real estate agent who doesn’t present theirs or doesn’t have them at all. It’s easy to find real estate agents who can take the job, but finding agents with special credentials, those who have gone that extra step to take additional classes in certain specialties of real estate sales, is worth looking into.
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