Buying a Home in Salt Lake City, UT

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Something to be Aware of when Talking to Real Estate Agents

Not all real estate agents are equal.

According to the law, a seller's real estate agent must work in the best interest of their client, the seller. This includes giving the seller any information the agent gathers about a buyer's finances, their motivation, or anything else that could benefit the seller in negotiations. With this in mind, you should find it very uncomfortable to answer almost any question posed by a sellers agent. What seem to be harmless questions from an agent at an open house or over a phone conversation can significatly hurt your bargaining power and cost you money.

Unfortunately, many listing agents tell buyers that they can work with them as their "buyer's agent" and "help" them buy the house. Often, without proper disclosure, the buyer will then be asked to sign an agreement limiting the level of representation they will receive. The agreement may state that the agent will be representing the seller only and will continue to look out for the seller's best interests throughout the transaction. It could also say that the agent will attempt to represent both the buyer and the seller. (Huh? It doesn't make sense to us either, but this arrangement is legal in many states.) In either situation, there is really no agent looking out for the buyer and their best interest.

Exclusive Buyer Agents (EBAs) work only for buyers. If you contract with one for representation they become legally responsible to look out for your best interest. EBAs work for companies that don't list homes and don't represent sellers. A Buyer-Agency Agreement with an EBA is your agreement with the brokerage that makes them contractually obligated to get YOU the best price and terms in your real estate purchase.

Hiring an Exclusive Buyers Agent assures you that the agent you are working with will work on your behalf ONLY and will protect your best interests, and not those of any seller. If there are no EBAs in your area, there are often agents who will commit to working just for you in your transaction, allowing you to use a different agent to represent you in your transaction if you show interest in one of their company's listings.

  • Do you have excellent credit?
  • Do you plan to purchase a $300,000-$800,000 home within 60 days?
  • Do you have a good down payment, or are you paying cash for your next home?
  • Do you want an agent on YOUR side throughout your transaction?
  • Do you simply have questions about how things work?

Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Exclusive Buyer Agents

Don't work with just any agent. Get YOUR OWN agent!

Call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us today via the link on this page for a free consultation.

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Salt Lake City, UT - Exclusive Buyer Agents (EBA)

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For more information, or for relocation information on finding the best buyer's agents nationwide, visit GetYourOwnAgent.com

Comment balloon 19 commentsBenjamin Clark • September 16 2013 02:45PM

Comments

Don't understand why an agent would limit themselves to represent just buyers???

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) about 5 years ago

I work with both buyers and sellers but have never sold to an unrepresented buyer. My suggestion is they always seek out their own agent.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Loose lips sink ships....buyers need to be aware that what they say to the listing agent can and will be used against them....most find this out too late.

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) about 5 years ago

I'll answer Ronald's question above. Agents make more money working with both buyers and sellers. Why limit yourself?

Because it is really liberating to have a single focus. Like Ben, I am an exclusive buyer's agent. It frees me from doing a lot of advertising and marketing of properties. It frees me to do a lot of counseling and strategy to get buyers the best price and terms. By doing it in an office where everyone is a buyer's agent, I get to pick the brain of anyone in my office, since no one is about to list something my client wants to buy. There is no loose lips issues to hurt my office relationships.What happens when my clients trade-up or downsize? I get to refer the listing to a good agent in my area. (I know who the good listing agents are and who the bad ones are.) I get to make some extra money that way.

I like it. But, it is not for everybody.

 

 

Posted by Rona Fischman, Exclusive buyer's agent.No designated agents here! (4 Buyers Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Have not represented a seller in over 16 years, all buyers all the time.  If I were to go back to representing sellers, I would give up buyers.  Never been capable of discussing the acceptance or logistics of dual agency with a straight face.

Why choose just one side of the transaction?  Why do some doctors only do Heart Surgery?  Or orthapaedics? Or Arthritis?  They build a business with a specialty.  Exclusive Buyer Agents (EBAs) are specialists.  Lots of great Realtors out there, but if you are buying a home, and one is available in your area, you owe it to yourself to at least interview the Broker that probably has the most experience in exclusively representing buyers so that you know what your true options are. 

Posted by mike crowley about 5 years ago

Well said Ben!  

To add on to what Rona said, I find it a lot easier to have a single focus and not have to split myself up.  Everyone says it's good to have a niche.....and for EBAs that is our niche.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) about 5 years ago

Like Ben and Rona our office only represents buyers.

In any type of service there are companies that specialize. 

Specialization allows a higher level of service and unique services focused on the prospective consumer.

I can't imagine a Ford owner taking their car to the same mechanic that works on their Land Rover.

I also can't imagine someone going to a knee surgeon for help with their soar throat.

But like Rona said, it is not for everybody.

Posted by Jon Boyd, Ann Arbor Real Estate Buyers Agent (Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor) about 5 years ago

While I watch other agents juggle fiduciary duties, or no fiduciary duties and dance around not really being sure what to say or who to defend,  my real estate life is simple...No double talk, no conflict of interest and no bull...

Exclusive representing only homebuyers in Orlando,

Eve

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 5 years ago

In California, we call them double agents. They represent the seller and the buyer. I personally believe there are too many liabilities involved when an agent represents both parties. I like simple and prefer to work with either the seller or buyer, but not both.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) about 5 years ago
Good post. Here in Florida, we can be a transaction broker, and represent both parties, HOWEVER, it's a very dicey situation, and not for new agents, in my opinion. I practice as a single agent, with one party's sole interests as my main focus.
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 5 years ago

Good information for buyers, Benjamin. Buyers should have their own representation. Some try to get a better 'deal' though by using the listing agent to write up their offer, may be not realizing that they aren't represented.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates ) about 5 years ago

Lots of good hard working agents, brokers, REALTORS out there to help get the real estate listing bought and sold professionally.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

Ronald - The reason I chose to represent buyers only is because I saw how one-sided the industry is in favor of sellers. Fortunately, there are plenty of educated buyers who understand the importance of having an agent on their side and not one interested in helping sell particular properties, or one interested in looking out only for thier own (the agent's) best interest.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Karen - So true. There is rarely ever an innocent conversation when you are talking to an agent with obligations to report wha they hear to their client.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Good points from everyone else. I'll reiterate a few:

There are definitely rewards involved in helping buyers get the best price and terms on a home they plan to live in. It is so fulfilling and rewarding TRULY working for them.

I also believe that specialists provide a higher level of service than generalists, or do-it-all agents. Our education is more focused, our skills are honed faster, we just become so much more intimately involved with what we are doing at a level that agents who do-it-all are unlikely to achieve. As pointed out by others, specialization in and of itself provides a number of advantages and rewards, not only to the buyer-client, but to the agent as well.

It is great to only wear one hat. To not have to think about who we are representing at any given time. It is always the buyer. Always. We have no loyalty to getting any transaction closed. Our loyalty is to the buyer.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Andrew - Again, different than most "hard working agents..." we don't exist to "get the real estate listing bought and sold." We exist to get the BUYER the best outcome. Whatever is best for them. Thank you for your comment.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Jill - Too many buyers realize too late that they aren't really being represented. That's why we keep hoping to get the word out that they should get their own agent! It should be common sense, but since most agents have obligations to sell specific properties, there aren't too many people telling the buyers they should have their own representation. They find out the hard way or don't find out until it is too late!

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Benjamin, the insights you share about how agents are not all the same and the legal obligations of both buyers and sellers' agents will prove very useful for many clients on AR. Thanks for sharing with the community.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) about 5 years ago

This is a state by state issue, and I am in one of 'those' states where this is exactly true. In many ways, it defeats my personal ethics of 'fair dealing'. In order to avoid that quandry, I refuse to act as a seller sub-agent in any regard. It's simply not worth it to me.

Terrific topic!

Posted by Jennifer Monroe, Real Estate REALTORĀ®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte (Savvy + Company Real Estate) about 5 years ago

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