What is an agency agreement? In the state of Washington, we Realtors are required to disclose who we are working for when we buy or sell a property. If we do not have a Buyer's Agency agreement with a buyer, then it is implied that we are working for the seller. Why would that matter? When a Realtor signs a Buyer's Agency agreement with a client, they are pledging themselves to that buyer, saying "I work for you and your best interests." Information the buyer shares, such as financial history and resources, along with urgency for buying is then kept confidential. In addition, any information the Realtor learns about the seller or the seller's home is then freely shared with the client. Do you see how that would benefit you?
Let's say a buyer is working with a Realtor without an agency agreement. The Realtor is then working for the seller of the home and is going to do all they can to get the buyer to pay top dollar for the home. If an agency agreement is in place, that Realtor will be bound to work hard for the buyer. They will help the buyer find a home, and when they do, research the comparable homes that are for sale and also those that have recently sold to determine if the home is priced correctly. If the home is overpriced, they can advise their client how much they feel the home is really worth and negotiate a lower price.
In addition to the price consideration, there is the seller motivation. How long has the home been on the market? What is the reason the seller is moving? If the seller is very motivated to sell, a Realtor with a Buyer's Agency agreement will share that information and the reasons for the sale. Can you see where this would help in negotiations?
The Realtor with a Buyer Agency agreement is also motivated to educate their client on the local market. We watch trends in the marketplace, look at listings each day and are often finding great deals we want to pass on to our clients. We save the best deals for those clients we have a Buyer Agency agreement with. If they have committed themselves to working exclusively with us, it is our duty and pleasure to help our clients find a great value.
The Realtor working with a client who has signed an agency agreement can help that buyer save you time in looking for a home. We Realtors look at homes every day and know our service area well. When we look at homes together, we learn what features are most important to you. Then we refine the criteria on the search to eliminate homes that are not appealing to you. Can you see where that would benefit you?
The Buyer Agency agreement is really a "no brainer." There is no cost to the buyer to enlist the help of a Realtor in a Buyer Agency relationship and there are great benefits! The buyer gets a loyal Realtor whom they know is working exclusively for their best interests. The real benefit is in the time and money saved for the buyer. Who wouldn't appreciate that? Ask your Realtor about a Buyer Agency Agreement and don't hesitate to sign a contract.