Buyer’s Frequent Questions (FAQs)

FAQs. Used under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved by photosteve101. Visit www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/1. What’s the difference between a buyer’s agent and an exclusive buyer’s agent?

In response to consumer demand, national real estate brokers now call some agents buyer’s agents. (And some even misappropriate the term “exclusive buyer’s agents.”) But as long as their firm takes listings and works for sellers, these buyer’s agents work against the buyer. They favor their firm’s listings. By contract, they can’t disclose defects and must negotiate for the highest sale price.

Exclusive buyer’s agents work for firms that never take listings or work for sellers. They will show any available home, and tell you when a home is a bad buy or has defects. And they will negotiate the best possible price for you. See our page on Buyer Agency for more details.

2. I don’t get it. If you negotiate a lower price, don’t you get a lower commission?

Yes. But first and foremost, we have a legal obligation to represent your best interests. And, then as exclusive buyer agents, we get most of our clients from other satisfied clients. Good will and word of mouth advertising more than make up for lower commissions.

3. How much does it cost to use a Balch Buyer’s Realty agent?

Our exclusive buyer representation costs you NOTHING. We get the same commission — paid by the seller — as any real estate agent.

4. How much deposit do you ask for?

Balch Buyer’s Realty agents NEVER ask for a retainer. When the sale closes, we take the commission offered by the listing (selling) broker as payment in full.

5. What is Dual Agency?

In its most direct form, dual agency means that the same real estate agent is working for both the seller and the buyer. It is still permitted in New York and Connecticut, but only with the consent of both parties.

Dual Agency creates a conflict of interest that is unfair to sellers and buyers alike! An agent representing both sides in a sale can’t be loyal and obedient to both sides, and can’t give full disclosure to either. It may be legal, but it’s not advisable! See what the New York State Office of General Counsel says about Dual Agency.

6. Will Balch Buyer’s Realty show me homes For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?

That’s up to you. We’re prepared to show you any real estate property that’s available on MLS, FSBO, in quiet listings, or in foreclosure. In most cases, the seller pays our commission. If you agree to pay it when the seller won’t, we can show you any property that meets your needs.

7. Why do I need a buyer’s agent, when I can search for homes on the web myself?

Balch Buyer’s Realty has access to complete up-to-the-minute information from MLS and other sources. Popular 3rd-party real estate websites don’t get all the available listings. And they include a high percentage of homes that are off the market. We encourage buyers to start their search on the web. But there’s no substitute for experienced Realtors®. Balch Buyer’s agents don’t need a GPS to get around or Zagat to tell them where to eat. They know the neighborhoods, the schools, shopping and transportation. And they won’t get you excited about a home that’s off the market!

8. Can Balch Buyer’s Realty help me sell my home?

Many of our clients, i.e. buyers, come back and ask us to help them sell their home. We can help you buy another home, but we never, ever take listings. Representing you as a seller would create a conflict with our current clients, who are buyers. We’ll be happy to refer you to a competent seller’s agent. See Unbiased, Independent and Yours for more about our philosophy as an exclusive buyer’s agency.

9. Can you refer me to a home inspector?

Balch Buyer’s Realty suggests you make any offer to buy contingent on a home inspection by a qualified inspector. See For Your Protection: Home Inspection for our thoughts and a list of home inspectors.

10. Can you refer me to a mortgage broker/advisor?

Just ask. Balch Buyer’s Realty can refer you to all the professionals you’ll need to buy your new home in confidence. It includes attorneys, bankers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors and pest inspectors. Title agents, escrow agents, insurance agents and others, too. These are independent local businesses whom we and past clients recommend.