Buyer Broker Agreements in Georgia

Listing agents and new home agents are LEGALLY BOUND to represent only the sellers. Buyer agents are paid by SELLERS, not buyers so there is no reason not to be represented

Do you need an agent to buy a home? Of course not. Does having agent representation cost you? In almost every case; no. The dumbest, most ineffective listing agent has an advantage over an unrepresented buyer; the complexity and chaos of the home purchasing process has never been greater. There are more traps and hurdles in buying  a home than ever before, that’s reality of the process.

What is “buyer agency”?

Buyer agency is the highest level of representation afforded to a buyer by a real estate professional. When a buyer broker agreement is signed, a client relationship is formed and the real estate professional is required to represent and look out for the client’s interests at all times – as long as those interests are not illegal.

Why is this of value to buyers?

The seller or builder of a property is represented by the “listing agent.” In negotiating price and terms, the seller has an advocate to represent their interests, but, unless the purchaser has an executed buyer agency agreement with an agent, their interests are NOT represented. In fact, if you work with an agent “without a buyer agency agreement”, the agent is prohibited from giving you any professional advice or guidance – to do so would be practicing illegal undisclosed dual agency.

What is required to receive this level of representation?

A written and signed “buyer agency” agreement is required by Georgia law.

What will a real estate professional do as a buyer’s agent?

Clients are afforded a much higher level of service and protection than when working with an agent without a buyer agency agreement. The buyer’s agent will analyze information such as comparative market data, advise during negotiations and wording of the purchase agreement, and, in general, act as the client’s advocate in the purchase process.

If “buyer agency” is declined who represents the buyer’s interests?

Without “buyer agency” there is not a representative looking out for the buyer’s best interests. The listing agent is required by law to represent the interests of the seller – including in new construction purchases. Buyers subjecting themselves to the extra work and risks typically pay the same price for homes as if they had used a buyer’s agent – probably more. How? Sellers and builders don’t lower the price of a home just because a buyer walks in without a buyer’s agent – some buyers are not aware of this fact. Unrepresented buyers are a listing agents dream, they make the entire commission.

How much does this service and representation cost me?

In virtually all residential real estate transactions, the seller pays all commissions and the buyer receives the full benefit of professional representation. The buyer’s exposure to paying your Buyer Brokers fee is basically limited to a very small segment of the market, For Sale by Owner (FSBO) homes. Even in this tiny market segment, on average well over 50% of these FSBO sellers advertise to pay a Buyer Agent fee.

What are my responsibilities as a buyer in this agreement?

In this agreement, buyers agree to handle all real estate concerns through the agent. Buyers agree neither to seek real estate information nor to view or purchase any property without the buyer’s agent.

Who decides if I am represented or not?

As the buyer, you alone may make that decision.

Why would someone not want buyer’s agent representation?

There isn’t a good reason why a buyer would refuse representation, especially since it’s free. Buyers without buyer’s agents may simply have not been informed that they have a right to be represented.

I found the house I want to buy – do I still need a Buyer’s Agent?

Finding a house is only one part of the process. An experienced competent buyer’s agent will ensure that your concerns are met at every level. Not using a Buyer’s Agent is like being given the funds to hire an attorney, but instead choosing to go to court alone to fend for yourself.

Take a few minutes and review both documents below. Buying a home is a major event with major financial ramifications – positive as well as negative. Take the time to understand the process and the importance of working with experienced professionals. When things go wrong with real estate, they tend to go wrong in big ways.

Hank Miller Team                     Hank Miller Team

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