Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent/Licensee

Can I use an agent/licensee for a new home?
Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents/licensees who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents/licensees.
Builders commonly require that an outside agent/licensee be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed.  At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent/licensee may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents/licensees if you are using one.

How do I find a real estate agent/licensee?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent/licensee. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent/licensee again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents/licensees who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview at least three agents/lisensees to give yourself a choice. A good agent/licensee typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent/licensee.

What about a buyer's agent/licensee?
In many states, it's now common for an agent/licensee to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own agent/licensee, referred to as buyers brokers.

How do you find a good agent/licensee?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent/licensee, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent/licensee again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents/licensee who have worked in your neighborhood.
A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience at minimum. If you are a buyer, you don't usually pay for your agent's/licensee's services (in the form of a commission, or percentage of the sales price of the home). All agents/licensees in a transaction usually are paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. It's legal for an agent/licensee to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. You also can hire and pay for your own agent/licensee, known as buyer's brokers, whose legal obligation is exclusively to you. If you are a seller, you should interview at least three agents/licensees, all of whom should make a sales presentation including a comparative market analysis of local home prices in your area. The best choice isn't always the agent/licensee with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent's/licensee's marketing plan and how well you think you can work with the individual.

How much does my real estate agent/licensee need to know?
Real estate agents/licensees would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent/licensee may depend upon their legal obligation. Agents/licensees working for buyers have three possible choices: They can represent the buyer exclusively, can represent the seller or can be a neutral licensee which occurs  when a licensee does not represent either party but provides specific assistance agency. Alaska state require agents to disclose all possible agency relationships before they enter into a residential real estate transaction. 


Where can I get information on buyer agents?
For information on buyer agents, contact the your area's Realtor association or National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents: 320 West Sabal Palm Place, Suite 150, Longwood, FL 32779. Phone: 407-767-7700407-767-7700, Toll-Free: 800-986-2322800-986-2322 FREE, FAX: 407-834-4747, WEBSITE: www.naeba.org.

Shari Boyd
Shari Boyd
Associate Broker, CRS, ABR,GRI, CMRS
3801 Centerpoint Drive - Suite 200 Anchorage AK 99503