With housing inventory still lagging, sellers continue to have the upper hand.
What is a buyer broker?
Brokers are legally responsible for the actions of their agents, are licensed by the state to collect fees and to oversee negotiations for a purchase. In the case of the buyer broker, he or she represents the homebuyer in a real estate transaction. He or she earns a commission for assisting the buyer to find a property and represents the person in negotiations.
It’s important to know the difference between a broker and real estate agent.
Real estate agents help people buy and sell property. Some agents will represent the buyer as well as the seller in a deal. They are known as dual agents.
In the agent-broker relationship, it is the agent who works for the broker. The latter is legally responsible for his or her agents. Brokers are licensed to collect fees. Then, they pay the agents working under them in a home transaction.
Once a potential buyer has a written agreement with a broker, that person becomes the buyer broker who advocates exclusively in the buyer’s best interest.
These people or firms also are referred to as exclusive buyer agents (EBAs), which is a real estate firm or an agent or broker who works for such a company. EBA firms never take listings and, therefore, never represent the seller in a real estate transaction. By doing so, they eliminate the potential conflict of interest when one firm represents both buyer and seller.
To be sure, buyer brokers focus on finding the best property for the buyer’s needs and preferences. They work to ensure that the sale terms are advantageous to the buyer rather than the seller.
Lastly, they also work with other real estate professionals, such as home inspectors, mortgage brokers and movers, to overcome obstacles and take any corrective action, if necessary.
Buyer broker example
Phil and Janet hire Walter as their buyer broker. He assigns a real estate agent to show the couple some properties that fit the description of what they are looking for.
Once they agree on a home to buy, Walter negotiates the transaction with the aim of getting them the best terms as possible on the selling price, the date they can move in and other elements in the contract.