We urge you to consider and to discuss with us the advantages to you of hiring us as your Buyer's Brokers for any purchase of real estate in Madison County, including the towns of Marshall, Mars Hill and Hot Springs. Because only a fraction of the real estate is offered for sale at any given time, the chances are that it will take us some time to find what you want--that's why you need someone here to look after your interests. This service costs you nothing but you must agree in writing to work exclusively with us as your Buyer's Brokers.
When buying real estate, you may have several
choices as to how you want a real estate firm and its
agents to work with you. For example, you may want
them to represent only you (as a buyer’s agent). You
may be willing for them to represent both you and the
seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you may
agree to let them represent only the seller (seller’s agent
or subagent). Some agents will offer you a choice of
these services. Others may not.
Duties to Buyer: If the real estate firm and its
agents represent you, they must
Once you have agreed (either orally or
in writing) for the firm and its agents to be your buyer’s
agent, they may not give any confidential information
about you to sellers or their agents without your
permission so long as they represent you. But until
you make this agreement with your buyer’s agent,
you should avoid telling the agent anything you
would not want a seller to know.
- promote your best
- be loyal to you
- follow your lawful
- provide you with all material facts that
could influence your decisions
- use reasonable skill,
care and diligence, and
- account for all monies they
handle for you.
Unwritten Agreements: To make sure that you and
the real estate firm have a clear understanding of what
your relationship will be and what the firm will do for
you, you may want to have a written agreement.
However, some firms may be willing to represent and
assist you for a time as a buyer’s agent without a written
agreement. But if you decide to make an offer to
purchase a particular property, the agent must obtain a
written agency agreement. If you do not sign it, the agent can no
longer represent and assist you and is no longer
required to keep information about you confidential.
Furthermore, if you later purchase the property through
an agent with another firm, the agent who first showed you
the property may seek compensation from the other firm.
Be sure to read and understand any agency
agreement before you sign it.
Services and Compensation: Whether you have
a written or unwritten agreement, a buyer’s agent
will perform a number of services for you. These
may include helping you
If you have a written agency agreement, the agent can also help
you prepare and submit a written offer to the seller.
- find a suitable property
- arrange financing
- learn more about the property and
- otherwise promote your best interests.
A buyer’s agent can be compensated in different
ways. For example, you can pay the agent out of your
own pocket. Or the agent may seek compensation from
the seller or listing agent first, but require you to pay if
the listing agent refuses. Whatever the case, be sure your
compensation arrangement with your buyer’s agent is
spelled out in a buyer agency agreement before you make
an offer to purchase property and that you carefully read
and understand the compensation provision.
You may permit an agent or firm to represent you
and the seller at the same time. This “dual agency
relationship” is most likely to happen if you become
interested in a property listed with your buyer’s agent or
the agent’s firm. If this occurs and you have not already
agreed to a dual agency relationship in your (written or
oral) buyer agency agreement, your buyer’s agent will
ask you to sign a separate agreement or document permitting
him or her to act as agent for both you and the seller. It may
be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of
both the buyer and seller. Nevertheless, a dual agent must
treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the
dual agent owes them the same duties, buyers and sellers
can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential
information about them to the other party.
Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called
“designated agency” where one agent in the firm
represents the seller and another agent represents the
buyer. This option (when available) may allow each
“designated agent” to more fully represent each party.
If you choose the “dual agency” option, remember
that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided between
parties with competing interests, it is especially
important that you have a clear understanding of
This can best be accomplished by putting the agreement
in writing at the earliest possible time.
- what your relationship is with the dual agent and
- what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.
Seller’s Agent Working With a Buyer
If the real estate agent or firm that you contact does
not offer buyer agency or you do not want them to act as
your buyer agent, you can still work with the firm and its
agents. However, they will be acting as the seller’s
agent (or “subagent”). The agent can still help you find
and purchase property and provide many of the same
services as a buyer’s agent. The agent must be fair with
you and provide you with any “material facts” (such as a
leaky roof) about properties.
But remember, the agent represents the seller—not
you— and therefore must try to obtain for the seller the
best possible price and terms for the seller’s property.
Furthermore, a seller’s agent is required to give the seller
any information about you (even personal, financial or
confidential information) that would help the seller in the
sale of his or her property. Agents must tell you in
writing if they are sellers’ agents before you say
anything that can help the seller. But until you are sure
that an agent is not a seller’s agent, you should avoid
saying anything you do not want a seller to know.
Sellers’ agents are compensated by the sellers.
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission
P.O. Box 17100
Raleigh, North Carolina 27619-7100
Web Site: www.ncrec.state.nc.us
REC 3.45 5/1/01
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