November 1st, 2010 10:47 PM by Wendy Thomas
One Sunday afternoon, you pass by a listing and like the way it looks. You call the agent whose name is on the sign to see if you can take a look at the house. That agent should ask you a few questions, two of which should be:
1. Have you been pre-approved with a lender?
2. Are you working with any other agents?
If you answer the second one this way: "No, I just saw your name and called. I don't want to work with an agent, though, I'm just calling agents on houses that I like"-- then you are asking to be treated as a CUSTOMER.
In a real estate transaction, you can be a client or a customer. A client is a buyer who has signed a buyer's agency with the agent that they are working with. A buyer's agency specifies that the buyer is only working with that agent, no others, and also specifies how special circumstances, such as dual agency and designated agency, will be addressed. It also addresses how the agent will be paid.
A customer is someone who does not want representation. When an agent has a customer who is purchasing a house, the agent actually represents the seller's best interest. The agent can only provide the buyer with just the material facts; the buyer is not promised the benefit of the Realtor's professional advice in this situation-- only the facts!
As a buyer client, some of your Realtor's duties will include:
Keep you informed about new listings on the market; tell you all that the Realtor knows about the seller; keep your information confidential; protect and guide you; negotiate on your behalf; and pay full attention to YOUR needs.
In some instances, staying a customer may seem beneficial to you. However, I think the best way to go is to be a fully informed buyer when making such a large purchase. And the only way to do that, is to hire an agent to work on your behalf!