Why Hire A Buyers Representative To Help Purchase A Home?

Updated on October 20, 2011

By Regis O’Donnell

As a healthcare professional, buying a home in today’s market operating under today’s laws can be a daunting task for even the most sophisticated buyers.  Hiring an exclusive Buyer’s Agent can keep you on the straight and narrow and further ensure that you have a dedicated advocate in your corner to assist with all of the intricacies and pitfalls involved in buying a home under what can best be described as challenging conditions.

Pennsylvania Real Estate law provides for several different business relationships between Real Estate salespeople and consumers and further requires that consumers be formally noticed of these options before beginning substantive real estate activities or discussions.  All of these relationships have a purpose and, of course all are legal.

Quoting directly from the required Pennsylvania Consumer Notice…

”Any licensee who provides you with the real estate services owes you the following duties:

  • Exercise reasonable professional skill and care which meets the practice standards required by the Act.
  • Deal honestly and in good faith.
  • Present, in a reasonably practical period of time, all offers, counteroffers, notices, and communications to and from the parties in writing. The duty to present written offers and counteroffers may be waived if the waiver is in writing.
  • Comply with Real Estate Seller Disclosure Act.
  • Account for escrow and deposit funds.
  • Disclose all conflicts of interest in a reasonably practicable period of time.
  • Provide assistance with document preparation and advise the consumer regarding compliance with laws pertaining to real estate transactions.
  • Advise the consumer to seek expert advice on matters about the transaction that are beyond the licensee’s expertise.
  • Keep the consumer informed about the transaction and the tasks to be completed.
  • Disclose financial interest in a service, such as financial, title transfer and preparation services, insurance, construction, repair or inspection, at the time service is recommended or the first time the licensee learns that the service will be used. “

While any of the available relationships can represent either side or both sides of a given transaction under certain conditions the Buyer’s Agent is the only way to require fiduciary responsibility directly to the buyer.  Here is the definition of duty of Buyer Agency, again from the Pennsylvania Consumer Notice…

“Buyer Agency: 

Buyer agency is a relationship where the licensee, upon entering into a written agreement, works only for the buyer/tenant.
Buyer’s agents owe the additional duties of:

  • Loyalty to the buyer/tenant by acting in the buyer’s/tenant’s best interest.
  • Confidentiality, except that a licensee is required to disclose known material defects about the property.
  • Making a continuous and good faith effort to find a property for the buyer/tenant,
  • Disclosure to other parties in the transaction that the licensee has been engaged as a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent may be paid fees, which may include a percentage of the purchase price, and, even if paid by the seller/landlord, will represent the interests of the buyer/tenant. If you enter into a written agreement, the licensees in the real estate company owe you the additional duties identified above under buyer agency. The exception is designated agency. See the designated agency section in this notice for more information. “

The decision is obviously yours.  Typically, costs are pretty much the same regardless of the relationship you choose.  That being said, the cost of dedicated advocacy is the same as not having it!  So, rather than asking why…possibly the question should be, why not!

As a dynamic marketing executive with over 20 years experience in residential and commercial real estate investment sales and marketing, Regis O’Donnell is an Exclusive Buyers Agent with Keller Williams. 

To contact Regis:

Keller Williams Real Estate Professionals
190 Gallery Dr
McMurray, PA 15317
Office 724-941-9400 x281
Mobile 724-413-0731

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