Avoid CO$TLY Mistakes
When Buying a Home
We were at a loss to explain why more homebuyers weren't taking advantage of our exclusive "Buyer Only" services. What we realized was that traditional listing real estate agents mislead homebuyers into believing that they can do what only we can do. So our "20 Questions" became our answer. If you will read, study and understand each of these questions and then ask prospective agents for their answers...The Truth Will Appear! The most important thing you can do when buying a home is to choose the right real estate agent before you start looking. We believe that our unique, "Exclusive Buyer Only" services will help you to avoid costly mistakes. So, ask these questions of other agents you are considering, review our answers, compare and decide. We are ready to help you find your new home.
Give BUYERS ONLY REALTY a call at (843) 251-2512,
(Out of State-Toll Free 1-888-329-3101.)
HERE IS A LIST OF QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL AGENTS
1) Do you, or the Company you are with, take listings?
No! BUYERS ONLY REALTY never takes listings and never represents sellers. We are Myrtle Beach’s Only REALTORS® that represents Buyers Only. We provide 100% Loyalty to Homebuyers - 100% of the time! 100% focus on your needs.
2) Will you try to sell me one of your listed properties before you show me listings from other Real Estate Companies?
We have no listings to sell and therefore we will show you everything that is available right from the beginning. We do not steer you to any particular properties and we will help you buy the home you want. Agents that take listings are required by law to attempt to sell their listings first and their company listings next before showing other properties.
3) Do you have information about FSBO (For Sale By Owner) properties available?
Yes! We try to keep information on these properties available for the use of our Buyer Clients. FSBO's like to work with us as we are not seeking a listing and our fee is lower than the fees that traditional agents usually charge.
4) Do you represent Buyers as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent?
Yes! This is all that we do.
5) What percentage of your business involves being a Buyer’s Agent vs. being a Seller’s Agent?
6) What training have you taken that specifically relates to being a Buyer’s Agent and representing buyers?
We have completed numerous courses and seminars on home construction, contract law, negotiating, financing, taxation, appraising and training dealing specifically with the practice of representing buyers.
7) Do you have any specific Buyer’s Agent professional designations?
CEBA -Certified Exclusive Buyers Agent - Sponsored by NAEBA.
CBA - Certified Buyer’s Agent - Sponsored by the Buyer Broker Institute.
ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative - Sponsored by NAR.
8) Do you belong to any Special Buyer Agent Organizations?
SCAEBA - South Carolina Assoc. of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents.
REBAC - Real Estate Buyer Agency Council.
All of our agents are active members of all of these organizations, and we always vow to uphold the their Standards of Practice.
9) Are you also members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)?
Yes. Although this organization is not exclusive of Buyer Agents, we maintain membership in this national organization for purposes of assuring you that we intend to always uphold the code of ethics of all REALTORS® nationwide.
10) Do you know the six fiduciary, client level duties you would owe to me if I choose to hire you as my Buyer’s Agent?
- Confidentiality - Prohibits the agent from disclosing confidential information obtained from you such as: the price you are willing to pay, the amount of mortgage you are actually qualified for, how much cash you have to work with or the level of your motivation to buy a particular home.
- Accountability - Requires the agent to properly handle all money received, e.g. escrow deposits.
- Reasonable Skill and Care - Requires the agent to protect you from foreseeable risks and to recommend that you obtain expert advice when your needs are outside the scope of the agent’s expertise.
- Undivided Loyalty - Prohibits the agent from advancing any interests that are adverse to your own.
- Obedience to Lawful Instructions - Requires the agent to act subject to your continuous control and for the agent to obtain and follow all lawful instructions from you.
- Full Disclosure - Requires the agent to disclose all information concerning your home purchase, which might affect your best interest. Things such as the seller’s motivation for selling, the price the seller paid for the home, deferred maintenance or defects in the home, price comparables for similar homes, listing - Requires the agent to disclose all information concerning your home purchase, which might affect your best interest. Things such as the seller’s motivation for selling, the price the seller paid for the home, deferred maintenance or defects in the home, price comparables for similar homes, listing history of the home, potential problems in the neighborhood, etc.
At BUYERS ONLY REALTY, we do know and adhere to these duties always!! we do know and adhere to these duties always!! We owe a "CAR LOaD" of duties to our Buyer Clients: Confidentiality, Accountability, Reasonable skill and care, Loyalty, Obedience to lawful instruction and Disclosure!
11) Who will you represent if I am interested in one of your "in-house" listings?
We don’t take listings and therefore can fully represent you on any property you might be interested in, whether listed or unlisted. Other agents have to either refer you to another agent with another company or operate as a "dual agent". Often times this is done without your knowledge, although this is illegal. We don’t take listings and therefore can fully represent you on any property you might be interested in, whether listed or unlisted. Other agents have to either refer you to another agent with another company or operate as a "dual agent". Often times this is done without your knowledge, although this is illegal.
12) Will you want me to allow you to be a "dual agent"?
We never operate as dual agents. Most traditional brokers will, however. They want both sides of the deal...the "double-dip" so to speak. Dual Agency makes more money for the traditional broker and many of the larger companies rely on Dual Agency as a routine business practice.
13) Do you know which fiduciary, client level duties I give up if I use a dual agent?
You give up the right to the duties of Undivided Loyalty and Full Disclosure! As mentioned above, these are two very important duties.
14) Dual Agency is legal in South Carolina with "informed" consent. What does "informed" consent mean and what are the negative aspects of my using a dual agent?
"Informed consent" means that the agent has the legal duty to "fully inform" you of all the negative aspects of Dual Agency. The common practice among traditional agents however, is to "disclose" and not "fully inform"! The dual agent no longer owes you the duties of Undivided Loyalty and Full Disclosure. These are pretty important duties. The dual agent can’t be an advocate for you, can’t negotiate for you, can’t suggest an offering price, and can’t point out potential defects or problems. The dual agent can't provide you with information about the seller such as motivation for selling, price they paid or how long or how many times the property has been on the market. Yet, the dual agent still wants to be paid the same amount of money that they would get if they fully represented you!
15) Do you really think it is in "my" best interests to use a dual agent?
It is NOT in your best interest to use a dual agent! Attorneys know better and rarely represent both of two opposing parties. Buyers and Sellers have conflicting needs and deserve true, full and independent representation at all times. Dual Agents still expect to get paid the same amount of money as if they were fully representing you. If you allow an agent to be a dual agent, then don’t let them get paid a full fee. Tell them you expect a lower fee due to their reduced services and representation.
16) Do you use a written buyer agency contract? (Ask for a copy)
We always use a written buyer agency contract. Please call or e-mail us, and we will mail one to you (either via e-mail, regular mail, or fax--you choose) for your review. This is an employment agreement, much like a listing agreement between a seller and a seller’s agent. It puts in writing what is expected of the Buyer and the Buyer’s Agent, what services are being provided and the cost of those services. Agents who don’t use a written buyer agency contract are very casual about Buyer Agency and probably don’t have the professional experience, skills or knowledge to properly represent you as evidenced by the fact they don’t put their services and costs in writing. In South Carolina, it is now law (As of January 1, 1998) that an agent representing a buyer MUST use a written buyer agency agreement.
We always use a written buyer agency contract. Please call or e-mail us, and we will mail one to you (either via e-mail, regular mail, or fax--you choose) for your review. This is an employment agreement, much like a listing agreement between a seller and a seller’s agent. It puts in writing what is expected of the Buyer and the Buyer’s Agent, what services are being provided and the cost of those services. Agents who don’t use a written buyer agency contract are very casual about Buyer Agency and probably don’t have the professional experience, skills or knowledge to properly represent you as evidenced by the fact they don’t put their services and costs in writing. In South Carolina, it is now law (As of January 1, 1998) that an agent representing a buyer MUST use a written buyer agency agreement. 17) If I don’t like the job you are doing for me, or if I don’t want you to be a dual agent, will you let me cancel my agreement? You may cancel our agreement at any time with a written notice to us, but remember, we Never act as dual agents. This is just not in your best interest!
18) Are you paid a percentage of the purchase price? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? The higher the price I pay the more you will make. And, does the seller or the seller's agent pay you? If the seller or the seller’s agent is paying you, aren’t you going to look out for their best interest?
We are paid a fee that is usually the same as the cooperating fee that is being offered by the seller's agent, and we guarantee in writing that our services won't cost you any more than using an ordinary agent. (Ask for a copy of our guarantee.) We don’t however accept our fee from the seller or the seller’s agent. We have the seller give you credit at closing for the amount of the cooperating fee that is offered and then your attorney pays us our fee.
19) Will you shop for a mortgage for me or do you have any special sources of financing where I can save on a mortgage and get better rates or pay lower fees than what is usually available?
Yes! We are very aware of mortgage programs, interest rates and closing costs. As such we use the services of a mortgage broker that will look out for your best interests and make mortgages available to you with lower rates and lower closing costs than generally other banks and mortgage brokers have to offer. We will usually have you pre-qualified for a mortgage before we start to look for homes and provide you with a good faith estimate of your cash requirements for down payment and closing costs. This ensures that there will be fewer problems with respect to your mortgage qualifying after contracting for a home.
20) Specifically, how will you protect my interests and why should I hire you rather than another agent?
WE ARE SPECIALISTS: We represent BUYERS ONLY. If you had a specific medical problem, you would seek out the services of a specialist rather than working with a general practitioner. So it is with our "Homebuyer Only" services. We represent Homebuyers Only! We never take listings! We never represent sellers! However, we are REALTORS® and members of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and thus have access to all other agents' listings, as well as FSBO (For Sale By Owner) properties, and New Home Construction. We will show you the entire market of homes available right from the very beginning. No other Myrtle Beach Realtor® can or will do that!
WE NEVER PRACTICE DUAL AGENCY: Most other agents in the Myrtle Beach Area practice "Dual Agency". Dual Agency is really a form of bait and switch. You become sold on the idea of Buyer Representation and then you are switched to Dual Agency for in-house listings. Remember that you are paying the commissions of both agents because these are included in the price you are offering. Traditionally the seller writes the commission checks, but the buyer brought the money to closing to give to the seller that lets the seller write these checks. You should get full client level, full fiduciary services at all times for your money. You will be "short-changed" in a dual agency situation as well as possibly pay too much and overlook defects or problems. Also, the larger the company the agent is with, the greater the chance that you will want one of their listings and find yourself in a dual agency situation. Because we don’t take listings or represent sellers, we are NEVER dual agents. You will get 100% loyalty from us, 100% of the time. We are the only REALTOR® in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand Area that can say that!
WE ARE PROFESSIONAL BUYER’S AGENTS:
Recently many traditional listing agents have begun calling themselves "Buyer’s Agents". Although this practice is misleading to the consumer, it is legal. No special training or licensing is required to call oneself a "Buyer’s Agent". So, seeing that more and more Buyers like the concept of being represented and therefore look for a Buyer’s Agent, the traditional listing agent says "no problem...I can do that." However, there are big differences between what they "supposedly" do and what we "actually" do. many traditional listing agents have begun calling themselves "Buyer’s Agents". Although this practice is misleading to the consumer, it is legal. No special training or licensing is required to call oneself a "Buyer’s Agent". So, seeing that more and more Buyers like the concept of being represented and therefore look for a Buyer’s Agent, the traditional listing agent says "no problem...I can do that." However, there are big differences between what they "supposedly" do and what we "actually" do.
Ordinary agents have very little if any specialized training, knowledge or experience to be a Buyer’s Agent. They are considered to be "casual" Buyer’s Agents. Traditional agents are trained to represent sellers, to market houses and to "SELL" buyers. Professionally representing Buyers requires a different mindset. If a defensive football player tried to switch and play offense in the middle of a game he would probably not do very well. It requires a different set of skills, knowledge, experience and mindset. It doesn’t work in football and it doesn’t work in real estate either. You need the services of a true "professional" Buyer’s Agent.
We are Myrtle Beach’s best-trained and most experienced Buyer’s Agents. We have, and will continue to, seek out and complete numerous courses and designation programs specifically directed at representing buyers. We only represent buyers and therefore have more experience than other agents in looking out for the best interest of our buyer clients. We never have to switch back and forth between working for buyers and working for sellers. We know who we work for.....We Work For You! Training, Skills, Experience, Specialized Knowledge and Buyer Only Focus.....It all adds up to a better deal for you. We look forward to working "for" you, not just with you. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service to you. If we can answer any other questions or provide additional information, please feel free to e-mail us, or give us a call.
TOLL FREE: (888) 329-3101
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