Why Every Colorado Home Buyer Should Use a Buyer’s Agent
There are three relationships available to you when working with a real estate broker in Colorado.
Customer – A “customer” is a buyer in a transaction with whom the broker has no relationship because the buyer has not engaged the broker as either a Transaction Broker or a Buyer’s Agent. This is most commonly the relationship a buyer has with a listing broker where the listing broker is only representing the interests of the seller.
Transaction Broker – A Transaction Broker assists the buyer or seller (or both) throughout a real estate transaction with communication, advice, negotiation, contracting and closing without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties. A Transaction Broker does not owe the parties the fiduciary duties of an agent. However, a Transaction Broker does owe the parties a number of statutory obligations and responsibilities, including honesty and using reasonable skill and care in the performance of any oral or written agreement. A Transaction Broker must also make the same disclosures as agents about adverse material facts concerning a property or a buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of a transaction and whether the buyer intends to occupy the property, if pertinent to loan approval. No written agreement is required, although one is available.
Buyer’s Agent – A Buyer’s Agent acts solely on behalf of you and has fiduciary duties to you which include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality and full disclosure. However, in dealing with a seller, a Buyer’s Agent must act honestly and fairly and must disclose to potential sellers your financial ability to perform the terms of a transaction and whether you intend to occupy a property you are buying. If you wish to be represented by a Buyer’s Agent, you should enter into a written Buyer Agency contract with your agent.
Q. How can a Buyer’s Agent help me?
A. As your representative, a Buyer’s Agent can share valuable information (if they know it) like:
-Whether the seller would accept a lower price
-The seller’s reason and timetable for selling
-How to set your offering price and structure terms of your offer
-How to negotiate the ultimate price and other terms of your contract to buy
Q. Who Needs a Buyer’s Agent?
A. If you’re a first-time buyer, if you’re relocating or are otherwise unfamiliar with the local real estate market or you want negotiating help, you’ll be best served by a Buyer’s Agent who puts your interests first. If you want to get the best value in a property, you owe it to yourself to be the most knowledgeable buyer you can be.
Q. Can a Seller’s Agent Help Me Buy?
A. Sure, but the Seller’s Agent is working for the seller and is the seller’s legal representative. Yes, a Seller’s Agent can offer buyers some services, including an explanation of available financing, calculation of monthly payment, estimation of settlement costs, and presentation of your offer to buy. What a Seller’s Agent cannot do is disclose information not in the best interest of the seller such as a personal opinion of the home’s real value or what price and terms the seller would accept. By law, the Seller’s Agent must negotiate on behalf of the seller and may not withhold from the seller information that could strengthen their bargaining position. That means you, as a buyer, should be careful not to disclose to the Seller’s Agent any personal information that could be passed along to the seller.
Q. What Will a Buyer’s Agent Cost Me?
A. Usually not a penny. The seller pays your fee through the commission their agent shares with your agent. Perhaps the better question is, “What will it cost me if I don’t use a Buyer’s Agent?” Purchasing a home without representation may be a financial mistake. A Buyer’s Agent can guide you each step of the way to prevent costly errors. And failing to negotiate a contract that works best for you can cost you plenty. With a Buyer’s Agent, you can ask for and receive advice and assistance in selecting the best property and determining an offering price.
Q. What Is a Transaction Broker?
A. If your Buyer’s Agent locates a home you wish to buy that they also have listed, they must revert to a Transaction Broker in order to assure that you and the seller are treated fairly and equally. A Transaction Broker facilitates the transaction by being an active middleman between you and the seller. Your broker is still required to provide complete disclosure, due diligence and the care and accountability that they would always provide. But your broker may not disclose personal information (like how much you would be willing to pay or how low the seller would be willing to sell) to the other parties if they revert to a Transaction Broker.
The Bottom Line – If you want a broker to fully represent your best interests, if you want help evaluating a property, if you want someone to help you negotiate the best price and the best terms, if you want to purchase a home in what’s becoming the most popular way to buy, you’ll want to enlist the aid of a Buyer’s Agent.
Still not sure? Contact Tupper’s Team and we will walk you through all of it.