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Buyer Agency: Why Should a Buyer Choose Buyer Agency? What Should a Licensee tell a Consumer?

By: Dave Birkle

The buyer's agent represents the interests of the buyer but also must know how to work helpfully with the listing agent so that the parties are satisfied with the transaction: the seller sells and the buyer buys. If a buyer does not have a buyer agency agreement with the agent, the agent can't give advice or opinions contrary to the interests of the seller.

A buyer has buyer agency with a firm when the buyer signs a buyer agency agreement with the firm and becomes the firm's client. Most commonly, that is achieved with a WB-36 Buyer Agency Agreement, which is a state-approved form for buyer agency. Without buyer agency, an agent must provide fair treatment and draft offers as the buyer directs but cannot give a buyer advice or opinions when engaging in negotiations or writing an offer to purchase.

Here are just some of the things a buyer's agent can - and should - do for a buyer:

  • Give a negative opinion or critique of a seller's property beyond disclosing material adverse facts.

  • Recommend or suggest an offering price or give the buyer an opinion about whether a particular house is priced too high or too low.

  • Structure an offer and draft offer provisions with the buyer's best interests in mind.

  • Recommend and assist the buyer with negotiation strategies for the best price and terms.

  • Disclose all information and research a property's history and liens so the buyer can make an informed decision.

  • Give advice within the scope of the agent's expertise as a licensed real estate professional.

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