Buying Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent
Can I use an agent for a new home?
Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents.
Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed. At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.
How do I find a good real estate agent?
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview at least three agents to give yourself a choice. A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review local market data specific to your home, a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, a comprehensive marketing Plan, home preparation advice and more when you talk to a prospective agent.
What about a buyer's agent?
In many states, including Connecticut it's now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers.
How much does my real estate agent need to know?
Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation. Agents can represent the buyer exclusively, or represent the seller exclusively, or represent both the buyer and seller in a dual-agency situation. Some states require agents to disclose all possible agency relationships before they enter into a residential real estate transaction. Here is a summary of the basic types:
* In Connecticut real estate agents and brokers have a fiduciary relationship to either the seller or the buyer. Be aware that the seller pays the commission of both brokers, not just the one who lists and shows the property, but also to the buyers broker, who brings the ready, willing and able buyer to the table.
* Designated agency exists if two sales agents working for the same brokerage/broker represent the buyer and seller in a transaction. Each agent has a fiduciary duty to their respective client.
*Dual Agency exists if the agent is representing both the buyer and the seller. A potential conflict of interest is created if the listing agent
has advance knowledge of another buyer's offer. Therefore, the law states that a
dual agent shall not disclose to the buyer that the seller will accept less than
the list price, or disclose to the seller that the buyer will pay more than the
offer price, without express written permission.