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If your goal is to fill a housing development, don’t call yourself a buyer’s agent

Posted by Rona Fischman June 4, 2008 05:19 PM

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Real estate agents are required to show consumers the agency disclosure before discussing a specific property with a prospective client. Have you seen it?

.... the real estate agent represents the buyer. The agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability, provided, however, that the agent must disclose known material defects in the real estate. The agent must put the buyer's interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the buyer.

Read about what happens when so-called “buyer’s agents” are in the pocket of builders. It led to “buyer’s agents” making it seem easy for a renter to turn homeowner. “Buyer’s agents” offered one-stop shopping for a loan; so easy. This led to buyers with a 17% default rate.

How are bonuses in the buyer’s interests? They are not! When an agent is benefiting from selling one specific property over another, there is a conflict of interest. When the agent does not disclose his/her relationship to the seller, it is that much worse. When that person calls themselves a buyer’s agent, he/she is just wrong.

The former President of NAEBA, Jon Boyd, put it this way:
"[Buyer agency is] supposed to be like your mother helping you out on a real estate transaction," said Jon Boyd, president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. "The idea that your mother would take a kickback in your transaction, well, that's not appropriate."

It sullies what I do when someone calls themselves a “buyer’s agent,” but acts in their own interests, or those of a seller. They are not like buyer’s agents who belong to MABA in Massachusetts. We specifically promise to avoid conflicts of interest that can arise from one-stop shopping and from bonuses. Did your “buyer agent” make that promise to you? Please choose your agent carefully, or buy on your own. Bad advice is worse than no advice.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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