Buyers v.s. Sellers
Whose interests are being served?
The traditional real estate transaction is one in which a property owner enters into a written agreement with a company licenced to trade in real estate. Although individual sales people are often called Real Estate Agents, in actual fact the company is the 'agent'.
The listing agreement creates an legal, 'agency' relationship between the seller and the company that includes specific duties that both parties owe to the other. Within the listing agreement, the seller is the 'Principal' and the REALTOR® is the 'Agent'. The REALTOR® has specific duties that include, among others:
a) To protect the Principal's (sellers') negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the Principal's (sellers') decision (undivided loyalty), and
b) To keep the confidences of the Principal (seller).
When I began my career in real estate sales in the 1980's the interests of the seller always outweighed the interests of the buyer. The buyer's interests were almost never discussed. Although sales representative endeavoured to treat the buyer fairly and to be honest with them - the industry operated largely on a "buyer beware" basis.
The real estate industry is considerably different today!
Today, there is a growing consumer demand for buyer services based on the interests of the buyer. This includes the expectation that the buyer will be treated in a similar way, with similar duties as the REALTOR® has traditionally owed to the seller.
How it works...
Members of the The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors are able to enter into an agency agreement with a buyer that is very similar to the agency agreement that is created by the listing agreement. In part the Buyer's Agent agrees:
"To act as the Buyer’s advocate by protecting and promoting the Buyer’s best interest - the agent’s duties include: confidentiality, undivided loyalty, to obey all lawful instructions of the Buyer, to exercise reasonable care and skill, to account for all money and property, to disclose all facts, if known, any information relevant to the transaction, to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practices of the Canadian Real Estate Association and the By-Laws and MLS® Rules and Regulations of the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS®, the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission and Rules and Regulations of any other authority with jurisdiction."
As a buyers agent I am able to assist you in the purchase of any property!
It is important to understand that there are situations in which a REALTOR® may find themself involved in a particular transaction in which they owe similar duties (for example) undivided loyalty to both a buyer and a seller. One solution is, for this specific transaction, to seek the written consent of both the buyer and the seller to amend the agency agreement to allow the agent to act as their Limited Dual Agent to facilitate the purchase of that specific property.
If you would like more information on this matter or other options please contact me.
Would you be surprised if I said, "That depends...?" In most instances the Buyer's Agent Fee will be paid from the same commission offered by the seller. But this is not always the case. The Buyer Agent Agreement details the various fee possibilities. In view of the benefits of dealing through a Buyers Agent, some buyers may, in fact, prefer that the Buyer's Agent be in all respects independent of the seller's influence.