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A Brief History of Buyer Agency

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, all real estate agents represented sellers, even when they were working with buyers. Problem was, nobody really knew this — a Federal Trade Commission study in the 1980s found that the majority of buyers and sellers alike believed that the agent working WITH the buyer was actually working FOR the buyer.

Obviously this was a problem, and as states began requiring real estate agents to disclose who they were representing, demand from buyers, consumer advocacy groups and relocation companies led to the establishment of buyer agency.

What this means for you: When buying a home, you are now entitled to work with a real estate agent who actually represents YOU and will provide the same counsel and advocacy as the sellers are receiving from their agents. This makes for a more level playing field and if you ask me, just makes sense for everyone involved. The best part? There is no out-of-pocket cost to you: when a seller’s agent lists a property for sale, he or she offers a percentage of the commission paid by the seller (generally half) as an incentive for buyers’ agents. [3/20/24 update: This is all in flux now, and buyer fees will likely become the responsibility of buyers.]

If you’re looking for a buyer’s agent, I’d be happy to sit down with you to discuss your needs/wants, walk you through the homebuying process and plan a search strategy to help you secure a home you’ll love. Please get in touch to schedule a meeting.


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