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 real estate agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, 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 a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent.

What about a buyer's agent?
With the new rules released June 15, 2017, it's now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own agent, referred to as buyers brokers.

How do you find a good agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an great way to find a good agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood.
A good agent typically works full-time and has experience selling homes. If you are a buyer, you don't usually pay for your agent's services (in the form of a commission or percentage of the sales price of the home). All agents in a transaction usually are paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. If you are a seller, you should interview at least three agents, all of whom should make a sales presentation including a comparative market analysis of local home prices in your area. The best choice isn't always the agent with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent's marketing plan and how well you think you can work with the individual - personality can be just as important.

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 working for buyers have two choices: They can represent the buyer exclusively called Client Relationship, or they can represent the Seller exclusively and only assist the buyer to write the contract which is called Customer Relationship, formerly known as "Double-ended" or "Dual Agency". It is required of agents to disclose all possible agency relationships before they enter into a residential real estate transaction or discuss anyone of the public's needs, wants or financials. Here is a summary of the two types of Agencies:

* In a traditional relationship, real estate agents and brokers have a fiduciary relationship to their clients whether they are Seller or Buyer. The seller pays the commission of both brokers, not just the one who lists, but also to the outside broker, who brings the ready, willing and able buyer to the table.
A buyer can also separately hire and pay out of their own pocket his or her own agent if there is a purchase with no commissions payable that they're interested in. Either way, you can trust your agent that you have a client relationship with including financial information and motivation knowing it will not be transmitted to the other broker and ultimately to the seller - compromising your negotiating position.

* Dual agency exists if one agent working for the seller represents the buyer as well in a single transaction. A potential conflict of interest is created if the listing agent has advance knowledge of another buyer's offer. Therefore, as of June 15 2017 the government stepped in and eliminated "Dual Agency". However, the sellers agent still can assist the buyer with the purchase but be aware, what is said between you and the agent, the agent has an obligation and fiduciary duty to tell the seller and no loyalty to the buyer! 


Aliese Mackenzie
Aliese Mackenzie
Associate