an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent different than a Buyer's
In order to
explain what an Exclusive Buyer's Agent is -- and why they
are different, I need to first explain what an ABRŪ is.
ABRŪ is an acronym that stands for Accredited Buyer's Representative.
ABRŪ is a designation earned through the completion of an
extensive multifaceted classroom training program on buyer
agency practices and procedures followed by written examinations.
However, the designation is not awarded until the applicant
is able to submit evidence of practical experience as a
buyer's representative --- that means a number of transactions
successfully closed representing the buyer's side.
In order to maintain the ABRŪ designation,
a real estate licensee must maintain an active membership
with the National Association of REALTORSŪ
as well as membership with the Real Estate Buyer's
Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC membership assures
an ABRŪ of continued education aimed at assisting buyers.
You can find an ABRŪ Buyer's Rep in your area at REBAC.net
along with other Home Buyer Resources. Any licensed real
estate agent can receive the Accredited Buyer Representative
ABRŪ designation. They can, and most do, work for traditional
real estate firms that will not only offer buyer agency,
they will also represent sellers, list properties for sale
and practice Disclosed Dual Agency.
When interviewing a buyer's agent it
is important to ask two questions:
1) Do you or your firm take listings?
2) Do you practice dual agency?
If the answer to these questions is 'yes', you will NOT
be represented by an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent.
A true Exclusive Buyer's Agent (EBA)
can never list properties for sale or represent a Seller
at any time. EBA's work solely for the Buyer representing
their best interest at all times.
Only an EBA is allowed membership with
the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents
(NAEBA). EBA's are required to adhere to a strict
Code of Ethics. To find an EBA in your area, go to NAEBA.org
and the 'find an agent' section.
Exclusive Buyer Representation is a
partnership in every sense of the word. The goal of the
exclusive buyer's agent must be the same as the buyer's
goal --- find the best property at the best possible terms
and advantage. The exclusive buyer's agent will assist their
buyer client in each and every aspect of purchasing a property
from start to finish.
Beginning a Fiduciary
The first step in beginning a
relationship is for a prospective buyer to sit down with
an exclusive buyer's agent and outline in detail exactly
what their goal is. In this way, the exclusive buyer's agent
can assess whether or not the buyer's objectives are realistic
and if the exclusive buyer's agent has the ability to accomplish
those objectives successfully.
During the counseling session you will
be asked how you intend to pay for the property you wish
to purchase. Don't be offended; it is important for your
agent to have a clear picture of your finances. If you will
need a mortgage, you will be asked to go to a lender and
get Pre-Approved. If you need help locating a lender, the
exclusive buyer agent will assist you.
Any and all information that is disclosed
to an exclusive buyer's agent must always be kept in the
strictest confidence, unlike when a buyer is working with
a seller's agent where all information is fair game and
will be relayed to the seller. Not only are the buyer's
objectives discussed but also the buyer's agent compensation
and contractual policy of the firm. The responsibilities
of both the buyer and the exclusive buyer's agent are discussed
and how the entire search process works.
At the end of the meeting, a decision
can be made whether the relationship should be consummated
via an Exclusive Right To Represent Buyer Agreement. By
executing the Agreement, the agent becomes the advocate
for the buyer, and the buyer is now the firm's client to
whom the exclusive buyer's agent owes complete fiduciary
duties as outlined in the agreement. It is important to
note that the Exclusive Right To Represent Buyer Agreement
is not unlike the Exclusive Listing Agreement that a seller
signs with their listing agent. Sellers have always had
representation, and now buyers have the same opportunity.
Buyers want to know, if they hire an
Exclusive Buyer's Agent, how that agent is compensated.
Is it going to cost the buyer anything extra? The answer
is no. At the time the listing agent enters into a listing
agreement with the seller, a fee is determined. The seller
agent can offer a portion of that fee to the market to encourage
co-brokers to bring their buyers. In most cases, buyer agents
will accept the compensation offered by the seller. Therefore,
it costs you nothing extra for the client level service
you receive from an Exclusive Buyer's Agent.
However, in my opinion this is the
classic chicken and egg debate. Who brings the bag of money
to the closing table? The buyer! The correct way to look
at the question of real estate broker commissions is that
they are one of the many closing costs associated with purchasing
property. Seller and buyer agents are a condition of the
Real Estate Works Exclusively For Buyers
As an Exclusive Buyer Agency, SplitRock Real Estate has
access to and searches the complete Multiple Listing Service
(LINKMV) inventory of available Martha's Vineyard properties
on the market. We investigate Off Market properties, "Pocket
Listings", distress properties and For Sale by Owners (FSBO's)
if our client so directs.
At SplitRock Real Estate, we cover
the entire Island of Martha's Vineyard - all six towns.
We work comfortably and cooperatively with all traditional
Martha's Vineyard real estate agents and brokers. We have
absolutely no allegiance to any seller. We are never conflicted
in our fiduciary duty and serve only one master --- the
buyer. Our task is to find the property that best suits
the wants and needs of our buyer clients at the best possible
terms and advantage. It doesn't matter how long that process
takes --- 1 month, 6 months, 3 years. We will represent
you 100% until your goal is achieved.
When a property is found that best
matches our buyer client's criteria, the next step is to
research everything possible about the property that may
affect our buyer client's enjoyment of that property. We
investigate the seller's situation, town restrictions, neighborhood
idiosyncrasies, and any concerns the buyer client may have.
Research is done at the Dukes County Registry of Deeds,
the various Town Hall departments, via on-line information
databases and when possible, background and local conditions
from residents in the neighborhood are solicited to uncover
any problem areas. The data is studied and reviewed with
the buyer client in order to give a clearer picture of the
property being considered. If the information gathered proves
favorable and the buyer client wants to move forward, a
comparable sales analysis evaluation is made of similar
properties in the area. Now the buyer client can make a
reasonably informed decision on whether or not to submit
an Offer To Purchase. We counsel our buyer clients on what
they can expect during the negotiation process in terms
of price. Once the Offer To Purchase strategy is formulated
and the Offer is signed by the buyer client it is presented
to the seller.
As an Exclusive Buyer's Agent, our intent
at SplitRock Real Estate is to create the best possible
advantage for the buyer client prior to creation of the
Purchase And Sale Agreement by getting as many contingencies,
terms and conditions beneficial to the buyer agreed upon
during the Offer To Purchase phase of negotiations. In this
way, we are able to minimize any expenditure for inspections
and additional legal fees. This process deserves explanation
because Massachusetts has a two-step purchase and sale contract
process: first, an Offer To Purchase Agreement and then
a Purchase and Sale Agreement. Both are legal contracts
binding all parties; however, the Offer To Purchase is intended
to outline and memorialize the major items of importance
and is then superseded by the Purchase and Sale Agreement,
cementing all the details of the previous agreement along
with any other items that may arise that the buyer or seller
wish to solidify.
The partnership between the buyer client
and the Exclusive Buyer's Agent serves to make the buyer
client well informed and empower their Martha's Vineyard
real estate decision-making. As a result, they become comfortable
with any decision they make, even if they decide not to
buy. We recognize that this is probably the largest investment
decision any will make and we do not take our responsibility
lightly. As the #1 Exclusive Buyer Agency on Martha's Vineyard,
SplitRock Real Estate offers complete client level services.
We are your partner and ally all the way.
After the seller accepts an Offer To
Purchase we enter the next phase of the purchase process.
We recommend the professional services necessary to conduct
all the various inspections that may be necessary as well
as assisting with any other contingencies that the buyer
may face. As your exclusive buyer's agent, we will help
you to interpret the details of the inspections and counsel
you on those items that require attention. We will advocate
on your behalf to the seller those items found defective
that we feel are the responsibility of the seller to repair
or replace. Subsequently, credits or price reductions are
negotiated or we may elect to terminate the contract with
no harm to either party and all buyer funds returned.
Please feel free to ask any and all
questions during the initial consultation session with an
Exclusive Buyer's Agent. At SplitRock Real Estate, we do
not sell, we service. We are focused on being your partner
in realizing your dream of owning real estate on Martha's
Vineyard. Our exclusive goal is to make this the best real
estate experience you have ever had.