Our office has received several calls from recent homebuyers that have discovered defects in the purchased property soon after moving into their recently purchased home. I’d like to take this opportunity to go through the advantages of working with a dedicated buyer’s agent when approaching a real estate transaction.
A Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the home buyer’s best interests in all aspects of the purchase process: the home search and property valuation counseling; purchase offer strategy and negotiation; the due diligence phase of disclosure, investigation and inspection; and any renegotiation of price and terms; and all other aspects of the transaction.
A Listing Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the property seller. The listing agent may assist the buyer, but does not represent the buyer. The listing agent must put the seller’s interests first throughout the purchase negotiation and transaction—while still complying with statutory requirements for honest and fair dealing, and material disclosure to the buyer.
Generally speaking, it is not in the best interests of buyers to use the listing agent to represent them in the purchase. If a listing agent tells you, as buyer, that he or she can get you a special deal because of a relationship with the seller, it is probable they have already violated their legal responsibilities and the Realtor Code of Ethics.
Unlike a listing agent, a buyer’s agent has a fiduciary obligation and loyalty to the home buyer alone: