Home Buyer Beware
Have you ever had a Realtor show you some properties and NOT ask you to sign a Buyer's agreement first?
If this has been your experience, you should know that the broker who lists the property for sale or lease is the owner’s agent and does not represent YOU, the buyer. The Listing Agent is required by law to place the interests of the owner first. This means that you, the buyer, should not tell the owner’s agent anything you would not want the owner to know. The Realtor whose name is on the sign is the owner’s agent. This means the Realtor has a legal obligation to disclose to the owner any material information you disclose to them to their client...the owner. Even if the agent is not the listing agent, they are by law a “sub-agent” of the seller and have the same fiduciary responsibilities to the seller as the listing agent.
So you may ask "what is a home buyer to do?" “How can I get my best interest represented?!”
The truth is Buyer's agency is less than 20 years old!
Before 1994, Buyer’s Agency did not exist in Texas. Nobody in the real estate transaction was representing and watching out for the best interests of the homebuyer. All real estate agents worked for the seller as either the listing agent or the seller’s subagent.
Without Buyer’s Agency a homebuyer does not have anyone they can truly trust. Fast forward 17 years, In Texas the broker/Realtor becomes the Buyer’s Agent by entering into a Buyer Representation Agreement to represent the buyer. With this agreement your Realtor, can assist the owner but does not represent the owner and must place the interests of YOU, the buyer, first. Now it’s the owner who should not tell a Buyer’s Agent anything they would not want the buyer to know because a Buyer’s Agent is legally obligated to disclose to the buyer any material information known to them.
If you are looking to purchase a home and your Realtor ask you to sign a Buyer's Representation agreement before showing you a home, know they are looking out for you! Remember that the seller is the one that pays the Realtor's commission whether they represent the Buyer or Seller.
Written by: Anita Spadaro REALTOR
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