Oakland County Michigan Real Estate - Buyer Agency- Re/Max Encore Clarkston

Descriptions of Agency: The Buyer Agency Agreement
From the National Association of Realtors Website


There are agents, and then there are agents. Yes, it sounds confusing. That’s because the term “agent” is often used in a casual manner, referring to any real estate practitioner.

But agent also refers to someone with whom you’ve established a formal agency relationship—someone who represents your best interests in a real estate transaction and owes you fiduciary responsibilities. Agency relationships are usually established in writing with buyer agency agreements, and require:

  • loyalty
  • obedience
  • disclosure
  • confidentiality
  • reasonable care and diligence
  • accounting

The birth of buyer agency

For many years, real estate was practiced in such a manner that agency relationships were only extended to sellers. Any real estate agent who brought a buyer to the table was actually working as a sub-agent to the seller.

This all began changing in the 1980s, when buyer agency started gaining momentum in residential transactions. Today, agency laws still vary from state to state. But even if you live in a state that recognizes buyer agency, you can’t assume that you will automatically receive fiduciary responsibilities from the agent you’re working with as a potential home buyer.

That’s why it’s vitally important to talk to the agent or broker early in your working relationship about his/her agency status. You may also want to consult your state association of REALTORS® to gain a better understanding about agency laws in your particular state, or contact the agency charged with regulating real estate professionals in your state, often referred to as the state real estate commission.

Details vary from one state to another, and each brokerage has its own contract terms within these broader guidelines. But for purposes of illustration, this table outlines how your status may affect the level of service to which you are entitled:

Are you a buyer-customer or a buyer-client?
Services will vary, depending on your agency status*
If you are a CUSTOMER (no agency relationship), an agent will: If you are a CLIENT (agency relationship), your agent will:
Maintain loyalty to the seller’s need Pay full attention to your needs
Tell the seller all that they know about you Tell you all that they know about the seller
Keep information about the seller confidential Keep information about you confidential
Focus on the seller-client’s property Focus on choices that satisfy your needs
Provide just the material facts Provide material facts as well as professional advice
Only provide price information that supports the seller’s listing price Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and their professional insights
Protect the seller Protect and guide you
Negotiate on behalf of the seller Negotiate on your behalf
Attempt to solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction Attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction

* This chart is for general illustration purposes only. Agency laws vary by state; and specific terms of individual agency contracts will vary from one agent to another.

You may not know if you’re a customer or a client.

Depending on the laws in your state, you may find yourself working with someone who is actually negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. The best way to be certain your interests are being considered and protected is to sign a buyer agency agreement with a trained buyer’s rep, which clearly establishes client-level services and spells out what services you can depend upon.

What about dual agency?

In some cases, it will become necessary for your real estate professional to deviate from the single agency model. For example, a buyer-client may become interested in a house that also happens to be offered for sale by a seller-client of their buyer’s rep, or by the same brokerage firm. How can a buyer’s rep, in this instance, maintain complete loyalty to their buyer if he or she also owes complete loyalty to the seller?

Obviously, they can’t. But, depending on the real estate license laws in your state, and your status with the brokerage firm, the manner in which this situation is handled will vary. To get concrete answers, you should read and discuss the brokerage services disclosure statement, which should reflect your state’s agency law. If your agent hasn’t supplied a disclosure statement, you should ask for it. It spells out the different categories of agency services they provide and how they address dual agency.

Almost all states require disclosure of dual agency and often require that a buyer’s rep (or his or her brokerage firm) only act as a dual agent with the written consent of all parties to the transaction. In such a situation, the brokerage agrees to endeavor to be impartial between both parties and will not represent the interest of either party to the exclusion or detriment of the other party. Neither will they share the confidential information of one party with the other party. This is how brokerage firms and their agents strive to create win-win situations for everyone involved. There are a few states that prohibit dual agency even with disclosure and consent.

Other types of relationships

Some states also allow different types of relationships beyond agency relationships. For example, a transaction broker assumes responsibility to facilitate the transaction, rather than represent one side over the other. Further obligations may also be set forth in a written contract with a client.

Even though the laws concerning agency can vary from one state to another, one thing that is constant throughout the U.S. is the obligation for all REALTORS® to comply with the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics.


Oakland County Michigan Real Estate, Clarkston MI Homes For Sale

Why you should choose us to be your buyer’s agent

In today’s real estate market, choosing the right agent is more important than ever. With the rapid changes in available mortgage programs, the large influx of foreclosed homes, short sales, houses assessed for more than they’re selling for and a plethora of other factors, make choosing an experienced, knowledgeable, full time agent even more important than in the past.

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a home (or investment property) the first two things you need to do is contact a loan officer (I have the contact information for a couple of great Lenders if you don't have one already) and contact a full time, experienced Real Estate agent. People that are working exclusively for you, the Buyer.

When you work with multiple agents, none of them will work as hard for you as they would if they know they have your loyalty. Multiple agents will send you the same listings (or they should if they’re using the same search criteria) so there’s really no advantage to working with more than one agent. How much work (and time) can you expect a person to invest in your search when there’s a good chance another agent will show the property to you?

There’s more to finding a house for a client than plugging the search criteria in the MLS and emailing it to the buyer/client. The first time we show you houses we get a good idea of what you really like and dislike. If you want automatic MLS updates, we will be happy to do that for you, but we will also go through the updates as well and cull out unsuitable listings and only send you houses that suit your needs. After we get a good idea of what you do and don’t like in a house we use our knowledge of the area and experience to help you find the home that best suites your needs as well as considering the investment aspect of the purchase.

We look out for your best interest, educate you about the process, and will work harder for you than any other agents.

  • Upon our first conversation we will question you thoroughly so we can start your first search. There’s a good chance that search will change after you have been shown few houses, but we need to get as much information from you as possible to make that search a thorough one.
  • We will discuss agency with you which has been required in this area since 1994
  • The first time we show you houses we will show you a variety of homes in a variety of areas (such as different subdivisions or different lakes if you’re a lakefront buyer) but that still meet your basic criteria
  • After the first trip out to look at houses we will go back to  the computer and alter your search criteria. We then look at EVERY listing that comes up, the additional photos the listing agent supplies, if the house is in Oakland County we look at aerial views, then pick out the houses I feel will best fit your needs
  • Once you’ve found the house you want we will pull comps (comparable sales) and together we will put together an offer. Then the negotiations start.
  • Once we’ve come to terms with the seller we schedule the home inspection (I can recommend a very good home inspector if you don’t already have one).
  • After the home inspection we will order the title work and get the pertinent information to your loan officer who will order an appraisal and convert your “pre-approval” into a mortgage commitment, then we proceed to closing (this typically takes approximately a month from the time our offer is accepted to close).

Below are just a few things that set Kari Tail Butz  and Jennifer Gajeski apart from other agents as well as some myths or common misconceptions about purchasing real estate, and the facts. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions. 

Kari@Mi-Agent.com     ~   248-459-9789

Jen@Mi-Agent.com     ~   248-212-2454

  • We are experienced, full time Realtors who are knowledgeable about the  market area, experienced in negotiation and very committed to providing you the best service possible.
  • With out of the area buyers or transferees we will preview houses for you and take photos and/or video to send to you before you make that trip to Michigan. This will help you weed out some of the homes you wouldn’t be interested in
  • We advise you on the investment portion of your purchase. We point out potential repairs. We are not  Builders or Home Inspectors, but have seen literally thousands of homes and will probably see problems that many home buyers may overlook.  We discuss re-saleability, WE WILL GIVE YOU OUR OPINION – it’s not the goal to just hustle you into the first house you express interest in.
  • When we look at houses, we give you the full listing of each house along with the listing history, the public records sheet (which may show what the seller paid and how much the mortgage is)....information is power.
  • Most importantly we listen to your wants and needs and look out for YOUR interests 100%  

Myth: The new taxes will be based on half the new sales price.

Fact: There are 2 assessments on your tax bill: your taxable value and the state equalized value (SEV). Upon transfer of ownership the SEV becomes the new taxable. That may be higher than half the sales price.

Myth: Sellers are coming down 10% or more from asking price.

Fact: In most areas, sellers are coming down about 2-5% on average. It’s your agent’s job to help you determine what is a fair price to pay. Some sellers are coming down more than the average stated above, but some houses are selling for more than asking price.

Myth: Short sale means it will close fast.

Fact: Short sale is when the seller owes more on the house than he will be able to sell it for so he is asking the bank to take a reduction on the payoff requiring a 3rd party approval of the purchase agreement. Sometimes this can be accomplished in a matter of a couple of weeks, but often times it can take anywhere from 60-180 days to hear an answer on your offer.

Myth: Foreclosures are the best deals.

Fact: Sometimes they are a decent deal. Some are beat up and some are pristine. But the foreclosures have had a big influence on setting prices that have forced regular home sellers to lower their prices in order to compete with the foreclosures.


Understanding Agency and Agency Relationships

By Jackie Hawley

When we form an agency relationship with a client we owe certain fiduciary duties to that client: Loyalty, Obedience, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Reasonable care and diligence, and Accounting.  Since 1994 we owe these duties to our buyer clients as well as our seller clients. In MI we now have Seller’s agents (aka the listing agent), Buyer’s agents, Disclosed dual agents, Designated agents, and Non-agents (transaction broker or facilitator).

The first two are pretty self explanatory. Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to their buyers; seller’s agents have that same duty to their sellers. Designated agency is a little newer. When I first started practicing Buyer Representation, the problem of dual agency reared its ugly head. Clients belong to the broker (company), not the individual agents. So if I had a listing and someone in the office had a buyer client for that listing, we were both forced into dual agency – even though I probably never met his buyer and he probably never met my seller. Because the broker represented both clients. Then along came designated agency. Now if another agent in my office has a listing, I still represent my Buyer and he still represents his Seller. With ReMax Encore offering "Designated Agency" the broker becomes a dual agent while the actual agents involved in the nuts and bolts of the transaction can still fully represent their respective clients. Dual Agency is exactly what it sounds like......one agent representing both Buyer and Seller (not recommended).
You will find a high level of skill, experience and ethics with myself and the agents at Re/Max Encore. So please consider us for all your real estate needs. When you have the time, please check out the rest of our web site.......It's packed full of local and area information. We am constantly adding and tweaking (any suggestions would be greatly appreciated).
Lets find You a New Home!!!!




Oakland County Michigan Real Estate Homes For Sale, Re/Max Encore Clarkston

Many Reasons to Always Have a Buyer’s Agent for a New Construction Home Purchase


Friday, December 13, 2013 — It is ill-advised for a home buyer to enter into a new construction contract without an experienced  buyers agent. The advantages are many; aside from the obvious ones. The fact that having buyer agent representation is FREE cannot be repeated often enough. So too, should the misconception that not using a buyer’s agent will save money be constantly repeated – that simply doesn’t happen. Remember that the site agent represents the builder/developer. There is a listing contract in place that specifies the agent’s duties and the commission paid by the builder. When an unrepresented buyer contracts a home, the commission agreed upon does not change, it is simply reflects the listing broker (site agent) receiving both sides of the commission.

The site agent is legally bound to represent the best interests of the builder, not the home buyer. They are expected to work to secure the builder the best deal; not do anything illegal of course but they will not – cannot – negotiate against their client. This is consistent throughout the course of the build; the builder is their client, the buyer is their customer. Many new home agents actually welcome experienced buyer agents. A few reasons include:

Site agents want to sell homes, not handle every aspect of the buyer for months after the contract.

Site agents find it much easier to deal with another agent as opposed to directly with a buyer.

Buyer agents often handle questions and potential issues long before the site agent is called.

It might not seem obvious, but there are many benefits to buyers using an agent to represent them when buying new construction:

Site agents depend on agents in the field to sell homes – nothing is better than word of mouth advertising for a builder. And when it’s a good experience, agents talk.

Agents talk even more when it’s a bad experience. Who is an unrepresented going to complain to? Who is an agent going to complain to? The entire office…

An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to present requests and negotiate. Many builders are inflexible, but a good agent can work with the site agent to get things done that might not normally happen.
An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to read and explain the contract. While the site agent can, they will not offer options for things that become sticking points.
An experienced buyer’s agent will have suggestions and advice along the way, including on options, inspections, mortgages, construction issues….

An experienced buyer’s agent will be able to analyze the data and trends in the area and offer advice.
Note repetition of the term experienced buyer’s agent. There is no substitute for experience and unfortunately, real estate is an industry with an insultingly low entry and performance bar. Given the amount of money spent on building a home, it is prudent to properly qualify your real estate agent. Cousin Tommy and Susie from the tennis team might have their license and be awesome folks but unless they know what they’re doing, trouble will result. Everything is easy…until it’s not. Buying a home and certainly building a home are exciting ventures. Just as with any life changing event – and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home is life changing – success is found with the guidance of those experienced in the specific arena. When that guidance and direction is available at no cost, it’s completely ill advised not to take advantage of that opportunity.

Article posted by Hank Miller of Realty Times

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