Your Question: How Can I Protect Myself as a Home Buyer?
Professor Tate's Answer:
In 1983, The Federal Trade Commission discovered that 72% of all Buyers felt that the Agent they were working with was representing their interests. Unbeknownst to the Buyer, their “Agent” was in all actuality working for the Seller and had a fiduciary responsibility to them instead. By 1988, most states had Agency Disclosures in place to inform Buyers who they were working for.
Why does it matter who the Agent works for? Simply put, if you don’t have someone on your side, you have no one looking out for your best interests. If the Agent trying to sell you a property is a Seller’s Agent – well then they’re focusing on the best interests of the Seller, not you.
It’s your right to have someone working for you, the Buyer, and looking out for your interests. In the long run, this could save you thousands of dollars! How can you be sure that the agent you work with is representing you?
First of all, if you call the person listed on the property you’re interested in, that person is a Seller’s Agent. He is working for the Seller, and already had a responsibility to him. You should avoid that, and instead, interview one Agent at several different Companies to find the one you feel you’d be best suited to work with. (It would be a good idea to only interview one agent per office in order to avoid conflict when you make your choice.)
When you find the Agent you feel most comfortable with who will represent you as a Buyer and protect your interests, you can be more confident you are getting the service you deserve!
You asked, now you know!
-Professor Reel S. Tate