There are some Buyers out there who will say they only call the listing agents to view properties they have found themselves online or by driving around looking for signs. This makes no sense to me. Real Estate services are the only services I can think of where the buyer gets “free” professional services and the someone else pays for them. The fiduciary duties are owed to the buyer if he/she enters into a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) with an agent. The agency relationship is with the Brokerage. Without the Agency Agreement you are a CUSTOMER not a CLIENT.
How do you create this agency relationship you might be wondering. What is the consideration you owe? You owe loyalty. You pay nothing as long as you are not in breach of your agreement with the Brokerage.
There are three parameters to the agreement.
Time – length of the contract
Geography – the areas it includes
Type – What does it include? Residential, commercial etc.
Some Buyers believe they will get a better chance at “winning” the property in bidding war if they write an offer with the Listing agent, but that is very rarely the case in spite of some of the talk out there. The duty of the Listing Brokerage is to expose the property to the market and try to get the most favourable agreement for the Seller based on their wants and needs.
We can have a Multiple Representation situation where the Sellers REALTOR(r) represents both parties and that is disclosed to both the Seller and the Buyer.
There are specific guidelines we must follow in these cases. Some Buyers think that the listing agent can then reduce their commission since they are getting “both ends” and make their offer more attractive. Yes, that can be done but it must be disclosed to all other REALTORS(r) bringing an offer and in turn their Buyers.
The rules are in place to keep things fair and equitable.
The best thing you can do is find a REALTOR(r) you connect with and trust and work as a team to find a home. It is extremely difficult for us out there right now when dealing with a Buyer. It is almost impossible for a Buyer on their own.
Good luck and don’t get discouraged. Just always take your best shot!