What is a Kelowna buyer’s agent?
A buyer’s agent is a licensed Realtor who works on behalf of the buyer through the process of purchasing a home. The fiduciary relationship between the two parties is established when the buyer and agent both sign an buyer agency agreement which goes into detail about the buyer’s agent’s duties to you, how they’ll get paid, the duration of the contract, and what their role will be throughout the process.
With a buyer’s agent, you will have someone to accompany you on showings, familiarize you and your family with the selected neighbourhoods and what they have to offer.
First off the term “Agent” actually refers to the Brokerage that a salesperson or broker works for and the contracts are technically with that brokerage not the individual that you’ve signed with. Often you will hear of buyers who want to buy directly through the listing agent, this is the person who the seller chose to represent them in the sale of their house, some of their responsibilities include promoting the sellers best interest, negotiating with buyers on the sellers behalf to get the highest price and most favourable terms, they’re required to keep anything the seller shares confidential for example the sellers motivation for selling or if they will accept less than the listed price.
On the other hand the buyers agent is the person who represents the buyer and their job is to protect the buyers best interest and to negotiate the best price and most favourable terms. The best part is that as a buyer you don’t pay the buyers agent, they are paid out of the commission negotiated with the seller and listing agent at the time the listing contract is signed. They’ll negotiate with the seller on your behalf and help you figure out ways around sticky issues with the contract, costs, inpspection issues and closing dates. A buyer’s agent is your ally, and their duty is only to you.
So why in the world would a buyer not want to hire their own buyers agent to represent them?!?
What does a buyer’s agent actually do?
Some of the most important duties of a good buyer’s agent include:
- Learning your needs in a home
- Guiding you through the complex home buying process
- Advocating for your best interests along the way
- Educating you on current market conditions
- Showing you the pros and cons of various areas or neighborhoods
- Evaluating comparable properties to help you decide a property’s worth
- Negotiating favorable contract terms for you
- Connecting you with professionals such as attorneys, inspectors, etc.
- Preparing written contracts and other addendums
- Scheduling and managing inspections, surveys, closing, and other important milestones
- Attending closing with you to ensure everything goes as planned
How do buyer’s agents get paid?
That’s the best part! It typically costs buyers nothing to use a buyer’s agent. Generally speaking buyer’s agents are actually paid by the seller. Say your buyer’s agent charges a 3% commission fee for their service; at closing, the seller will pay their own agent’s fee out of the proceeds, then also pay the buyer’s agent, too. For buyers, there is no financial downside to using a buyer’s agent whatsoever.
An interesting note: twenty years ago, there was no such thing as a buyer’s agent! At the time, there were only listing agents who represented the seller. If you were interested in a home, you’d call the listing agent directly and navigate the buying process with no one specifically looking out for your best interests. Imagine that! Thankfully, today’s buyers have a better advocate available.