Very important - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
Have you ever heard of a 'double agent'? It's usually referred to in 'spy' terms - but it relates to real estate agents as well. It's an agent who claims to work for one person (the seller) - but in the process of advertising and showing their property to the other person (the buyer)...they end up working for both parties. Or trying to! And it just can't be done!!
The Tennessee Real Estate Commission calls this 'dual agency'. It's not fair to either the buyer or seller - and it's actually illegal. In fact, when the agent takes a listing, part of the agreement stipulates that if that agent ends up bringing the buyer into the transaction - then that agent can no longer represent the seller of that property. Nor can they represent the buyer. The agent must revert to 'facilitator' status - and cannot represent or advise either party. They can only prepare the required paperwork. But since that agent had previously signed a legal and binding contract with the seller to sell their home for the highest price and on the best terms for them...then, doesn't it seem to put them in a compromising position when they revert to 'facilitator' status? It certainly doesn't give them the best representation, does it? And the thing is...that all parties - the agent - the buyer - the seller...must sign this agreement. But, since the document is mixed in with all the other pile of documents - I don't believe that either party truly understands what it means. Have you ever had this explained to you? I sold several properties before I became a Realtor - and I don't ever remember this being explained to me.
Here's a quote directly from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. "Shopping for Your Home Loan: HUD's Settlement Cost Booklet"..."It is your responsibility to search for an agent who will represent your interests in the real estate transaction. If you want someone to represent only your interests, consider hiring an 'Exclusive Buyer's Agent', who will be working for you."
Most agents are honest and hard-working people, so please don't think I'm saying anything to the contrary. But the fact is that they tie their own hands when they try to represent both sides. Both the buyer and seller want the same thing - the best price and terms for the property. Problem is that this means different things to each of them. The best price for the seller is the highest - and the best price for the buyer is the lowest one. How in the world can one agent provide both? It simply cannot be done!
Let me ask you a question. If someone got hurt on your property and ended up suing you - would you hire that persons' attorney to represent you in court? Of course not! You would hire your own attorney. An attorney can't represent both sides of a legal issue - so why would you expect a Realtor to do so? And since this is one of the largest transactions that most people make in a lifetime - doesn't it make sense to have your own representation? Especially when you consider that using the services of an Exclusive Buyer's Agent costs you nothing! Here is an article from Realtor.com about using a buyer's agent. Please read it!
What is the difference in a 'Buyer's Agent' and an 'True Buyer's Agent'? Basically a true Buyer's Agent does not show or sell their own listings. This is the only way I know of where the listing agent will represent the seller all the way through the transaction. And it's the only way I know of where the selling agent will represent only the buyer all the way through the transaction. We do not and will not get into a 'facilitator', or 'designated agency', or 'dual agent' situation - because it's just not fair to anyone involved. We will represent our client and only our client - 100%! Our office really doesn't take many listings because we prefer to work with buyers. However, there are instances where it is of benefit to our clients to help them get a house sold. And that's what we're all about - being true to our clients - 100%.
Absolutely, it's no secret that agents love to sell their own listings. Who wouldn't? They get paid double - for both sides of the transaction. Before I became an Exclusive Buyer's Agent - I worked for several companies that paid a bonus when I sold a company listing. This can truly be an incentive to show and push company listings - not to mention your own. I worked as a traditional agent for many years - but came to the conclusion that buyers needed a break. My decision to work exclusively with buyers was a result of this need. Since we don't show our own listings, We are free to focus on what you need - not what we need to sell! Read more about what we do.
Here's a another quote. From the International Real Estate Directory. "Agency and True Agents"..."A True Agent is one who provides 100% loyalty to his/her clients 100% of the time. No dual agency; no 'designated agency', no 'transaction brokerage', no 'Chinese walls', no weasel clauses."
I know this can be confusing to people that are not in the industry, but I feel it necessary to explain how it works. We do sometimes list property, but we do it by our standards! Our office operates on a single-agency platform. We only represent one party in the transaction. It could be a seller, in which case we fully market the property and do everything possible to find the right buyer. But, we don't work with the buyer of that property at the same time. If a potential buyer contacts us to see the house, we have buyer's agents that we know and trust to represent that buyer.
Now, let's talk about Buyer Agency! Think about this...when a seller lists his/her home with an agent, they contract with that agent's office to sell their home for the highest price and on the best possible terms...for them! Of course, that's the whole idea. Right?
Then, wouldn't it make sense for you to have that same level of representation when you buy your new house in Nashville TN?...someone who has a legal and binding contract to represent only you - 100%? Your own personal Buyer's Agent working to help you buy your new home for the LOWEST PRICE possible? Our service is Unique - No 'dual-agency'...no 'facilitator'...no conflict of interest! We call ourselves a 'single-agent' company, because we only represent our client - without ever switching to 'facilitator'. We truly believe in keeping the 'buyer's' side and the 'seller's' side of the transaction private and confidential
Whether you are a buyer or seller, we will remain your agent throughout the transaction. If you are a home buyer, we will represent you and only you! If you are a seller, we will market your home and do everything possible to find the right buyer...representing only you! BUT, we have buyer's agents that will show and write any offers for your property. As your listing agent, we will remain true to you!
I cannot see how one agent can represent both sides of the transaction. If you were involved in a legal situation, would you go to your opponents' attorney and ask that lawyer to represent you as well? Of course not! It wouldn't even be legal.
Actually dual agency is not legal in real estate! But the State of Tennessee has provided a remedy for this huge conflict of interest. Want to know what that remedy is? Since the agent cannot legally represent both sides - the State has decided that they simply cannot represent either side! What?? Yes, you read this right! When the listing agent brings the buyer into the transaction - they must have a SIGNED DOCUMENT that releases them from their loyalty to the seller. And also at the same time it releases them from any loyalty to the buyer. Legally - they must revert to a 'facilitator' status, which means that they can only do the paperwork. They are no longer allowed to advise either party! And it must be signed by all parties involved in the transaction...the agent, the seller and the buyer. Sadly, I don't believe this is explained to either side - because who would agree to something like this? Especially when you consider that buying a home is one of the largest transactions most people make in a lifetime! This is why using the services of your own personal Buyer's Agent is so important! We urge you to interview buyer's agents to determine who is the best fit for your specific requirements.
Yes, yes and yes! Don't be fooled into thinking that you can get a better deal if you go into a new development and buy from the salesperson! That salesperson works exclusively for the builder and the price is almost always the same whether you have your own agent or not. The commission is built into the price of the home. Many times, your Buyer's agent can negotiate for more amenities or upgrades on your behalf.
Would you believe 'nothing'? The real estate commission is still paid by the seller. As part of the listing agreement, the agent and seller agree on the fee to be paid. Then that fee is split between agencies at closing. If you feel the need to pay your own buyer's agents fee, that can be negotiated as well, but it isn't necessary. Wouldn't you think that having that superior level of 100% loyalty and representation...with no additional cost to you...is a 'no-brainer'!
We're a different breed. Our main focus is providing you with the best possible service without the conflict of interest that most agents have. We hope you can see that we love what we do. Please call or contact us today. You can reach me at 615-428-8500 or Lisa at 615-478-7591. We so look forward to hearing from you!