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How to Be Sure You’re Working with a Buyer’s Agent

Under buyer representation, education and advocacy

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Written on August 24th, 2016

Thinking of buying a home?  Under the right market conditions a buyer’s agent can save you thousands of dollars.  Here are some quick tips for figuring out if the REALTOR® you are working with is acting as a buyer’s agent:

  1. If you are viewing homes with the listing agent, you are not working with a buyer’s agent. The listing agent is the seller’s agent and is therefore not permitted to place your best interests before those of her client, the seller.  Nor can the listing agent represent both party’s interests equally, unless the seller agrees to this arrangement in advance and in writing.
  1. Century-21-Graphic-3If you are viewing homes with someone other than the listing agent, you may be working with a buyer’s agent…or you may not. This may seem a bit confusing, but a Realtor can choose to work with buyers without working for them – as what’s called a “selling agent” (basically a sub-contractor to the listing agent).  A selling agent has the same obligations to the seller that the listing agent has, and is therefore not permitted to place your best interests before those of the seller.
  1. Because Realtors can choose to work with buyers without representing them, and because this concept is potentially confusing to both buyers and sellers, the Canadian Real Estate Association has imposed a rule that Realtors have to disclose to you – in writing and at the earliest possible opportunity – the capacity in which they are serving you (as listing agent, selling agent or buyer’s agent).  If a Realtor is working as a selling agent, he must tell you this right away so that you don’t make the mistake of assuming he is working in your best interests.
  1. When working with buyers, Century 21 Prospect Realty Realtors work as buyer’s agents by default, and they will disclose this fact to you at the earliest opportunity. But if your Century 21 buyer’s agent shows you a home that is her own listing, she will explain that in that particular instance she can show you the home but cannot be your buyer’s agent. If you end up wanting to purchase that particular home, she will give you the option of working with another Realtor who can take over as your buyer’s agent.

At Century 21 Prospect Realty, we work very hard to ensure that all parties to a transaction are fully aware of their representation options and that they proceed in the manner that best suits their needs.  Our buyer clients choose to work with buyer’s agents because – quite simply – having your own representation on a very large financial transaction just makes sense.

The trademarks REALTOR® and MLS® are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®)