Buyer Resources

Buying Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Accredited Buyers Representative and Why should I work with one?

How do I find a good agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood.
A good agent typically works full-time and has experience in their field and the area you are looking in. If you are a buyer, you don't usually pay for your agent's services (in the form of a commission, or percentage of the sales price of the home). All agents in a transaction usually are paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. In many states, this means that your agent legally is acting as a subagent of the seller. But in some states, it's legal for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. In Washington State, although a buyers agent is being paid by the seller, they can be exclusively representing the buyer.
Feel comfortable asking for references, especially if you found your agent in a different way than a recommendation. 

Can I use an agent for a new construction home?
Yes. Buyers should be aware builders commonly require that the buyer register their real estate agent or have their agent present the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site.  At times when buyers find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first to see how they handle this or call your agent first so they can help advise you.

How much does my real estate agent need to know?
Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation. If the agent is the listing agent they are a representative of the seller.  If you are working with an agent who is the listing agent this would be called dual agency and appropriate disclosures need to made and as they are representing the seller, you may not feel comfortable sharing as much information. 
A buyer can seek representation of their own. You may consider signing a buyers representation agreement with your agent which outlines their duties to you as the buyer. 
Renee Comey
Renee Comey
Director, The Comey Lantz Team