Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Working With a Seller's Agent - What First Time Home Buyers Need to Know

Seller's agents, as the name suggests, are hired by home sellers to represent them in real estate transactions. They are paid a fixed fee or a commission and are primarily concerned with bringing the seller and a buyer to a deal. Homebuyers often end up transacting with seller's agents. As a homebuyer, it is important for you to understand the duties of a seller's agent.

Different states have varying regulations on the practice of seller's agents, but they have common responsibilities and restrictions as defined by national laws. According to Ilyce Glink, author of the book '100 Questions Every Home Buyer Should Ask', homebuyers should thoroughly review the agent disclosure form before signing under the services of an agent to understand the scope and limitations of the agent's work. Generally, a seller's agents' responsibilities and restrictions include:

A seller's agent can give you information regarding similar homes in the area. This information is called comparables or 'comps' and is a listing of Minnesota homes that have similar price, size and area, and age. Comps can include homes that were recently sold or are currently in the market. This information allows a homebuyer to have a basis of comparison to ascertain the value of a home.

Seller's agents cannot dictate, or otherwise pressure, home buyers into buying a home. The seller's agent's job is to facilitate the selling of a home but it doesn't mean that they can force homebuyers into buying a home. You might be in a situation wherein you are deciding between two homes that are handled by one subagent. In this case, the seller's agent cannot compel you to choose one home over the other.

The seller's agent cannot point out defects in the home. The seller broker cannot say anything that would influence your decision to purchase, or not purchase the property. Any material hidden defects can be disclosed, but you will need to conduct your own research to find out if the home is in good condition.

The seller's agent cannot provide tips regarding the best offer amount for a home. It would be beneficial for you as a buyer to get inside tips from the seller's agent but they are legally bound not to provide confidential information to buyers.

The seller's agent can ask you for referrals. Many seller's agents are independent business owners and always looking for new clients. They do have the right to ask you to refer them to friends or family members, and will do everything they can to make your home buying experience a good one.

When you are working with a seller's agent as a first time home buyer, it's important to remember that they are in the business to make the home buying process as easy as possible. This doesn't always mean that they have your best interests in mind, so it's important to do your own research about the property and work with a professional real estate agent in addition to the seller's agent.

Author and Realtor Alexandria P. Anderson helps clients to find and purchase Minneapolis Condos for sale as well as Condominiums in Minneapolis around the Twin Cities, Minnesota.