Advantages of Having a Buyer’s Agent
In Georgia and South Carolina, when a seller wants to sell his home using a real estate agent, in many cases, the seller will sign an Exclusive Seller Listing Agreement with that agent. The seller and realtor will come to an agreement on the commission the seller will pay the agent if the agent finds a “ready, willing and able” buyer who will purchase at acceptable terms to the seller. It will be the realtor’s duty to act in the seller’s best interests in advertising the property and negotiating the sales price and conditions of sale.
In the same way a listing agent works for a seller, a buyer can have a realtor work for him (her) . The South Carolina Real Estate Commission and the the Georgia Association of Realtors have stipulated that a broker (or a licensed agent working under that broker) can have one of two relationships with a party seeking assistance in purchasing: a broker-customer relationship or a broker-client relationship. In the first of these two relationships, the broker is not representing the customer in a legal or agency capacity. “The broker can merely help him or her by performing what are known as ministerial tasks. These include, for example, identifying property for sale or lease, providing preprinted real estate form contracts, preparing real estate contracts at the direction of the customer, and locating lenders, inspectors and closing attorneys on behalf of the customer.”*
However, for a broker to represent the client in a real estate transaction, said broker, and the person he (she) is working with, must enter into a broker-client relationship. “In a broker-client relationship, the real estate broker is representing the client and is acting as his or her legal agent in buying, selling, or leasing property. In Georgia (and South Carolina), a broker-client relationship can only be formed by the parties entering into a written agreement.”* So, if you want representation in purchasing your next home, you need to sign an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement with that agent. Not only is this decision the best for you as you embark in such an important transaction, but, in most cases, it will not cost you a cent. Your buyer’s agent commission will come out of the commission the seller has agreed to pay his (her) listing agent.
*Taken from “ABC’s of Agency,” published by the Georgia Association of Realtors.