We believe that, as Maine State Law allows, everyone buying real estate in Maine should be represented – EVEN IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED REAL ESTATE IN THE PAST!
Every transaction is different and the slightest complication will make you wish that you had engaged the services of a buyer agent.
The Maine Real Estate Commission defines the issue this way: Clients vs. Customers – why be represented?
- Customers – everyone is a customer. If you simply ask a question of a real estate broker, you are a real estate customer. It is critical that you understand that a customer is not represented by anyone and should expect only the following level of service from real estate brokers:
- Disclose all material defects pertaining to the physical condition of the real estate known to the broker,
- Treat the customer honestly and not knowingly give false information,
- Properly account for all money and property received from or on behalf of the customer, and
- Comply with all state and federal laws related to real estate brokerage.
- Clients – you are only a client if you enter into a written brokerage agreement, creating a client-agent relationship. As a client you can expect the following level of services, in addition to the basic services listed above:
- Perform the terms of the written agreement with skill and care,
- Promote YOUR best interests – as a buyer this means that I will put your interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms on your behalf,
- Maintain confidentiality of specific client information, including bargaining information,
- Disclosed dual-agency – in certain situations a licensee may act as an agent for, and represent, both parties in the same transaction. Both buyer and seller must consent to this type of representation in writing, as it is not the same as having your own exclusive agent.
Questions & Answers:
Q: Who pays a buyer broker?
A: For property listed on the MLS, the seller has already agreed to compensate the listing agent directly, who will split the commission somehow with the buyer broker, so 99% of the time, the buyer does not pay your buyer broker directly
Q: What if the house I want to buy is “for sale by owner”? Will I have to pay your commission?
A: In the case of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), this needs to be negotiated with the seller, but most sellers are willing to pay a buyer broker who brings a buyer ready and willing to buy their home. If the seller will not pay the buyer broker, you may need to pay me directly, but this is rare.
Q: Will I pay more for my house if I choose to use a buyer agent?
A: Absolutely not! For properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the seller/listing broker is already offering a percentage to a buyer broker who brings a buyer into a transaction that successfully closes.
Q: Will I pay LESS for my house if I am NOT represented by a buyer agent?
A: NO! The seller has already agreed to pay a certain % to the listing broker to sell their house. If a buyer broker brings a buyer, the listing broker will “split” the commission, but if the buyer is not represented by a buyer broker, the listing broker simply gets the entire commission – without having to represent a buyer (actually without being legally allowed to advise the buyer in the least bit)!
Q: What if I have already spoken with an agent who is listing a home for sale? Can I still elect to be represented by a buyer agent?
A: This can be a very delicate matter – it is best to simply work with a buyer agent from the beginning. In some cases, this will work out, and in others it simply will not. If you are in this situation, call me and we’ll see what we can do.
Remember, it’s not all about price. Buying a home requires things like:
- Reviewing or completing disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements,
- Researching properties and preparing CMA’s (comparative market analyses) to make sure that you know as much as possible about every property you’re considering,
- Preparing purchase and sale documents and addendums,
- Negotiating on all aspects of the transaction,
- Communicating with your mortgage professional, appraisers, inspectors, listing brokers and title professionals to ensure that all of your needs are met,
- Problem-solving … because you just never know what’s going to come up…
SUMMARY: Don’t get caught buying real estate without representation because in most cases you can be sure that the seller is being represented – don’t be fooled into thinking that the seller’s agent will represent your interests – in fact he/she is not allowed to represent your interests BY LAW! Engage a Maine buyer broker like us and make sure your real estate transaction goes well for YOU. As knowledgeable real estate experts, we will help you to get the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. You aren’t just another transaction to our team of dedicated professionals at Green Tree Realty – you’re a valued client and we want to make sure that you’re happy with your home for the long term.