A buyer’s agent represents a home
buyer in the same manner as the listing agent represents the home seller.Just like the seller contracts with a listing agent to
represent them in the sale of their home, the buyer signs a contract with a
buyer’s agent that creates a client relationship as opposed to only a customer
Q. What’s the difference between
being a customer or a client
As a customer, an agent can only do
ministerial acts.They can help you
fill out contracts and deliver them to the appropriate parties but they can do
no thinking or advising for you.They
can write in the price that you tell them but they can’t advise you whether
they think that it is too high or too low.As a client, an agent can truly advise you on all aspects of the
transaction.They can give you
their true opinions and advise you on critical decisions.
Q. Do I really need to sign a
Yes.It is now a Georgia law that requires a buyer to have a written contract
with a buyer’s agent.If not, you
are considered a customer and not a client.This is all part of the big effort for agency disclosure.The law wants to make certain that everyone in the transaction knows who
is representing whom and in what capacity.
Q. How long is the contract binding
for?Can I cancel it at any time?
It can be for as long as you like.Until you trust the agent, you can limit to one day at a
time.If at any time you want to
terminate the agreement, all you do is give the agent written notice.If you cancel the contract and then buy a home that that agent had showed
you, the agent is still entitled to their commission.
Q. When did buyer agency come into
being in Georgia?
Prior to 1992 all real estate agents represented the
seller of a property. Even the agent who was working with the buyer was
considered an agent of the seller! In the early 90's, advocacy groups did a
survey of homebuyers and discovered that 78% incorrectly thought they had been
represented by the agent that sold them the property. These advocacy groups
informed homebuyers and homebuyers started demanding equal representation. Real
estate brokers fought the introduction of Buyer Agency, but in the end the
consumer won.Now consumers can
choose to have equal representation when buying a home.
Q. Who pays the buyer’s agent?
In almost all cases, the seller ends up paying the
buyer’s agent commission.This is
how it works.The seller signs a
contract with the listing broker that sets the sales commission the seller will
pay the listing broker upon the sale of their home.Usually this is 6-7% of the sales price.The listing agent then will enter the home into the multiple
listing service to advertise it to all agents who are members (I haven’t met
an agent who wasn’t).To be a
member of the multiple listing service you are required to state what commission
you are offering other agents who bring you a buyer for the home you have
listed.Usually it will be an even
split of whatever the listing agent’s commission is.If the seller is paying the listing agent 7%, then the listing agent
agrees to pay half of that, 3.5%, to the buyers agent who brings them a buyer.Even though the buyer’s agent is getting their commission from the
listing agent, the buyer’s agent is bound by contract to keep the interests of
the buyer their sole concern.
Q. If I don’t use a buyer’s agent
won’t I save half the commission?
The contract that the seller signs with the listing
broker has no provisions for paying less if no other agent is involved.They agreed to pay a set fee when their home sells, period.
Q. Can’t I negotiate the commission down?
Not any more.The real estate commission used to be on the standard contracts and be
open to negotiation.But it was
determined that it is illegal to try to alter a legally binding contract between
two other parties, ie the listing contract between seller and listing broker.
Q. Do agents ever lower their commission to make
the deal work?
Usually the only time an agent will
reduce their commission is if their listing is ready to expire and they don’t
think the seller will relist with them.Listing
agents love buyers without agents because it means they get to keep the full
Q. The listing agent said there’s no need to get
another agent involved.Can I trust
Listing agents love buyers without agents.In a hot market, they will delay putting their new listing into the
multiple listing database hoping to sell the home directly to a buyer who
isn’t using an agent.This means
they get to keep the full commission.Sure,
they will help you fill out a contract and maybe act like they really care about
you.Beware!Any thing you say to the listing agent that might be advantageous to the
seller, the listing agent is required to relay to the seller. Remember, they
have a signed agreement with the seller, not you.
Q. Who pays the commission if I use a
buyer’s agent with a “for sale by owner” home?
There are several ways to address that situation.You can write it into the contract that the seller pays the commission.You can offer the seller a lower price and then pay the commission
yourself.Or you can agree ahead of
time with your agent what will happen in that situation.This situation hardly ever arises, but if it does, we at HomeAtlanta
charge a 1.5% fee to the buyer. Say if you found a home by yourself but
need someone to take it from contract to close. We would charge 1.5% to
the buyer. See the following list of all the
tasks to we do.
Q. What can a buyer’s agent do for
is our 20 point plan for helping you realize the home of your dreams.
to your specific needs and wants and offer possible options. We create
a custom map and explore various commuting options.We give advice on schools and neighborhoods.Provide books and brochures on the whole buying process.Provide links to useful internet sites.We help create a home buying game plan.
you in determining the amount that you can afford (pre-qualify).Recommend lenders who offer many types of mortgage programs, from
conventional loans to zero down loans. Go over the tax advantages of home
companies that save money on home and auto insurance.Savings here can mean being able to afford a more expensive home.
tours of homes.See up to 15
homes in a few hours.We set up
an efficient itinerary and set up all the appointments so you can compare a
lot of homes in a short amount of time. The average buyer sees only 9
homes before making a purchasing decision.We recommend seeing at least 30.You can do this in just one weekend.This way you can feel more confident in your purchase.
you identify any problems or issues prior to making an offer to purchase the
property. Check all the comparables to come up with a good target
price.Find out as much as possible about the sellers and their
situation.Plan the negotiating
you on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
Sometimes you need special stipulations to be added to the contract.You have to walk a fine line between protecting yourself and adding
too much legal stuff that the seller gets worried that you’re going to be
a big pain in the butt.
the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on your behalf. First
impressions are very important.A
professional and knowledgeable appearance can sometimes comfort the seller
and lead to concessions.Being
an obnoxious hard ass usually just throws up a seller’s defenses and shuts
the doors to potential compromise.
on your behalf to help obtain your dream home at the best possible price.We’re very persistent and will try every possible angle to help you
get your home.That includes
keeping the door open to possible negotiations in the future.Seller motivation is a dynamic thing.A rejected offer one day might look like an answer to
their prayers a few weeks later.
attend the inspection, review inspection report, write up inspection
amendment, and negotiate inspection amendment.Most problems can be fixed with enough time and money.Some items aren’t worth dealing with.We can help you analyze what is significant and what isn’t.
potential repairmen if needed to bid on or complete necessary repairs.We can arrange to meet various servicemen at the home to get bids and
quotes on repairs.Half the
problem is knowing who to call to take care of the problem.
in securing appropriate financing for your dream home.We can recommend several lenders who will show you all your options.We help getting the lender all the information they need to get you
six copies of contract and get original signatures from all parties.This takes some running around.We get so used to faxing and emailing that we forget the hassle of
getting original signatures.
sure buyer receives termite letter, property disclosure, and any covenants
or condo documents.
a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters,
etc.) if these services are needed.
prepare for closing.Help with
switching over utilities.There’s
all sorts of things that can happen to unravel the transaction.Our job is to stay on top of it and handle any problems along the
whatever it takes to get everyone all the necessary documents to ensure a
final walk thru before closing.Make
sure all repairs were done and no problems have developed since the contract
HUD-1 closing statement.Make
sure you know the way to the closing.Make
sure you know what to bring to closing.
closing and help celebrate.There
should be no surprises.If
something comes up, do what’s necessary to take care of it.
closing follow up.
market updates of neighborhood, newsletters and homestead exemption
During our initial consultation, we go over all this so you know exactly what
you can expect from us. Give us a call today to set up an appointment to
come in and talk with us. 404-845-0265.
Our market area is in the
north metro Atlanta area.
We service Cobb County,
north Fulton County, Dekalb
County, Forsyth County and
Gwinnett County. We
are very familiar with Sandy
Springs, Dunwoody, Marietta,
Buckhead, and Midtown.
We have sold homes inside
the perimeter and outside
the perimeter. We
can't know everything so for
clients who want to look for
property in Peachtree City,
Newnan, Stone Mountain,
Douglasville, Macon and
areas further out we will
gladly recommend a good
agent who specializes in
We help buyers negotiate
with builders for
residential new construction
houses. New houses in
Atlanta are hot right now.
We can represent you in the
purchase of your new house
built by any of the
following builders: Torrey
Homes, MDC Homes, Centex
Homes, Pulte Homes, Morrison
Homes, Ryland Homes, John
Wieland Homes, Winmark
Homes, Meridian Homes, John
Willis Homes, Benchmark
Homes and many more home
We can help clients find
short term apartments for
rent but normally we don't
work with clients who are
just looking for rentals.
We do help clients find
Atlanta condos. We can
also help you purchase HUD
homes in Atlanta. We
are an authorized agent with
them and have the HUD key to
get into HUD homes. We
have access to foreclosure
homes that banks want to
We love showing executive
homes and luxury homes. We
always like to know how
people find our site.
Send us an email and tell us
which search term you used.
Some terms that we might be
found by are realty Atlanta,
Ga homes, Atlanta realty,
condos Atlanta, Atlanta
property, houses Atlanta,
Atlanta realtors, Ga houses,
or realtors Atlanta.
Maybe you found us by typing
in Atlanta MLS listings, or
Atlanta MLS search, or MLS
Atlanta GA. Hopefully we
don't come up under nursing
homes or funeral homes.
It is always amazing to me
how the Internet can allow
total strangers to find each
other and build new business
truly is becoming a small,