According to the National Association of Realtors® publication 'Agency - Choices, Challenges, and Opportunities', Exclusive Buyer Agency is: "The practice of representing only buyers and never sellers in a transaction. The company never lists a seller's property and thus never has a seller as a client. Agents never accept subagency that is offered by a seller's agent" (pg. 25).
Recently, a lot of traditional Agents have started advertising that they will represent buyer's. While this is legal in most states even the National Association of Realtors® warns it's members: "Buyer agency is viable method of practicing real estate, but an agent should be cautious in her approach if she is not thoroughly knowledgeable about the entire process. Agents who are used to working with buyers as seller's subagents need to be aware of the new duties and potential liabilities of buyer's agents before changing the form of representation they offer." (pg. 18).
This publication goes on to say that Exclusive Buyer Agency "Promotes a more natural relationship for agents working with buyers" (pg. 26).
In talking about an agent who tries to offer both seller agency and buyer agency it states "The buyer and seller do not have the full range of representation" (pg. 27).
Any agent who lists properties for sale is used to representing sellers and has a legal commitment to protect the sellers interest. The agent must get the highest price possible for the property.
If the Agent, or his or her agency, lists homes for sale they cannot be an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent!
Los Angeles County/San Fernando Valley:
Agoura, Agoura Hills, Aqua Dulce, Arleta, Bell Canyon, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Park, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hidden Hills, Kagel Canyon, La Canada/Flintridge, La Crescenta, Lake ViewTerrace, Mission Hills, Montrose, Newhall, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Oak Park, Old Topanga, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Saugus, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks,Studio City, Sunland, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Topanga Canyon, Tujunga, Valencia, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Verdugo City, Warner Center, West Hills, Westlake Village, Winnetka, Woodland Hills
Agoura Hills, Brandeis, Camarillo, Hidden Valley, Lake Sherwood, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Santa Rosa Valley, Santa Susana, Simi Valley, Somis, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village
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The value of a home is determined by it's "Market Value". Market Value is defined as the price a willing seller will accept and a willing buyer will pay for a property that has been exposed to the market for a reasonable length of time.
To determine Market Value you look at similar homes in the same area that have sold recently (preferably within the last 6 months) These are called "comparable sales." These are homes that compare closely to the one you are wanting to purchase. They should be similar in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space, lot size, and type of construction.
Finding comparable sales is easier if the home is part of a tract of homes where you are most likely to find the same models to compare against one another. If it is not in a tract if is often more difficult to find sales to compare to.
Real estate agents have access to the records of recent sales as well as descriptions of the homes that have sold recently.The agent will know how to properly interpret this data and adjust it to compensate for varying condition of the homes and any additions or variances on each property
A Buyers Agent will provide you with all the data you need, interpret that data for you, and assist you in determining what to offer for a home.
While a Sellers Agent can provide the raw data, they are not allowed to help you evaluate that data or to assist you in determining what the home is worth or what your offering price should be.