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!
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Reasons To Get A Home Loan Before You Start Shopping For A Home
You do NOT have to have a home under contract to obtain a home loan. The lender is looking at your credit history and income when considering a loan application.
Some potential home buyers think they will have no problem qualifying for a loan only to be disappointed when they find out they don't. Others may afraid they won't qualify so they don't apply. We often see people who don't think they qualify for a home loan but don't know that many lenders offer loan programs for all types of borrowers.
Avoid disappointment resulting from looking at homes that are out of your price range. Looking at homes in a price range you can afford will keep you from being disappointed if you fall in love with a home only to find out that it is beyond your financial abilities.
Insure that you will meet your moving dead line. Knowing you must move by a certain date and still working on proving you are qualified for a loan can be a stressful experience. The two most common problems are resolving credit issues and proving you have the cash for your down payment and closing costs.
Applying for a loan as soon as possible will insure that any incorrect information in your credit history can be corrected before the closing date. It often takes 60 days or more to have information corrected in your credit files.
Having a Loan Commitment in your hand is like being a cash buyer. Every seller wants to work with cash buyers. It gives you leverage when presenting an offer and negotiating a counter offer. It will insure that the closing process goes smoothly when you do find your new home. Do not mistake a Loan Commitment with a pre-approval or pre-qualification, a pre-approval does not carry much weight with a seller since a pre-approval is only a cursory look at your credit history.
Applying for a home loan online can be a real convenience. You can apply for a mortgage online 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You can apply from your home, office, local library or any location that offers Internet access. No need to take time off work or away from play. Avoids feeling pressured by sitting in a lenders office and allows you ample time to collect all the necessary information.
Be sure you check the rates and fees for several lenders before you decide which one to use. Compare the lender fees, not just the interest rate. Ask each lender to provide you with a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs and carefully review it. If you see a fee you don't understand ask the lender to provide a clear explanation of the item. Then ask your real estate Agent to review the Good Faith Estimate. Being more familiar with the forms the Agent can spot any hidden "junk" fees.