You've have been searching online for a home, driving to properties in your car and found one that looks perfect. What do you do next?

Contact the agent featured on the sign in the yard and in the online listing? That is a common buying mistake based on myths and misunderstandings. While it may feel like the logical next step, it's not. Here's why:

Assumption: "It's best to contact the listing agent because they're already familiar with the property."

The agent on the sign definitely knows all about the property, because they've been hired by the owner to help sell the home. That's what a listing agent does. Listing agents represent the sellers in a property transaction and market the home to potential buyers to help the sellers earn as much as possible on the sale.

Does that sound like an agent that will be looking out for YOUR best interests? Buyers will be better served if they avoid the listing agent (whatever you tell a listing agent may hurt your negotiating position) and select a buyer's agent to arrange a showing. An buyer's agent, will represent your interests in the transaction.

Assumption: "I'll save money on commissions if I work with the seller's agent."

False. Commissions paid to the listing and selling agent are predetermined and written into the listing agreement. In most transactions, if the listing agent brings a buyer to the closing table (because the buyer contacted them directly) that broker will earn both sides of the commission.

Buyers don't necessarily save anything by going directly to the listing agent. More importantly, when a buyer approaches the listing agent, potentially they have lost the opportunity to receive buyer's agent fiduciary duties such as confidentiality, and loyalty and others that is owed to their clients.

Assumption: "All real estate agents are basically the same, so I might as well contact this one."

Again, False. As with all professions, some real estate agents deliver a higher standard of service than others. Make sure you are working with a professional that has special training to represent buyers. Find an agent who has earned their Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) - an official designation certified by the National Association of REALTORS®.

"I'm your ABR®". Bet you didn't see that coming! Please contact me for all your real estate needs and if you have any questions on buyer representation. Start your home search HERE