Friday, February 13, 2009

An Announcement and a Word About Buyer Agency

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On February 6th, 2009 I was awarded the Accredited Buyer's Representative designation (ABR) through the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council. Although, this designation does not represent a committment to exclusive buyer agency. For me, earning this designation is a part of my personal committment to the exclusive representation of the buy-side of real estate transactions and to the advancement of exclusive buyer agency.

I should clarify that the practice of exclusive buyer agency is not the same as an agent who professes to be working exclusively for buyers, but who works for a real estate company that takes listings as well. A true exclusive buyers agent works for a broker and company that never takes listings because it has dedicated its entire business to representing the interests of buyers.

Exclusive buyer agency is an option that gives real estate buyers a way to completely avoid conflicts of interest in their real estate purchases, aka. "Dual Agency," and "Designated Agency," which is just another form of dual agency. Avoiding dual agency is especially valuable to investors because they rely on their real estate representatives to level with them and tell them when a listing is overpriced, as well as negotiate assertively on their behalf for a price that meets their investment objectives.

However, when a listing belongs to their agents' company or, worse, to their agent, the lines of loyalty can blur. In a dual or designated agency situation, a buyer cannot be 100% sure that their agent will tell them whether a listing is overpriced and by how much exactly. To do this would put them in direct conflict with their (or their brokers') duty to the seller.

With exclusive buyer agency, buyers can rest assured that the agent, broker, and company are representing their interests exclusively no matter what property they go to see. Buying real estate right is the first step to building a profitable portfolio of income properties. The peace of mind and degree of loyalty given by exclusive buyer agency is the value it brings to buyers whether buying a home or income property.

I believe the future will continue to be bright for exclusive buyer agency, and I will be working towards earning the Certified Exclusive Buyer's Agent (CEBA) designation through the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), as well as the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to better serve the acquisitions of my commercial and investment real estate clients. I strive for such excellence because I have a vested interest in the success of my clients. Their success is mine as well.


Jon Boyd said...

Congratulations Suzette!

I have a question for you

When I took my ABR course in Michigan it seemed like a large portion of the class was devoted to bringing in buyers with the promise of advocacy and buyer agency, then convincing the consumer it was OK to sign away their rights via a "designated agency" agreement that could transform into dual agency whenever the broker could make more money by doing so.

Was that included in your ABR course?

Jon Boyd
The Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor

Suzette West, ABR, EBA said...

Hi Jon,

When I took the class, the instructor discussed the different types of agency, but did not discuss the importance of buyer advocacy. I was the only EBA in the class. Some of the other traditional agents went as far as to say that there was nothing wrong with dual agency. When I said I did not believe in dual agency and that I was an exclusive buyers' agent, the warm and friendly faces soon turned sour and unfriendly. The negativity made the remaining days of the class unpleasant, but the way I saw it, I had as much right to be there as anyone else present. I took what I could from the class that was relevant to buyer agency and left behind whatever else was not.

Suzette West, ABR, EBA said...

P.S. Luckily, I did not hear the instructor say that it was OK for buyers to sign away their rights to dual agency or designated agency.