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If you are ready to buy real estate anywhere in Illinois you may have heard the phrase buyer’s agent and wonder what it means and whether you should consider hiring one. This post is written for Illinois buyers because every state has different laws and phrases.
Technical Terms: In Illinois there are brokerages and brokers. We don’t have any agents now. The brokerage collects compensation and in turn splits it with their brokers (aka agents). You won’t know what these splits are, it has no relevance to your transaction.
In Illinois your real estate buyer’s agent is what we know as a designated agent. In other words the single broker (agent) that works for you.
What is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent.
Simply the broker, or as you know them agent, that works with you to find your home. Their job includes:
- Explaining the entire process.
- Answering all your questions.
- Helps find associated professionals you may need.
- Searching for listings that match your wish list.
- Showing you the homes you request to see.
- Advising regarding pricing.
- Discussing and creating an offer strategy.
- Negotiating your offer to agreement.
- Attending your home inspection.
- Attending a pre-closing check of the house.
- Attending your closing if at all possible.
Most of a real estate buyer’s agent does their work at the beginning of the process and can spend considerable time working with you. Once the inspections are complete, your attorney and lenders take over and move the process towards your closing.
Who Pays The Buyers Agent.
A property seller pays their brokerage a fee, determined between the seller and listing broker. As part of the MLS rules both agree to pay the real estate buyer’s agent a part of that fee. That fee is paid at closing to your broker’s brokerage who will then pay your broker (aka buyers agent).
Can The Listing Agent Be My Buyers Agent?
Here in Illinois the answer is yes. It requires the permission of both the seller and the buyer before a transaction begins. It is referred to as dual agency. There is one very important thing for home buyers especially to fully understand. If you choose to work with the listing agent as your buyers agent they cannot under any circumstances:
- Disclose any personal or financial information about the seller.
- Tell you how much the seller will accept for the property if they know it.
- Advise how much to offer or counter offer as the offer stage progresses.
(Your separate buyers agent can and should disclose any information they find out.)
I will be writing more about dual agency soon as to me it’s an extremely important subject. I believe is often skipped over too frequently.
View this very simple explanation. The center paragraph is very important to buyers.
Who Can Be My Buyers Agent?
Choose any licensed broker in Illinois to be your buyers agent. What’s the best way to choose?
- Seek a broker that has extensive buyers transaction experience.
- Find a local expert and that might mean changing if you change location for your search.
- Look for a buyers agent with any buyers accreditation’s like ABR (Yes Corinne is an ABR).
- Interview buyers agent before selecting.
- Select only one. I guarantee your transaction will be more positive in more ways that you understand.
- Agreements do not have to be written but those do have advantages!
- Yes you can fire your buyers agent if it’s not working out, but be realistic about finger pointing, you may be more to blame that you realize.
The subject of buyer agency has more content and is quite complex, but it’s my job to understand it and explain only the parts that matter to you and your real estate purchase. I hope this overview has helped. If you need the services of a real estate buyer’s agent here in the Barrington area, give me a call. I can be reached at 847.363.3686.
if you need the services of a real estate buyer’s agent in another state, I know where to find them. Let me know where.