What is a Real Estate Buyer's Representative?
A real estate buyer's representative represents the buyer who is purchasing property in a real estate transaction. The buyer's representative works for, and owes fiduciary responsibilities to, the real estate buyer and has the buyer's best interests in mind throughout the transaction.
It is important for the buyer to discuss the buyer's representative's compensation in the initial interview. In many cases it is recommended that the buyer and the buyer's representative agree to terms of compensation prior to viewing properties, and sign a written agreement based on those terms. The agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the process.
For a buyer to be represented by a Buyer's Agent, both the buyer and the agent must sign what is called a Buyer Agency Agreement in order for the agent to be able represent the Buyer and to look out for the buyer's best interests throughout the transaction. As a Buyer, you certainly want to be well represented during such an important purchase transaction. After all, this is probably the single most expensive decision you'll make…do you want to go into it on your own, especially when the seller has someone looking out for them?
Buyer's should be aware that a real estate agent can show you property whether or not they are working as your Buyer's Agent. If the agent is not YOUR Agent, they are a Seller's Agent and will be representing the seller of each property they show you. Most people understand if you ask to see a property that is listed with an agent, that that listing agent is working for that seller. But what many people don't realize is that if you are working with an agent, without a Buyer Agency Agreement in place, who shows you all sorts of listings, not just their own, that agent is representing the Seller of ever house they show you, no matter how long you work with them or how many houses they show you, and because they are a seller's agent they must look out for the best interests of each of those sellers. In order to be sure buyer's realize this, The State of Wisconsin requires agents to provide what is called a Disclosure of Real Estate Agency form to anyone they show houses to that is not their buyer client through a Buyer Agency Agreement.