The agency laws in Virginia, continue to evolve to the point that virtually every buyer has their own Buyer's Agent. When you sign an agreement with a 'Buyer's Agent,' you are not necessarily signing on with anyone who has any experience or training to be a Buyer's Agent...any Realtor® can represent either a buyer or a seller.
There are plenty of great Realtor®s out there who do not hold any special designations. If you are going to trust them to help you find a new home, be sure that you do a good job of screening them. Find out how they plan to keep you abreast of new listings in your areas of interest. Find out how they handle contract preparation (do they use electronic signatures, paper only, a hybrid of both). Find out how they communicate and if they are a full-time Realtor®. Find out what percentage of their business is working with buyers. In other words do your homework!
The mistake that plenty of people make is selecting a buyer's agent because they are around. Maybe they are a relative or a friend of the family. Maybe they are from a recent open house. Maybe the buyer stopped into an office and this agent was at the front desk. Maybe they just liked their picture on the internet.
The reason I say this is a mistake, is that when an agent is selected without any specific criteria or requirements, there is no way to know how they will represent the buyer's interests in a transaction. It may work out well, or it may be a disaster.
When I meet a new buyer, I like to have an extensive conversation with them about how I work, the process I follow and about their requirements and time frames. If it is seems like a good fit, we will sign a short-term Buyer Agreement. This agreement allows me to legally show them homes. If after our first couple of meetings, we decide it is a good fit (styles mesh and a trust develops), we will create a longer relationship by extending the Buyer Agreement.
There is a great resource for consumers called REBAC that features all Accredited Buyers Representatives. You can search by geographical area or name.
The establishment of Buyer Agency agreement is an important contractual relationship. You are going to be working closely with this person to find your new home. Make sure that you choose wisely!
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A GREAT Real Estate experience.
If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!
If you need help with a home outside of Northern Virginia, I have an extensive network of referral agents and will make sure you are working with the best!
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