Sellers & Dual Agents….explained

by | Feb 1, 2015 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Education Classes:

Saturday, 2/7 /15, from 9am-12pm  
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)

Tuesday, 2/10  /15, from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, 2/21  /15, from 12pm-3pm  
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA  (This class is full)

…if these dates/times don’t work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations. PLEASE always check  the web site for any changes regarding the classes!

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  🙂
Happy Superbowl Sunday~

Good morning…or afternoon to you!  Whether you are into football, or not, it’s difficult to not get caught up into the spirit of Superbowl Sunday….especially when our local team is in it!  As you know, we love football at my house…college & NFL… but no one agrees on the same teams.  I am a Seahawk fan, my husband is a 49’r fan, my oldest daughter is a Packer fan (last week was fun!), my son is a Browns fan (yeah, I am confused too), and my youngest daughter is leaning towards the Seahawks…but we will see where she ends up.  It should be a good game today as I don’t think the Patriots are going to lie down like the Broncos did last year.  I am just hoping it isn’t a re-enactment of the Duck/Ohio State game (oh, the PAIN!).

So real estate can follow along the lines of football…you have two opposing teams (the buyers agent vs the sellers agent), and after the game ends, you should both be able to shake hands still.  In real estate there really isn’t a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ though….a good transaction ends in a tie.  The seller sells their home to a buyer who then makes it their home.  The agents should both be representing their clients best interests.

This past week I have had two clients involved in multiple offers situations, and (yay for us!), both my clients came out ahead.  One of my clients came out ahead because they were the best offer, and the other client came out ahead because they had the strongest offer.  So what is the difference?  In the first instance we were highest & best.  Technically, the bank wasn’t accepting anymore offers, but I have worked with the banks agent before.  I was able to talk to him, and get my clients offer submitted….and because we were highest & best…get it accepted.  🙂  The second instance was a bit different… the home was an investor owned home, on the market for 2 days, and we were the 4th offer.  We were not the highest or best offer…but we were the strongest in loan type, and the compensating factor that both my clients lender & I have worked with the investor, and their agent, quite often in the past.  They like us, and know us.  Just like in football, the team is only as good as it’s supporting staff.  Your lender & real estate agent are YOUR supporting staff….no matter who that staff is, make sure it is a good one.  A good supporting staff can turn your home buying adventure into a championship one.  Buying a home (and even more so…selling a home) is stressful.  As I say in the classes, it is a lot like driving down Mill Plain on Friday around 5pm.  There is always going to be a hiccup somewhere.  Your lender and agent (ie your supporting staff) have the job of smoothing out those hiccups….to come up with solutions and providing you the best options for you to choose from.  In real estate, the championship trophy is keys, and we all want you to get those keys!

So, last week (ok, week before) we talked about what buyers agents do.  This week we are going to talk about Sellers agents & Dual agents….  (If you missed the buyers agent blog you can find it on my Facebook page at:  Tracie DeMars Real Estate)

Seller’s Agent~

This is the agent who works for the seller.  The agents name and/or picture will be on the sign and flyers.  They are hired by the sellers to help them market the home.  A sellers agent is hired by the seller to represent the seller to the best of their ability.  In a nutshell, a sellers agent want to sell the home for the highest price, and with the least amount of money out of the seller’s pocketbooks.  When the agent meets with the sellers initially they discuss commission, price, marketing, and what the seller has for a bottom line, and how much they might be willing to pay in closing costs for a buyer.  The seller pays a commission to the sellers agent off of the purchase price.  Some people believe that by calling the sellers agent to help them buy the home they can get a better deal since the seller only has to pay for one agent.  This is wrong….the sellers have a written contract with the sellers agent for a contracted commission.  The sellers agent is going to split that commission with the buyers agent who represents the buyer of the home they are representing the sellers on.  This split is at the sellers agent option and choice….it can be split 50/50, or 60/40, or whatever they want to.  The only time the sellers agent receives the full commission is if the sellers agent represents both the seller and the buyer on the same home/transaction (see below).  I know I talk a lot about buyers agent, so you know that there are many real estate agents who represent buyers.  The sellers agent offers, on the rmls, a BAC (Buyers Agent Commission) to a buyers agent to bring their buyers to the home.  If the buyers like the home then their buyers agent will assist the buyers in writing up an offer for the home.  The buyers agent then sends the offer to the sellers agent to present to the seller for their consideration.  An offer written up by a buyers agent should be in the best interest of the buyer as the buyers agent represents the buyer.  The sellers can accept that offer, counter the original offer, or ignore the offer.  The sellers agent will assist their clients, the sellers, to help them negotiate an offer that they are acceptable with.  The sellers agent works for the seller, to the best of their abilities….helping the seller to navigate the sellers paperwork, assist with the sellers questions, translate lingo, and work to help the sellers find the best deal possible for them.  The sellers agent works for the sellers in the same ways that a buyers agent works for the buyer….just on the other side of the transaction.

Dual Agent~

So, what happens if you call the sellers agent to show you the home?  They will.  What happens if you ask the sellers agent to help you write up an offer on that home that they are representing the seller on?  Well…this is a hot topic in real estate…   A dual agent is an agent that works for both the seller and the buyer on the same home.  If the buyer were to call the agent whose name is listed on the flyer or sign, they would be asking for help from the agent hired by the seller to represent the seller.  That agent can show them the home, and can write up the offer, but is still hired originally by the seller to represent their best interest.  By writing up the offer for the buyer as well, that agent now has dual employers, on the same home.  On one hand the agent knows what the seller’s back interests are, and now the agent also knows what the buyer’s back interests are.  It is my opinion only that it would be very difficult to serve two masters.  A team would be a dual agent, regardless of who is listing or selling, as by being a ‘team’, in essence they are acting as one.  A builder’s agent is also a dual agent as they are employees of the builder, and not the buyer.  If you call an agent, and the agent says something like, “I am sorry, I work for the seller on that home…but let me get you a (or the) buyers agent”.  That would still be a dual agent as they are most likely contacting their team member or an assistant.   A dual agent is not splitting the commission with anyone.  There are some agents who will offer a seller a ‘discounted’ commission if they bring in the buyer (act as a dual agent), and they can really make it sound like they are ‘helping’ the seller by offering them that discounted commission, but who are they really helping?  Who are they really representing?  Dual agency is not illegal in the state of Washington, but yes, there are states where it is illegal.   It is only my opinion that every buyer should have their own agent hired to exclusively represent the buyers and their best interests.  Personally, I will not do a dual agency as I don’t believe that you can serve two masters.  I firmly believe that each side should have their own representation….just like a courtroom.  You would never call the other parties lawyer to represent you, right?  So why would you call the other parties agent?

Again…85% of homes are purchased where the buyers are using a buyers agent!  The buyers agent is paid, at closing, with what is called a BAC (Buyers Agent Commission) that is offered by the sellers agent from the commission being paid by the sellers.  If an agent talks to you about their ‘buyers agent fee’, or the fee they charge to assist the buyers in their home buying adventure….well, if it were me I would ask them about BAC, and how they work!  One of my favorite questions to ask agents is how they feel about dual agency as I feel that it tells me a lot about that agents work style, and ethical beliefs.  I also like to ask agents if they ask buyers to guarantee them a certain BAC percentage, or if they charge a fee when they work as a buyers agent.  The answers are always very interesting, and the explanations and defenses of such practices always crack me up!!  Remember….real estate and lending is all about verbiage!  We are taught ‘scripts’ to make things sound very good when, in fact, they may not be good for YOU!  Ask questions, and if you don’t like the answers…move on!!  And NEVER sign anything without a very good explanation of what it is, why they want it, and what it means to you!!

We are all a little crazy here, and sometimes what you hear isn’t what we are really saying….be sure to ask questions until you are happy with the answers.  Agents, whether we work for the seller, or the buyer, are always here to helps, advise, and assist our respective clients.

Information is power, and I hope that I am help you!  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your homebuying adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your homebuying adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Next Week:   Closing costs…what are these & options for them?
      2014 real estate in review & looking to 2015

Last Week:  Buyers Agency….what it is & questions to ask
                     Down Payment Options for everyone

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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