I’ve had some people say “Oh, we don’t know where we want to buy yet – we’re just looking around – we don’t want to waste your time”! That’s the wrong way to begin your search. Helping you get oriented, become informed about the overall real estate market and begin to make basic decisions about where and how you want to live is a big part of how a Buyer Agent helps you. In Delaware, the commission earned by your Buyer Agent is negotiated by the Listing Agent at the time the house was listed and placed into the MLS. Some say the total commission is paid by the Seller; I like to say it is paid out of the real estate transaction itself. The only time you need to be concerned about a commission to your Buyer Agent might be in the case of a house “for sale by owner” or in other isolated cases where the Seller is not offering compensation.
“What about new construction? Shouldn’t I just go directly to the community sales office?”
No, and here are a few reasons why:
- No one can practice real estate in the state of Delaware without a license, unless they work for a builder.
- The sales people in almost all new home communities are employees of the builder; they are not licensed real estate agents or brokers.
- That is not the case in all states; almost half of the states require some kind of licensure but there is no national standard.
What’s the problem?
As an employee, the builder sales person may only communicate information he or she is authorized to tell you. Most licensed real estate agents are members of the National Association of Realtors and are subject to a “Code of Ethics”. A licensed real estate agent is subject to state laws and disclosure requirements that do not cover unlicensed builder sales people. When you walk into a new home sales office without an agent representing you, understand that the job of the sales person is to sell you a home in that one community – period. They do not want you to visit other communities and help you compare and contrast your options. They may want to talk about the competition, but not always in a fair and balanced way to help you make an informed decision.
Working with a Buyer Agent that truly represents you is the best way to find the right house at the right price in the right town or community for you. Your agent isn’t limited to only one way to earn a commission. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new home or a resale home, in town or in a subdivision – it’s all about what’s right for you.
How can we help you?