Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent

Can I use an agent for a new home?
Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents.
Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed.  At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to have Laura Gwyn, P.C. call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.  You need your own representation.  Whether you choose Laura Gwyn, P.C. to represent you or someone else, have your own agent!  The realtors on site are working for the seller/builder, or buyer's agents looking for buyer's.  Work with Laura.

How do I find a real estate agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview at least three agents to give yourself a choice. A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent.  Ask them how many homes they have listed per year and career.  Then ask how many of those sold.  You want an agent who gets homes SOLD not just listed.

What about a buyer's agent?
In many states, it's now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own agent, referred to as buyers brokers.  In Oregon, realtors can work for the buyer, seller of both.  However, if you do not want your realtor to work for both sides of the transaction as a Disclosed Limited Agent, you can tell them in writing when you interview them.  The Oregon Agency Disclosure Pamphlet is online, can be provided to you and also posted on the home page of this website.

How do you find a good agent?
A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience.  All agents in a transaction are usually paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. In many states, this means that your agent legally is acting as a subagent of the seller. But in some states, it's legal for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers.  (This is the case in Oregon.) You also can hire and pay for your own agent, known as buyer's brokers, whose legal obligation is exclusively to you.  Most agreements state you would only be paying this agent if you bought something outside mls like a For Sale by Owner, or the seller payment was not high enough. If you are a seller, you should interview at least three agents, all of whom should make a sales presentation including a comparative market analysis of local home prices in your area. The best choice is not the agent with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent's marketing plan, what percentage of their listings actually sell and close AND how well you think you can work with the individual.

Laura Gwyn PC
Laura Gwyn PC
Principal Broker