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2008-07-15 16:13:47

Talk to at Least 3 Agents Before You Choose One to Help You Buy

In this market, using the first real estate agent you speak to is a recipe for disaster for home buyers according to the home buying specialists at the National Assn. of Exclusive Buyer Agents, ( For years real estate sellers have been told to interview a number of agents before they pick one to list their home because of the difference in the service levels provided. However, most home buyers end up using the first real estate person they meet.

"In an appreciating market, buyers may not need a skilled negotiator and property evaluator. But today's real estate environment is different. Home buyers need to work with the most skilled agent they can find to provide market insights and to advocate on their behalf," stated Barry Nystedt, President of NAEBA. "Home buyers need to compare the qualifications, loyalty, experience and negotiation effectiveness of real estate agents to find the best one to work with. Top buyer's agents will be very happy to discuss their capabilities and the types of savings they have been able to achieve for buyers."

If home buyers are not careful in choosing an agent they are often caught in a difficult situation if they see homes with an agent from the listing office and later decide they want to use their own agent to represent them, because the listing office may make a claim for the buyer agent fee built into the transaction.

Other buyers are having problems with the mixed loyalty of real estate agents. In a recent Charlotte Observer article consumers reported that a real estate company said they would take care of the buyers and protect them against homebuilders seeking to prey on their inexperience. But Charlotte Observer reporters found that these so-called buyer agents were taking bonus incentives from the builders, often behind the buyer's back.

Licensing laws have changed in many states, making it possible for an agent to claim to be working to get the buyer the lowest price while working in the same office as an agent trying to get the seller the highest price. Consumers need to understand these conflicts up front.

With home values still falling in many areas home buyers need their own loyal advocate. "Ask the real estate people you are considering working with some serious questions," recommends Barry Nystedt of NAEBA. "Choose one who has a proven track record of helping home buyers save money and who will be loyal to you no matter what home you are interested in. Don't just settle for the first real estate agent you talk to."

The National Assn. of Exclusive Buyer Agents was founded in 1995 to help consumers become educated home buyers. NAEBA is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to be the "champions of real estate buyers' rights and representation."  NAEBA offers industry standard certifications, ongoing education, client referral services, technology, and information sharing. The NAEBA Code of Ethics pledges undivided loyalty to real estate buyers only. For the name of an exclusive buyer's agent in your area, visit

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