Because of that, exclusive buyer agents and their company have a fiduciary relationship with their buyer-clients, which include the following duties:

  • Loyalty
  • Obedience
  • Confidentiality
  • Accounting
  • Reasonable skill and care
  • Disclosure

 

This level of protection and dedication is not available under other types of real estate agency. By the virtue of their fiduciary relationship with the home buyer, exclusive buyer agents will disclose information to the buyer that materially affects a buyer’s best interests, even if that information is detrimental to the seller! The listing agent cannot make such disclosures and must remain loyal to the seller.

This is a critical distinction that separates an exclusive buyer agent from the “dual agency” practice that is common among real estate companies. Here are further examples:

  • An Exclusive Buyer Agent can provide guidance about how much to offer for a home and share insights that would provide an advantage to the buyer.
  • An Exclusive Buyer Agent negotiates exclusively on the buyer’s behalf, seeking the best price and terms for the buyer.
  • An Exclusive Buyer Agent works to protect their clients with contractual contingencies, designed with the buyer’s best interests in mind.

Exclusive buyer agents are licensed real estate professionals who work under the management of an exclusive buyer broker. NAEBA members are exclusive buyer agents who must adhere to the strict standards outlined by NAEBA. This includes a willingness to work only with home buyers with a commitment to NAEBA standards of professional conduct, ethic and principals.

An exclusive buyer broker represents a higher level of industry education and licensing. NAEBA members who are exclusive buyer brokers adhere to the same strict professional and ethical standards that apply to exclusive buyer agents. Exclusive buyer brokers agree to never represent home sellers or accept listings. Like exclusive buyer agents, an exclusive buyer broker only represents home buyers.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA). Mike Badenoch is an exclusive buyer agent and broker associate with Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc., Sanibel, Florida. Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc. is an exclusive buyer agency representing only real estate buyers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. Feel free to call Mike at 239-292-1233 with any questions you may have or visit his web site at www.yourexclusivebuyeragent.com.

As an exclusive buyer agent I always tell my buyers to have the home inspected.

Any home you plan to buy should be inspected by a qualified home inspector. This is true even if it’s a brand new home. No home is perfect and no home inspection can guarantee there may not be hidden issues. However, the more you know about your home’s imperfections the better prepared you will be to deal with their maintenance.

A professional home inspection of all major items inside and outside the home should be the basis of the home inspection. The inspector should conduct a visual inspection of accessible systems and components of the home including:

  • Structure and Foundation
  • Electrical Systems
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Roofs and Attics
  • Basements and Crawl Spaces
  • Gutters and Drainage
  • Walls, Floors and Ceilings
  • Porches and Decks
  • Property and Site

In addition, they should also inspect and operate:

  • Furnaces in Heating Season
  • Air Conditioning in Cooling Season
  • Plumbing Fixtures in Kitchens, Baths and Laundries
  • Water Heaters
  • A Representative Sampling of Lights and Receptacles
  • A Representative Sampling of Windows and Doors
  • Built-in Appliances

Ask your buyer agent for the names of several home inspectors and then check their references before deciding which one to use. In Florida, the inspector must be a Florida State Licensed Home Inspector. They should also belong to at least one building inspector association such as the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) or a local chapter member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Your home inspector should be insured. They should have years of experience and should be able to offer or recommend additional services such as mold and radon testing, wood destroying organisms inspection (termite).

Finally, they should allow you to be present at the inspection and then promptly furnish you with a written report.

Mike Badenoch is an exclusive buyer agent and broker associate with Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc., Sanibel, Florida. Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc. is an exclusive buyer agency representing only real estate buyers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. Feel free to call Mike at 239-292-1233 with any questions you may have or visit his web site at www.yourexclusivebuyeragent.com.

If you are thinking about financing the purchase of your second home or vacation home you should obtain financing pre-approval from an established lender before you begin your search. Please do not rely solely on your local home town bank. It’s always smart to get several opinions as rates, terms and conditions can vary greatly from institution to institution. If you are not a Florida resident beware that your local bank may not be licensed to do business in Florida. Even if they can do business in Florida it is unlikely that they will understand the second home or vacation home market for the area in which you are looking.

Before talking with a mortgage broker or banker spend some time thinking about the process. Contact your accountant or attorney to see how a mortgage will affect your tax situation. Then ask your exclusive buyer’s agent for recommendations of local established, professional brokers and/or bankers. Also, while internet mortgages may seem easy consider brick and mortar brokers and bankers as well. Financing a home is a complicated undertaking and there can be problems along the way. Your or your buyer agent’s ability to sit down across the table from the mortgage broker may be more helpful than trading e-mails or texts with the internet broker.

Here are some questions that you should ask of any potential lender:

Will rates vary depending upon whether this will by my primary or secondary residence?

If I choose to rent out the property will that affect my rates?

Does the lender offer “in-house” or portfolio lending programs? Will they hold the mortgage themselves or sell it to another company?

How will the amount of down payment affect the rate?

Will there be any prepayment penalty?

How long will I have to lock in my rate?

Will they give you a good faith estimate of costs associated with the loan?

Will they provide a pre-approval letter?

In addition to the above make a list of any additional questions that you may have.

Rates and service levels will vary so you will want more than one quote. Also, nothing says that you cannot take the lowest quote back to the other lender and ask them to meet or beat it!

Mike Badenoch is an exclusive buyer agent and broker associate with Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc., Sanibel, Florida. Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc. is an exclusive buyer agency representing only real estate buyers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. Feel free to call Mike at 239-292-1233 with any questions you may have or visit his web site at www.yourexclusivebuyeragent.com.

Are You Considering Buying A Second Home, Vacation Home or Condominium in Southwest Florida? There’s Homework to be Done First!

Find an exclusive buyer’s agent whom you can trust.

The most important preparation you can do is to find a buyer agent who represents you exclusively and who understands your goals and needs. In many Florida real estate transactions the Realtor will represent the transaction (transactional agent) and not the buyer (exclusive buyer’s agent). Ask the agent if their agency lists property. If they do they have a relationship with the seller which can cause a conflict of interest for them.

Your buyer agent will be able to help you with the rest of the homework. They will be able to direct you to professional and reliable mortgage brokers, insurance agents and home inspectors and will be able to guide you through the buying process.

Will you need a mortgage?

While cash is still king not all second home, vacation home or condominium buyers want to or are able to pay cash. If you need a mortgage please do yourself a favor and get prequalified. This way you can take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for your financial needs. Ask your buyer’s agent for local lender recommendations. Your agent knows who is professional and can close on time and with the fewest surprises. Make sure you understand the real estate loan process completely.

Understand the additional costs.

Even without a mortgage a home costs money. Talk with your attorney or tax advisor to understand Florida property taxes and how a Florida Homestead Exemption might benefit you. Ask your buyer’s agent for the name of a professional and reliable insurance agent and talk with them to understand the types of insurance that may be required in your area of Southwest Florida. Finally, even new homes require annual maintenance, or lawn and pool services. Consider these when determining your real estate budget.

Make a priority list.

Talk with your family about what is important to everyone. Understand why you are buying the property, what type of property will best suit the family needs and where it should be located. Weigh the pros and cons of condominium living versus single family home living and determine what best fits your needs. Which features and amenities are most important to you and your family? Once you have agreed prioritize from most to least. Finally, share this with your buyer’s agent. Ask their opinion as to whether it’s realistic or whether you have missed something.

What is your plan for the future?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a real estate “wish list” but you should also think about future resale. Your profit will be made on the purchase. Is your present or future goal retirement to Florida? Will your present requirements for square footage, bedrooms, community type, etc. be the same in the next few years? These and other factors should be considered.

Markets can change quickly. You need to be ready to change tactics!

To be a successful buyer you need to be “ready, willing and able.” In many of today’s markets the inventory of real estate for sale is low and a buyer who is not prepared can miss out on the home they wish to purchase. If you haven’t done your homework in advance and have to do the work along the way you may find that someone else has purchased your dream property ahead of you.  That’s where an experienced buyer’s agent can be crucial to your success.

Mike Badenoch is an exclusive buyer agent and broker associate with Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc., Sanibel, Florida. Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc. is an exclusive buyer agency representing only real estate buyers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. Feel free to call Mike at 239-292-1233 with any questions you may have or visit his web site at www.yourexclusivebuyeragent.com.

Are You Ready to Buy That Second Home, Vacation Home or Condominium?

Have you planned ahead?

Have you had a discussion with your family about the type of home that best suits everyone’s needs? Have you made a conscious decision about whether you want a single family home or a condominium? Whether you will need a mortgage or if you are already pre-approved? Have you discussed insurance costs, taxes and maintenance costs and/or a property management? If you answered yes to all of the above you are ready to buy. If you answered no to any of the above, step back, take a deep breath and think a little more about what you want and can afford to do.

Looking without a plan will put you at a disadvantage.

If you start looking without having a mortgage pre-approval or understanding insurance costs and taxes you are not yet ready to buy and may risk losing out on that “just right” property while you educate yourself on these costs. Sellers want to sell and want buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now.

Trust your buyer’s agent.

It’s important to have a buyer’s agent/realtor whom you can trust. They are the experts and professionals who are looking out for your interests, not the seller’s. While it’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, your neighbors or friends who will happily share their opinions are not experts. Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many opinions from well meaning people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on your wants and needs and the wants and needs of the people who will actually live in the home.

No house is ever perfect.

Have you ever talked with someone who had a home custom built just for them? Would they do it the same way if they were to build again? Chances are they would want to make some changes. So, be realistic with your expectations. Maybe it’s in the right location but the yard is a little smaller than your dream home. Is it close to the amenities you want and have other aspects that will impact your family? Maybe it has the open floor plan and kitchen that you want but the carpets and colors aren’t perfect. Focus on things that are most important to you and those who will live there. Let the minor imperfections go. New carpet and fresh paint are an easy fix.

Negotiations are stressful.

Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by leading with an extra-low offer or refusing to budge on a reasonable counter offer may cost you the home you love. Discuss your strategy with your buyer’s agent before you make the offer.

Mike Badenoch is an exclusive buyer agent and broker associate with Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc., Sanibel, Florida. Buyer’s Choice Realty Group, Inc. is an exclusive buyer agency representing only real estate buyers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. Feel free to call Mike at 239-292-1233 with any questions you may have or visit his web site at www.yourexclusivebuyeragent.com.