If you're shopping for a home in Ohio there's something important to know that might literally save you thousands of dollars.
What knowledge could possibly be worth that much?
How Ohio real estate agents work with the public.
Understanding an agent's responsibility could be the difference in having negotiating leverage and being totally at the mercy of the seller.
So who do real estate agents work for?
If you review Ohio's Consumer Guide To Agency Relationship you'll find their are THREE main categories of agency.
First up is Seller Representation.
As you might guess, that means the agent works for the seller. Period.
The agent (or someone on the agent's team) has a listing agreement between the agent's brokerage and the seller. That listing agreement is a contract that specifies the agent works for the seller and includes the expected responsibilities are. Typically those responsibilities include what you'd expect: market the home, help find a buyer, negotiate on the seller's behalf and get an accepted contract to the closing table. And what you typically WON'T find in the listing agreement? A requirement for the listing agent to contribute part of the brokerage paycheck to the buyer if the buyer represents his/herself or uses the listing agent as their agent.
So with all this in mind, if you go directly to the listing agent, what you say to them CAN be used against you. What might seem to be innocent chatter just might reveal information the seller can use to get higher price from you.
Next up is Buyer Represenation.
And that's pretty much what you'd guess, the agent works for the buyer. There may or may not be a Buyer's Agency Agreement (similar to a listing agreement but for the buyer rather than the seller). With or without the paperwork, the agent and buyer establish a working relationship in how they're going to look for a home and what the agent will do for the buyer. Overall, just think mirror image of the listing agent's responsibilities. Help find a house, weigh the pros and cons, write an offer, negotiate, etc. The buyer's agent is paid by the seller's listing brokerage per the listing agreement. No sale, no pay for the buyer's agent.
The last category is Dual Agency. It's a special circumstance when the listing agent is ALSO the buyer's agent. This can only happen if BOTH the buyer and seller are in agreement. In this case, the agent can't advocate for either side, but must maintain neutrality and basically work to guide the sale process.
The last option? Be like Flat Stanley in the photo. You're own your own. No agent representing you. Unless you sell or buy MANY homes in Ohio, you're going to be at a disadvantage to the agent that does it many times a year. It's our strong recommendation to NOT be unrepresented, and this applies more than ever to new construction purchases. You risk getting flattened by the builder if something isn't to your satisfaction.
Bottom line, the optimal case for consumer represenation is an experienced agent working for the seller and another experienced agent working for the buyer. That type of sole representation means you CAN be told everything you need to be told without handcuffs on the agent.
Want to discuss further? Just give us a call at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz
Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas
The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747
William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109 Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!
Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct: 513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004
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