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Looking for Homes with a Buyer's Broker
 More Resources for Buyers and Sellers
  Some buyers may choose to have a real estate agent work exclusively for the buyer. These agents are commonly referred to as a buyer's broker. A buyer's broker will work with the buyer to find a home that meets the criteria set by the buyer. In exchange for this service, the broker charges a fee that is usually a percentage of the purchase price of the property. As a result, the use of a buyer's broker can be expensive and a potential buyer should consult with an attorney prior to signing any agreements with a buyer's broker. Real estate agents, including buyer brokers, are not attorneys and are prohibited from giving legal advice. An attorney who practices in residential real estate should review all exclusive agency agreements, offers and counter-offers before you sign the document. Additionally, buyers should beware of some potential conflicts that may arise in the use of a buyer's broker.

In some companies the broker/owner and all the agents in that office only work with buyers. This specialization is usually referred to as "exclusive buyer agency", and their office structure is referred to as an "exclusive buyer office" ("EBO"). Because the EBO office does not have seller contracts ("listings"), they do not have a conflict of interest within their own firm, and can therefore concentrate all their efforts on finding the buyer exactly what he or she is looking for, wherever it may be: a for-sale-by-owner, foreclosure, not-yet-listed, or a property listed by traditional companies.

In some locations there are no EBO offices. Buyer agents within traditional companies also can prove to be good agents to work with if they have an individual commitment to objectively present to you all available properties that meet your criteria, and if they disclose to you what they will do in the case of an in-house conflict of interest. A built-in conflict of interest occurs any time you are interested in a property already listed within a firm, because the firm already has a contract with the sellers to get the highest price and best terms for that property. How this situation is handled is different from company to company, and is an important question to ask when interviewing a buyer broker.

If you choose to work with a buyer's broker, you should make sure that your agent is a member of the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Additionally, you should have an attorney review the listing contract prior to signing on with an agent.

For more information of buyer brokers and Realtors please visit the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

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