Real Estate in Berks County – The Responsibility of a Buyer’s Agent
So you’re a buyer looking to purchase a home in Berks County. Locating real estate in Berks County has become easier than ever before. There are literally thousands of web sites with home search tools for you to utilize. Some have more reliable information than others.
You look at some real estate in Berks County and a home catches your eye. You would like to know more about it. Maybe even schedule a preview.
Some web sites make it easy for you to contact the Listing Agent of the real estate. They supply phone numbers, email addresses, information buttons and even forms for you to supply your contact information so the Listing Agent can reply. Sometimes you are given a choice to contact one of several Buyer Agents.
So what should you do about the real estate in Berks County you are interested in? Who should you contact about the home you want to see.
If you are simply curious and looking for information on the home, you may want to contact the Listing Agent. This is the person that likely knows the most about the property. If you want to see one of the Berks County homes you may consider using a Buyer Agent. In either case it is best to understand your rights.
Berks County real estate and the real estate industry in general has this thing called “Procuring Cause”. You may ask, “what is it?” Good question. Many people in the real estate industry are not even sure. Here is one take on it….
Procuring cause is a complex issue (understatement), and no one action ensures that you’re entitled to compensation (commission) after a sale. Appendix II to Part 10 of the (Realtor) Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual gives a basic definition of procuring cause as “the uninterrupted series of causal events, which results in the successful transaction (purchase of property).” Neither showing the property nor having a buyer’s representation agreement with the purchaser automatically demonstrates procuring cause.”
To better understand the Pennsylvania Real Estate Agency Act and preview a copy of the Pennsylvania CONSUMER NOTICE CLICK HERE.
So what does this have to do with you? You simply want information about a Berks County home. You may just want to see it, and if it suits your needs, buy it. You don’t want to be married to a Berks County real estate agent or feel obligated in any way.
Most Berks County real estate agents, who list homes, readily take calls and answer emails from prospective buyers. In most cases they do so without claiming procuring cause.
I, for one, am glad to supply property and/or Berks County real estate information to buyers who call about real estate I have listed for sale. If those buyers decide to use me to purchase the home they called about that is fine with me. I am sure to explain their rights and disclose the agency relationship that exists between me and the property owner. In most cases, the buyer is totally aware that I represent the property owner when they call. If the buyer decides not to purchase the home they called about, it is my hope the buyer will consider having me represent them as their Buyer Agent. Either way, the property information is available and no agency relationship is required. If a buyer desires to work with us we are more than happy to do so.
You see, when I list a home I represent the seller. My job is to sell the property. I can supply a prospective buyer with information on a home I have listed for sale. I can even draft an agreement of sale for the buyer to purchase the home, but I still represent the seller. I do it all the time:)
I will repeat this….A Sellers Agent is contracted by the Property Owner to sell the Property.
Ok, if that is clear we can move on to my reason for writing this particular Berks County real estate blog.
It is my opinion and practice NOT to SELL a property to a Buyer who has contracted me to represent them in the search and subsequent acquisition of a Property.
When a buyer walks into a home, if they like it, no selling is needed. If after acquiring and sharing all the information I can about a home, I still have to sell my Buyer on that home, it is the wrong one for them. I have yet to work with a buyer that liked me so much that they were willing to purchase a home they did not like.
The Buyer likes it! They need reason not to! It is time to exercise caution! These cautions, if any, should come from the Buyer Agent.
My philosophy is simple. Work for the customer, not myself.
Having a great Buyer Agent is very rewarding. A great Buyer Agent can assist in finding the right properties to investigate. This saves time and money. Opportunities will be more abundant and information valuable. Buying a home has become increasingly complicated. It is therefore imperative to have an agent that understands the rules, regulations and competent practices associated with purchasing real estate in Berks County. A great Buyer Agent has great contacts. You may need advice on a mortgage lender, home inspector, contractor, conveyancing, etc…
The message here is simple. Buying a home may be the most important thing you do. Where you live shapes much of your life. It influences the people you meet, friends your children will grow up with, the way you drive to work and so much more. This is a time when you need someone who is not going to sell you anything. It is a time when you need someone who will apply reason, experience and knowledge when it is needed. Even if it means NO SALE on a particular property.
Hire a professional that can truly assist you with this profound undertaking. Maybe hire one that has been in the Berks County real estate industry since 1993 has lived in Berks County for (almost) 50 years and has assisted hundreds of buyers acquire real estate in Berks County PA. Sorry, just could not help the selfless plug:)
Jeffrey C. Hogue