When dealing with real estate in the Hamptons, understanding the differences between buyer’s agents and seller’s agents can make a difference in how you approach the purchase of your home. It’s natural to have questions, Bill Carroll of Hampton One Real Estate Group is here with the answers.
The Question: Last month you pointed out the importance of buyers working with a buyer’s agent, and the significance of buyer’s choosing to have client versus customer status. But does the buyer client have to pay a buyer’s agent?
The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: First off, it’s important to understand that all brokerages set their own fee structure, so the answer may vary from broker to broker.
With that said, the answer to this question is one of the great ironies of buying real estate in the Hamptons, because in most cases, having a buyer’s agent represent you in the purchase of a home costs you nothing. It’s usually included in the price of the home!
Here’s how it works:
1) When a house is listed for sale, the seller’s contract with the listing agent spells out the commission rate that will be awarded to any agents selling the house, including buyer’s agents. This is established up front and typically covers your agent’s compensation.
2) If on the rare occasion the buyer’s agent is not offered compensation through the listing agreement, a provision may be included in the purchase contract stating the seller agrees to pay a specified fee to the buyer in order for the buyer to pay the buyer’s representative. It’s that simple.
So, if it’s not costing a buyer anything extra to receive a greater level of service, why wouldn’t they choose to have a buyer’s agent represent them?
The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: They would, if they were aware buyer’s agents existed. I would have to believe they would choose them every time. It’s an absolute no-brainer. Buyer brokerage is anything but typical here in the Hamptons. It has long been the culture for sellers to receive the lion’s share of representation. That’s actually why we chose to start a brokerage that was totally dedicated to the representation of buyers—a place where buyers could depend on agents having their best interest protected.
What are the overall advantages of having a buyer’s agent in the transaction?
The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One: To start, a level playing field. But more typically, the sky is the limit. Let’s look at it this way: it doesn’t really matter what a consumer is buying—it might be a car, a boat or a house. Regardless of the product, getting a great deal is dependent on two things: having knowledge of all the available information, and knowing how to use it successfully in negotiations. A buyer simply can’t get that from any other agent except a buyer’s agent.
If you have questions for Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group, where buyer clients never pay anything additional for their service, you can contact him at (631) 241-8168 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.