Ask the Real Estate Expert: Hamptons Market, Buyer’s Agents and More

Everyone has questions about real estate in the Hamptons—and many of you have asked those questions right here to Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group. He’s discussed the differences between working with a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent—and what you need to know about each. He’s talked about whether now is the time to buy a house in the Hamptons. Now he’s here to share some of the most popular questions you’ve asked…and his expert answers.

Bill Carroll, Buyers Agent, of Hampton One Real Estate Group
Bill Carroll of Hampton One Real Estate Group

The Question: What is the best part of being a buyer’s agent in the Hamptons?

The Answer from Bill Carroll of Hampton One Real Estate Group: There are several “best parts,” but I would say that first and foremost is I get to help people become experts on home buying.  And that’s what they really want, because it enables them to confirm whether or not they are making a good deal on their purchase. I don’t want buyers just taking my word for it; I would rather present them all the information and work together to decipher it.

Consumers today know how to do the math, and it’s important to them to know they are getting it right. But if they don’t have all the parts of the equation, they may only be able to arrive at a partial answer. That’s just not good enough when you’re spending six and seven figures on a home. I really enjoy sharing my expertise.

The Question: Is now the right time to buy a home in the Hamptons?

The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: The answer for me is simple: It will always be the right time to buy in the Hamptons; just not every house, every dayA buyer’s agent will help you see the opportunity and pick your spot wisely. More on that in a moment. But unwise purchases are made here all the time. And it’s usually because of a lack of information. Just because it’s a buyer’s market does not mean each and every home is a bargain. Caveat emptor was never as important as when buying real estate here on the East End of Long Island…or anywhere, for that matter.

How does a buyer know if the agent he/she is working with represents buyers or sellers?

The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: In the Hamptons, the vast majority of agents work for the seller. That’s the norm. But buyers are entitled to representation as well. That’s the law.

According to the New York Department of State, every real estate agent is obligated to explain agency disclosure (who they represent) the very first time they meet a buyer or seller. At that first meeting, the agent will request the buyer or seller sign a disclosure form to acknowledge this explanation. If you are dealing with an agent who has not presented this form, it’s time to find a new agent.

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.

You’ve pointed out in the past that by using a buyer’s representative, a buyer would receive “a greater level of service” than if they purchased through an agent who represents the seller. What specifically is the end gain of that better service?

The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: The goal of an agent who acts in the buyer’s best interest is threefold—to search for and locate the home that most closely fits their clients wants and needs, to diligently research and disclose all information regarding that home and it’s property, and to negotiate the lowest price possible to ensure the buyer is getting the best possible value.

How is that best accomplished?

The Answer from Bill Carroll at Hampton One Real Estate Group: Two words—trust and teamwork. You see, because a buyer’s agent’s full fiduciary obligation is to their buyer client, the relationship between the two parties is one that is built on trust. When there is trust, there can be a free flow of communication and information. This creates a true atmosphere of teamwork. I believe that this is one of if not the most important factors in a successful purchase.

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 [email protected]. You can also ask questions and find answers from Hampton One Real Estate Group on Facebook

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