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Walking into a builder’s Model Home?
DO NOT ASSUME the agent on duty works for you or represents your interests!
There are 2 sides to every real estate transaction: the buyer side and the seller side. The listing agent, or seller’s agent, represents the seller and the buyer’s agent represents the buyer. The commission in a real estate transaction is almost always paid for by the seller. At closing of the transaction, the seller pays the listing brokerage a previously agreed upon sum which the listing brokerage then splits with the buyer agent’s brokerage. 99.9999 times out of 100, this is how it works. In other words, in almost every case a buyer can hire a Realtor® to represent their best interests in a real estate transaction FOR FREE. Since buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make and the journey can be full of obstacles, it makes good sense to hire a buyer agent Realtor® to represent you in the transaction—especially since it can be done at no added cost to you!
What about in the case of new construction?
You walk into a builder’s model home and there is a very friendly agent on duty and that agent seems ready to serve you. Sometimes that agent is looking for a buyer to represent and you can feel good about hiring that agent to represent your interests. But sometimes (and this is the case with increasing frequency here in El Paso) that agent on duty seems to be acting as a Realtor®, but is actually only a builder’s salesperson and can only show you that builder’s houses. And it can also happen that that agent is actually working for the builder EVEN IF HE OR SHE IS A LICENSED REALTOR®. In essence, that Realtor® is functioning as a builder’s representative even if he or she is licensed by Texas to sell real estate. That agent’s fiduciary duty is to the seller (in this case the builder) and you would be better served to hire your own Realtor® to represent you in the transaction because:
If you’re house hunting and you haven’t hired your own advocate Realtor® yet, a good rule of thumb is to always ask the agent on duty, “DO YOU WORK FOR THE SELLER?” The answer may surprise you.