I recently completed the educational requirments to receive the Accredited Buyers Agent designation.
The ABR designation is awarded to agents who have shown a higher level of committment to servicing Buyers while also completing the mandatory educational requirements set out by our Local and National Real Estate Associations and in conjunction with the NAR (National Association of Realtors in the USA). I am proud to be one of a handful of REBGV members who have received this designation.
You may ask, why is this important? Ask yourself this question - If I was involved in a legal action would I call the Lawyer of the opposing party first to get their opinion on my case? NO OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T!.
The fact is the Listing Agent already has a fiduciary relationship with the Seller and is only obligated to treat you, the Buyer as a Customer, providing basic facts about the property, and unless agreed to in writing by the Seller, is unable to provide you any representation.
The "Limited Dual Agency" practice of representing both parties is a slippery slope for all concerned. As a Buyer it is advisable to get independant legal review of the contract if you choose to write your offer with the Listing Agent. Better yet, save the additional legal fees and start your buying process by interviewing Realtors and know that when it comes time to make an offer you are fully represented by the Agent of your choice.
In my 16 years as a Realtor, my client mix is comprised of approximately 75% of transactions on behalf of the Buyer. Over 50% of these Buyers are new to Vancouver and have been Relocated here by their companies. They choose me because of my strong negotiating skills and a Big Picture approach - I keep up to date on Sales Activity in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Tri-Cities, and the Sea to Sky corridor. I also am on the VIP list of every developer in town...but thats for a later blog post....the fact is I LOVE WORKING WITH BUYERS.
So next time you walk into the open house or the pre-sale presentation centre and the listing agent starts getting all friendly asking you questions remember this is all for the benefit of the Seller - just nod and make a comment about the paint color - then call your Buyers Agent!