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This part of the site can give you an historical understanding of why it is important to have your own agent. The following information, while dry and technical in nature, fills in critical details about whom the various types of real estate agents in Wisconsin represent, and why knowing about their differences can save you time, money and effort.

In addition to the information you see below, you should be aware that, as of December 28, 2005--with an implementation date of June 1, 2006--another dual agency status was created, called Designated Agency. To learn more about the problems inherent with Designated Agency, [Click Here] for Details.

 
In Wisconsin, there are essentially four types of agents. The first two are listing agents and subagents. As a buyer, you should be aware that these "traditional" agents have a legal obligation to loyally work toward getting the highest price and best possible terms for the sellers.

Not too long ago, these were the only types of agents with whom buyers could work. Fortunately, times have changed. Back around 1992, a third type of agent began to emerge and has since become accepted in the Greater Madison Area, as well as in other parts of the nation. This third type of agent is known as the buyer's agent. (In Wisconsin, in the absence of a written agreement between a buyer and a buyer's agent--not to be confused with our state-mandated agency disclosure form--buyers are either working with a listing agent or a subagent.)

The principal difference between the buyer's agent and all other agents is that a buyer's agent has a legal obligation to loyally work toward getting the buyer the lowest price at the best possible terms. Everything that the buyer's agent does, except in one particular--and frequently occurring--circumstance, must be performed with the intention of creating the maximum benefit possible for the buyer client.

This one exception occurs when the buyer's agent has requested, and been given, contractual permission by their buyer client, at the outset of the relationship, to transition into what is known as a dual agent--which also happens to be the fourth and final kind of agent recognized in Wisconsin.

With dual agency, also known as "multiple representation," the buyer client agrees at the outset of the relationship to allow their buyer's agent to stop representing their best interests, if they wish to purchase ANY home listed by their buyer agent's COMPANY. When this happens, both the seller and the buyer have lost their advocacy in the transaction as their former agents must then transition into intermediaries in the negotiations, prohibited by law from giving either party advice that would be detrimental to the other.

What makes dual agency most troublesome, is that you--as a buyer--can never adequately judge how likely it is that the home you may want to buy may be listed, or become listed, by the company that is acting as your buyer's agent. Factually speaking, the bigger the Company for which your buyer's agent works--including all the satellite offices within that company--the more likely that you will be thrust into a dual agency situation and thus lose your advocacy.

Fortunately, there is a way to obtain buyer agency services, receive full access to the real estate marketplace and NEVER have to worry about the possibility of being drawn into a dual agency situation and that is to retain the services of a very specialized and rare type of buyer's agent known as the EXCLUSIVE buyer agent.

Exclusive buyer agents--and the firms for which they work--do not list houses, nor do they EVER represent sellers, so there is absolutely NO possibility of a buyer losing their representation due to the risk of dual agency. Exclusive buyer agents provide 100 percent homebuyer representation, 100 percent of the time.

Some of the other benefits that accrue to buyers who use exclusive buyer agents, as opposed to buyers who are simply customers of traditional seller agents, appear in the paragraphs below. This list, though not all-inclusive, does illustrate many of the prime differences between exclusive buyer agents and all other types of agents in Wisconsin.

** There is no additional cost for using an exclusive buyer agent over any other type of agent. The exclusive buyer agent is compensated through the transaction in the same fashion as any other cooperating broker who has brought a buyer to the property.

** Using a buyer's agent may very well save you money. A study by U.S. Sprint (the long distance company) found that "232 relocating Sprint employees who hired buyer's brokers paid an average of 91 percent of a home's list price. People who used traditional agents typically paid about 96 percent. On a house originally priced at $150,000, that's a difference of $7,500." (Money Magazine, April 1993.)

** Besides those properties that are listed on a Multiple Listing Service, exclusive buyer agents can seek out and represent their clients on For Sale By Owner, Bank-Owned, and any other type of property. An exclusive buyer agent can even contact every owner in a particular neighborhood that interests the buyer-client, to inquire whether or not the owner may be willing to allow the buyer-client to view the potential seller's unlisted home.

** When viewing homes, one of the exclusive buyer agent's obligations is to go beyond mere disclosure of adverse factors relating to these homes and/or neighborhoods, to offering advice to the buyer on how these factors may impact upon future resale or relate to the buyer's current needs or desires.

** An exclusive buyer agent will provide their buyer-client with a market value analysis, prior to that buyer making an offer on any particular home, so that the buyer will have their agent's professional, written opinion on the value of that home.

** When drafting offers, counter-offers or engaging in other negotiations, the exclusive buyer agent must always be focused on loyally advancing the best interests of the buyer.

Simply put, everything that the exclusive buyer's agent does, must ALWAYS be geared toward creating the maximum benefit possible, for the buyer client.

All of this could lead some sellers to believe that exclusive buyer agents have a goal of creating a disadvantage for sellers, when all the exclusive buyer agent is attempting to do is to provide for their buyer-clients, the same type of representation that had previously only been available to sellers through traditional real estate agents. Exclusive Buyer Agents seek to level the playing field for their buyers.

As consumers become more aware of the options that are available to them when it comes to real estate agents, it would not be surprising to see them seek out the best listing agent that they could find to represent them in the sale of their present home, while seeking out and utilizing the services of the best Exclusive Buyer Agent they can find to help them secure their next home, thus protecting and hopefully increasing their household net worth by conserving/maximizing their equity.

The bottom line in all of this is that Wisconsin homebuyers have many more choices than they've ever had before, and that the best choice for those seeking true representation, is an Exclusive Buyer's Agent.

The preceding information is an adaptation of an article that was written by Jay Reifert--Broker/Owner of Excel-Exclusive Buyer Agency--that was published in the February 16, 1998 edition of "The Madison Business Journal", Madison's first business weekly.

You owe it to yourself to do what is in your best interests--and only an Exclusive Buyer's Agent can offer you the written, binding promise to do what's in your best interests, 100% of the time, while offering you access to the entire marketplace, listed and unlisted properties alike. Why settle for a traditional agent or even a casual buyer's agent--who insists on reserving the contractual right to stop representing you by allowing him or herself to transition into a dual agent--when you can have 100 percent representation, 100 percent of the time--at no extra cost--by having an Exclusive Buyer's Agent???

If you're in the Greater Madison Area of Wisconsin--or are considering moving here--it would be our pleasure to talk with you further about the benefits of Exclusive Buyer Agency. You can email us at true-agents@ true-agent.com or, if you'd like, you can call us toll-free at (800)928-9379, or locally at (608)273-8841.

 

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Excel-Exclusive Buyer Agency

Madison, Wisconsin  53711
608-273-8841 madison real estate Toll Free 1-800-928-9379
EMail: true-agents@true-agent.com

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