As stated previously, we know that people have to reach a comfort level, before committing to an agent or agency, or before dropping a $250.00 to $1,500.00 retainer fee for the time the agent spends with you. As we stated above, we do not, at this time, charge a retainer fee.
We offer customers a free tour of the area (if they are not from this area, or not familiar with the specific area that they plan to purchase). The tours last approximately 3-4 hours.
We ask that customers initial and date the TN DISCLOSURE FORM discussed above, to satisfy state disclosure laws.
We will also provide a free 1-3 hour consultation session, which we refer to as the "Home Buyer Information Consultation". We will answer questions about how we can assist with mortgages, closing costs, area housing, the area market, schools, home inspections, other recommended testing for the properties, etc.
During that FREE home buyer consultation, we will go through your parameters with regard to the specific property you are looking for. We will give you a copy of the TN "Exclusive Right to Buy" contract. That is the Agency contract that we mentioned previously, which is the way that an agency relationship can be established between you and us. It establishes promises that we make to you, and assures that you receive CLIENT LEVEL protection from us, from our entire AGENCY!
Whether you sign that agreement or not, there is one promise that we will make to you, up-front. Anything that you tell us in that "tour session" or the "Home Buyer Consultation session" is confidential; that is a promise that we (and all EBA's across the country make); we ONLY work with buyers, and we protect you always!
You can access the State of TN Exclusive Right to Buy Agency Contract by clicking here. It is the contract written by TAR and TREC Attorneys to establish our Agency Relationship. You may print and bring a copy to our free session or we will provide you with a copy to take home with you. We will be happy to go over the agreement with you and answer any questions you have. The cautions about attending open houses, what to say when you run into or meet another real estate agent, cautions about calling listing (or other) agents to show you property, and visiting model homes, have to do with the real estate issue of "PROCURING CAUSE," which we will explain in more detail below, as PC can affect our ability to accept you as a client or to even represent you. You do not want PC to prevent you from having your own chosen representative.
WE WANT YOU TO BE A SAVVY BUYER, and if you have read this far, you are well on your way…. CONGRATULATIONS! Because, the world of real estate has changed tremendously, and I will admit that for the first 4 homes I bought, and the first rental property, I was NOT a savvy Buyer! I thought I knew what I was doing, because I had worked with my attorney father, who practiced real estate law in one of the busiest markets in the country, a military market for several years before and after marrying! But all of that changed!!! I used listing agents that I didn't know in two areas, a friend-of a friend a third time, and a friend the last time. Unfortunately, all the agents worked for listing companies, or even owned a listing company, and had conflicts of interest. That is why I decided to take the purest route to home buying. It has cost me many tens of thousands of dollars to be a real estate agent who cannot list. Because, that means that I have lost all commissions on my family members' homes, the sale of my rental properties, and friends listings. But it is a choice that EBA's make and live by. It is also why we have to ensure that, not only do we save our clients money, but we charge a reasonable fee for our services, as we cannot stay in business and work for free or for "cut rates." When listing agents sell their own listings, they earn both sides of the commission. They also guide the seller in what he should offer to a buyer agent, and we do NOT know what the listing agent is receiving, as they are NOT required to tell us. Listing agents state that the Listing Agreement is between them and the Seller, and that is true. Therefore, we never know until closing, whether we are being offered equal compensation or not. What we DO KNOW, is that we have on a number of occasions, learned at closing that the listing agent was earning more (and sometimes much more) than they were sharing with the buyer agent. Just as the Listing Agreement is between the Listing Agent and the Seller, our EBA agreement is between you and us. And courts have ruled that your contract for purchase is between YOU and the SELLER, not between agents. Therefore you have the right to demand in writing that your entire Buyer Agency fee be paid by the Seller, if you wish to do so. We NEVER earn two sides of a commission, as we never list. We have to know what our pre-agreed upon compensation is to be, and that we will earn it, at closing, despite whether the listing agent is offering adequate compensation;
Then, if we both feel comfortable about an arrangement, we can begin the next step.
*****The Exclusive Buyer Agent commission itself is paid, 99% of the time, at the closing by the Seller, who made this arrangement with his Listing Agent when he listed his home or property. For example, if the Seller agreed to pay 6% in real estate fees to the agents who list/sell his house, the listing agent usually offers half of that fee to the Buyer Agent who brings the Buyer contract. (Note: All real estate fees, BY LAW, are negotiable!) Let's say that the house sells for $100,000.00; then, in the case above, the listing agent would receive (3%) $3,000 at closing and the EBA would receive (3%) $3,000 from the Seller funds.