Why Use an ABR®: Edmonton REALTOR® Experienced in Buyer Representation
Buying an Edmonton area home is no small matter. Besides being the largest financial transaction you may ever undertake, it’s probably also the most complex. There are many good reasons to work with a qualified real estate professional—especially a trained professional who has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation, representing best-in-class buyer services.
When you look for an ABR® before you look for a home, you’ll be served, not sold. Your interests become their interests. And you’ll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer-representation services. Plus, a REALTOR® who has an ABR® Designation also has an established track record, with proven experience in representing the concerns of home buyers.
The ABR® Designation is awarded through the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, or REBAC, which was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer-representation skills and services. REBAC is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
If you are in Edmonton, I work with buyers throughout the greater Edmonton area. Call Mike 780-242-5229. If you are anywhere else, call me and I'll refer you to an incredible ABR® in your area. (or just fill out my contact form if you prefer).
ABR® vs. Buyer's Rep: A REALTOR® Designation
A buyer’s representative (or simply buyer’s rep) is a licensed real estate professional who represents prospective home buyers in their property transaction. If you’ve formalized an agency relationship, typically by signing a buyer’s rep agreement with a buyer’s rep, you can expect him or her to:
- Understand your specific needs and wants, and locate appropriate properties.
- Assist you in determining how much you can afford (pre-qualify your mortgage).
- Preview and/or accompany you in viewing properties.
- Research properties, to identify any problems or issues you should consider.
- Advise you in formulating your offer.
- Help you develop your negotiation strategy.
- Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (such as inspectors, attorneys, lenders, etc.) for other related services that may be needed.
- Keep track of all the details throughout the entire transaction—to closing and beyond.
In other words, a buyer’s rep should make your home buying experience go as smoothly and successfully as possible.
But not all buyer’s reps are equal. A buyer’s rep who has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) REALTOR® designation has made an extra effort to raise the bar, with additional training and experience in serving you, the home buyer. If you work with an ABR®, you can feel more confident that you’ll receive the highest level of buyer-representation services.
Buyer Representation Agreement
If you’ve started looking for a home—and a real estate professional to assist you—your buyer’s REALTOR® may ask you to sign an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement. What is this form? Why should you sign it?
An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement is a legal document in the province of Alberta that formalizes your working relationship with a particular buyer’s representative, detailing what services you are entitled to and what your buyer’s rep expects from you in return. While the language used in the document is formal, home buyers should view it as an important and helpful tool for clarifying expectations, developing mutual loyalty, and most importantly, elevating the services you will receive.
1. Receive a higher level of service. If you’ve formalized an agency relationship with a buyer’s rep, you can expect to be treated like a client instead of a customer. What’s the difference? Clients are entitled to superior services, relative to customers. While the details vary from province to province and from one buyer’s REALTOR® to another, you can generally assume that being a client means that you’ve formed a fiduciary, or agency, relationship with your buyer’s rep.
2. Get more without paying more. In almost every case, home sellers have already agreed to pay a buyer’s REALTOR® commission. If they haven’t, you can ask your buyer’s rep to avoid showing you any such homes. Or you can still view the home, knowing that you’ll need to factor your agent’s commission into any offer you may write. While buyers rarely pay real estate commissions, this is an important detail you’ll want to discuss with your buyer’s rep and clarify in their representation agreement.
3. Avoid misunderstandings. An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement clarifies expectations, helping you understand what you should and should not expect from your buyer’s rep, and what they will expect from you, which usually centers on loyalty.
4. Agency relationships are based on mutual consent. While most representation agreements specify a time period, they can be terminated early if both parties consent. Most buyer’s reps are willing to end the agreement early if the working relationship is not going well (we will if needed). Some buyer’s reps also offer representation agreements for as little as one day, for the purpose of giving both parties a brief trial period to explore working together.
5. Strength as a team. When you and your buyer’s REALTOR® work together within a formalized agency relationship, you have created a team dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible home-buying experience.
Mike is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®).