Why You Need an Agent

San Fransisco is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country - you really do need an exclusive Buyer's Agent on your side.

Gary BelkI’ve seen that many real estate buyers and sellers are confused about the role of real estate agents – whom they represent and their agency / fiduciary relationships.

There are three main types of agency relationships in real estate; a seller’s agent, a buyer’s agent, a dual agency.

  • Seller’s Agent (Listing Agent) A real estate agent acting as a seller’s agent has a fiduciary duty or a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the seller.
  • Buyer’s Agent A buyer’s agent is not the seller’s agent. A buyer’s agent works for the buyer and is required to keep the buyer’s interests above the interests of all others (including their own). A buyer’s agent has a fiduciary duty or a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the buyer.
  • Dual Agency A dual agent is when the same real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller. California law does allow dual agency relationships as long as all parties are aware and have consented to the dual agency representation.Some states have done away with a dual agency relationships, as I’m sure you can see the inherit problem of one person representing both sides equally. While dual agency relationships can be done honestly, fairly and legally, is this how you want to handle an important financial decision? You have to question whether your best interests are truly being represented. It basically renders the agent ineffective to both parties. The agent cannot help or advise either party.

As a buyer, you want a real estate agent that is on your side, someone like myself, an exclusive Buyers Agent. One that is unbiased and will give you their honest opinion, help you strategize and plan your purchase and then negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the best deal with the least amount of risk.

Here’s an example of what could happen without a Buyers Agent:

You visit the sales office of a new condominium development. You’re interested in buying one of the units. The sales team is nice, chatty and seem to have your best interests at heart.

You decide to make an offer on a condo unit, with the sales team’s help. In conversations with the sales team, you (the buyer) mention your financial strategy and tell the sales team the maximum that you’ll pay for the unit. You make an offer for less than your max price.

Do you know what is going to happen? Before I tell you let’s review the facts.

The sales team is employed by the seller (developer/owner) of the condos and although they are probably treating you fairly, that is all they owe you, no confidentiality, strategic help nor guidance.

The seller wants to get as much money as possible for the property.

You, the buyer, want to pay as little as possible. The answer: That’s right, you get a counter offer at your maximum price.

You can’t blame the sales team; they’re doing their job by representing the seller.

But who represented your interests? I know this is very simple example of what could happen; but you need to be aware that you don’t need to go it alone. I don’t take listings, I only represent buyers like yourself.

Buying property is complex and it involves large sums of money and all too often different personalities are forced to interact in somewhat stressful situations. Unfortunately, if you are not personally represented sometimes things get very sticky quickly and when they cannot be resolved, they can end up in a courtroom.

That in a nutshell is WHY YOU NEED A BUYER’S AGENT– a professional, like myself. I’m on your side. I’ve been down this road many times in my 20+ years helping buyers just like you get the home of their dreams. Why not use my years of experience and knowledge? I’m with you every step of the way, I watch your back and make sure you are getting the best possible deal all the while crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s for you. That’s what Buyers Agents, like myself, are for!

And, no worries, I’m a full-service real estate agent – I just choose not to represent the seller. And, as the buyer, you get to choose to be represented by your own agent — a Buyer’s Agent – at not cost to you.

How is that possible?

This type of representation usually involves a written agreement between you and the agent you choose. But the good news is in almost all cases, the seller pays all the costs of your representation.

That’s right, the seller pays the cost. It is free for you to use a Buyer’s Agent to represent your interests. It may seem quirky and not a normal agency relationship, yet it is an industry standard that has evolved over time. I’m sure you can see how for you, as the buyer, it’s a great benefit.

Why would you choose to go it alone if it cost you nothing?

You wouldn’t, would you, now that you can easily see how it’s prudent and beneficial to have a real estate BUYERS agent who represents you. Let’s find you your dream home in San Francisco — this always vibrant, interesting and diverse city.

Call me, Gary Belk at 415-813-5083 and choose to start your housing hunt the help of a dedicated, knowledgeable and reliable Buyer’s Agent.

Talk with you soon,


p.s. San Francisco is also home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country—you really do need an exclusive Buyers Agent on your side.