Accepted Offer Can We Still Get A Buyers Agent Or Is It Too Late To Get Representation

Dated: 09/28/2016

Views: 208

Q: We are in the early stages of the home buyer process. The seller has just accepted our offered on the co-op. We realize we should have listed the help of an agent as there are still steps in the process we are unfamiliar with in terms of buying a home. Is it too late to get a buyer's agent? If not, how should we go about finding one?

A: I've been asked this before, but is worth going over for others to see. First off, the response from @Kathy Lakowitz is VERY good with a ton of detail... so I'm not going to delve into that just to rehash good information. Let me, instead, go over how agents are paid so others can fully understand the process.

Agents are paid for being a "procuring cause". In general, that means the agent is the cause of your offer and introduced you to the property -- the agent procured the buyer for the property. At this point, since you have already written an offer and had it accepted, an agent will not be a procuring cause and will not be due a commission from the seller (assuming a commission was offered). 

This does not mean you cannot hire an agent to assist you. This expense would come out of your pocket and could be negotiated with an agent. It could be a challenge to find an agent willing to do all the work involved at this point, and the answer is always no if you never ask. If there is an agent representing the seller, you could ask that agent for timelines, recommended service providers, and a list of things you need to complete.

Needless to say, you should hire your own attorney and your own inspector. Most attorneys are fine doing the legal paperwork and are rarely good negotiators with respect to terms, pricing, etc if only because it's not what an attorney does on a regular basis. It's not lack of intelligence but lack of doing! If you have your own lender, that lender may have some great contacts for you to leverage as well.

Good Luck!

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