Lew Nonnenmocher, RE/MAX on the Coast
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Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About
Selecting a Buyers Agents

Q: What can I expect from by Buyer's agent? 

A: Besides our intrinsic desire to provide you with the best possible service we are guided by to principle entities:  The REALTOR Code of Ethics and the Florida Association of Realtors' Agency Representation mandate.  In terms of Agency Representation we're responsible to you for the following:  Dealing honestly and fairly, Loyalty, Confidentiality, Obedience, Full Disclosure, Accounting for all Funds, Skill, Care, and Diligence in the transaction, and Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the residential property that are not readily observable.  For a quick overview of our REALTOR Code of Ethics, CLICK HERE.

Q: Can any real estate agent be a buyer's agent?

A: Yes, any licensed real estate agent in Florida may be a buyer's agent. However, before you select an agent, check the experience that the agent has in buyer agency transactions.  Between relocating while in the Navy for over 20 years and the experience of assisting over 100 families successfully relocate into the Pensacola-area, we are extremely proficient and willing to do what ever it takes to make your relocation go as smooth and stress-free as possible.  Of course everyone's situation is different, just tell us what you need and we'll make it happen.   Need guidance, we can assist you there too.

Q. If I select a  Buyer's Agent, am I stuck with them through the remainder of the process?

A: NO, not always.  Some buyer's agents will require you to sign an Exclusive Buyer's Agency form which ties you to that Realtor for a period of time no matter what.  Our philosophy is if you're ever unhappy with our service, we never expect you to be "stuck" with us and we'll never ask you to sign any contract requiring you to do so.    We don't elect to work with every potential client that contacts us so we can't expect you to.  We feel this is a two way street.  We want to work with folks who we enjoy working with and those folks who understand the benefit of our work and representation.  That said, we will work hard for you for as long as it takes for you to find your home and do everything within our power, abilities, and skill to get you into the home you select for the best price and terms.  We only ask that you do remain committed to us for as long as you feel you're receiving the best representation and assistance.  If not, just communicate with us.   If for some reason we can't meet your needs, you're free, without obligation to find another Realtor.

Q. If I select a Buyer's Agent, am I responsible for paying their commission?

A:  No, not always.  When buyer's agency first started, it was common for the buyer to pay their Realtor any commission over and above the deficit of what the seller was paying and "their normal fee".  In some cases, some buyer's agents still function this way.  WE DO NOT.  We promise you'll never pay us a dime including no Franchise "admin fee" or any other type of junk fee.  The only thing we'll ask of you after closing is to refer anyone you know looking to buy or sell a home to us so we can take care of them too - it's how we continue to grow our business.

Q. So if I don't pay you, how do you get paid? 

A: This may sound strange at first.  But, we actually get paid by the seller.  Well technically, that's not correct either.  We get paid by our company who gets paid by the listing Broker, who gets paid by the seller.  Ok, let's back up for a moment.  The first time the listing agent sits down with the seller, among other things, they'll agree to the commission that seller will pay them.  Let's say they agree to a 6% listing.  They'll also agree to how much of that 6% will be paid to the Realtor's Broker who brings the buyer.  Notice how that commission is determined long before you and we ever come into the picture.  To continue on, the Buyer's Broker and the Realtor have a standing "Split".  Essentially,  what percentage of money coming into the company as a result of that Realtors efforts will be retained by the company and how much will be paid to the Realtor. 

Now, you might say.."OK, I get it, so the higher price home I buy, the more you'll get paid. So therefore your goal is to sell us the highest price home and not help us negotiate get the list price down".   My answer is always the same.  One sale will not put food on my table or take it off.  Instead, our success in this business comes from  representing our clients to the best of our abilities and for our buyers to walk away from the closing table knowing they got their home for the best possible price.  Our goal is for you to be happy with our service so you refer us to you friends, family, and co-workers.  The difference between, let's say a $250,000 sale and a $200,000 sale is so negligible it is always in our best interest to satisfy your needs in lieu of our own financial benefit.

Q: The last time I bought a home I believe that my agent really looked out for me. Why would anything be different today?

A: In the Pensacola-area alone, there are over 3000 Real Estate agents.  Just as in any other profession you have your experts, those who put their clients interests ahead of their own, and then there the others.   Yes, anyone can drive you around town or fill in a contract, the same as any Real Estate agent can put up a for sale sign or fill in an MLS sheet.  The real question is will their knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and reputation within the industry help your cause? 

 Simply picking up the phone to call any ole' agent is sometimes like playing roulette.  Also, although the company the Realtor works for is important, it's the individual agent who will directly impact the success or failure of your situation.  There are a lot of good Realtors who work for small, local companies and there are some not-so-good ones who work for well-known Franchise names.  Our recommendation is to interview three then select one.  Assess their Real Estate education level, certifications, examples of  how they helped others, their experience, number of transactions in the past year, ect.  This is an important financial process for you, make sure you have someone who's fundamental goal is to work on your behalf to find you the home that's right for you at the lowest possible price, with the best terms.  In our case, not only do you have the RE/MAX name and reputation working for you, but you have a team of professionals dedicated to meeting YOUR goals.

Q: Won't I get a better deal if I buy directly from the listing agent?

A: Let's think about that for a moment.  That listing Realtor, or the Realtor who's picture is on the sign in the front yard is already representing that seller.  There's an established relationship between that Realtor and the seller.  Intrinsically, it's that Realtor's desire to net that seller the most money possible from the sale.  Furthermore, it's that Realtor's job to sell that home.....  SELL YOU THAT HOME, not to help you find the home that's right for you.  Let us represent you as a Buyer's Agent where we'll focus on YOUR goals, desires, and requirements.  We understand the thought that you may not want to be tied to one pesky Realtor.  However, our expediency is based on yours, we'll never pressure you but we'll always be there for you when you need us.  On top of that, we'll help you find the RIGHT home, save you money 99% of the time (sometimes significant amounts), and we'll look out for your best interests and advise you through the inspection phases.

Q:  What if I don't want to be bothered by a Realtor while I'm looking for my home?

A: Again, this is a common thought, you're not alone. Believe it or not, we've actually researched, based on our experience in working with buyers, on how a home buyer purchases a home.   In Phase I the buyer is simply just looking around to see what is available.  Sometimes folks in this phase do not want to talk to a Realtor.  Instead, they just want to gather as much data on their own as possible; We completely understand this and are cognizant that you may not want to be constantly called.  Keep in mind, although we completely understand you may not want to be "bothered" during this time, the information we can provide you and the answers we can give you to your questions during this period can be of great benefit to you in the long run.   However, we understand that you may "just be looking".  Phase I usually lasts 6-12 months.

Normally, in Phase II, this is where the buyer has a pretty good feel for the information they've gathered and at this point find a Realtor.  Phase II  is catch up time for the Realtor.  Good communication, trust, and relationship becomes significantly important.  Either in Phase I or II we can set you up with our "Preferred Buyer's program where, among other benefits, we email you only and all active listings matching your predefined criteria.  Then send you updates as new listings matching only your criteria come on the market.  Phase II normally last 2 weeks to 3 months.

Phase III, the relationship is established, communication becomes more frequent, and aggressive home search and tours with the Realtor is in progress.

Does this all sound like a bunch of baloney?  Each answer above is straight from me.  Nothing
"canned here".  I am in this business to help people through the buying and selling process.  I provide the service I'd expect and did expect when we were in your shoes.  Unfortunately, I didn't always get it.  After my last, let's say not so great experience with our Realtor, and last transfer in the Navy, I thought there just had to be a nitch for Realtors who put their clients interest ahead of there own.  That has proven to be 100% true.

I hope the information above is helpful to you.  Obviously
, I'm sure you have additional questions and concerns.....Please feel free to call (850-291-1477) or email anytime.

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