Not Your Father's Real Estate Agent

Serving the real estate needs of Salt Lake's GLBT community since 1992
and the rest of the alphabet too
No hype, no bogus awards, no team members or assistants.
Just me making it happen for you.





A real estate agent in Utah can represent the buyer, seller or both.

What is a buyer's agent?
As you may have inferred from the title, this agent fully represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. In a nutshell, their job is to get the lowest price and best terms for the buyer (their client) by any means available within ethical guidelines and the Geneva Convention. Getting their client the best deal means referrals and future business.


And obviously a seller's agent represents the seller, but what is a limited agent?
Limited agency occurs when one agent (and/or brokerage) represents both buyer and seller for a specific property at the same time.

Danger Will Robertson! Danger!

Question: How can an agent effectively represent two negotiating parties and get the best deal for each?

Answer: They can't. Hence the term limited agency.

Nothing makes a Realtor pop more Prilosec than walking this thin line. The agent is limited in their disclosure, confidentiality and loyalty to each party. The primary limitation is in negotiating the price. A limited agent cannot disclose whether the price is as low (or high) as one side is willing to go. The limited agent is still bound to treat each party fairly, ethically and neutrally. And they cannot withhold material facts about the property or the buyer's ability to complete the transaction.
For example if they learn that the roof leaked last year (but it hasn't rained much since then) or that their buyer just got fired and the loan approval was contingent on employment.

There are at least 3 ways in which limited agency can happen.

1. You are a seller who has listed your home for sale with Barbara from Better Hovels and Herbs RE. Barb is working with a buyer named Bill who decides that your home is perfect and asks her to write you an offer.

2. The inverse of the above. You are a buyer with an agent and happen to fall in love with a home that they are already representing as a selling agent.

3. Buying or selling a home where the seller's agent and the buyer's agent are associated with the same brokerage. In this case the broker (someone you will probably never meet) would be the limited agent, but the individual agents still work for their respective clients to full effect as buyer and seller agents. This type of limited agency is fairly benign and usually inadvertent.
In all cases you will have to sign a disclosure, that you understand and agree to limited agency before proceeding.

Note: Do not confuse these examples with a situation where an unrepresented buyer works directly with a builder, new construction developer or contacts a listing agent directly. That buyer would have to sign a document agreeing that they had the right to have professional representation but chose not to. The inverse is also true, such as when a "for sale by owner" receives an offer from an agent representing a buyer. With these examples the agent is not limited because they only represent their client and not the other party.


How do I know what type of agency I'm getting involved with?
Before you sign any real estate purchase contract (REPC) the assisting agent must disclose in writing what type of agency you are agreeing to. In practical terms, you should never have gotten this close to the altar without that being made clear.
Some examples:
If you are talking to the listing agent or calling from a sign, ad or visiting an open house then you are most likely communicating with a seller's agent/broker.
If you have asked your nephew, Tim who just got his real estate license and works under Bob's Bait and Brokerage House to sell Grandma's condo, then you are asking him to be a seller's agent.
If the same nephew got a call about Grandma's condo from an interested buyer, but the buyer decided the condo was too small however would he help them find a bigger one, then he would become their buyer's agent. He would also still be Grandma's selling agent.
If our favorite nephew found just the right condo for his clients but it was being represented by Sally who also works under Bob's Bait and Brokerage House, then Bob would be a limited agent, Sally a seller's agent and Tiny Tim would still be a buyer's agent. And if you are British, then Bob's your uncle.


How is a real estate agent paid?
With rare exception, they are paid a commission based on the sales price of the property. This money comes from the seller's proceeds (profit) from the home sale and is paid only if and when the sale closes. The buyer does not normally pay any commission. At the closing of escrow the title company sends part of the proceeds (usually 3%) to each agent's broker. The brokerage then pays their agent a percentage of this amount based on their working agreement. From this amount the agents pay for all of their own business expenses, gas, taxes, withholding, etc. There is no salary, hourly pay, or reimbursements.


What should my buyer's agent be doing for me?

Interview you to find out what type of property you are looking for. Such as; minimum number of bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. Location boundaries, Price limits, Style, Age, etc.

Turn those criteria into a dynamic MLS search that will feed you daily updates of new listings.

Help you narrow down the choices.

Set up all the appointments for showings.

Chauffeur a property tour.

Help you review and evaluate what you saw.

Repeat the above process ad infinitum without whining or eye rolling until you find a winner.

Investigate the subject property as to price, seller motivation, and time on the market for strength in your negotiation.

Run a comparative market analysis on the subject property.

Fully explain all of the documents needed to write an offer.

Force you to stay awake during the above.

Fill out all of the paperwork for the offer.

Craft a solid offer that works to your advantage in price, terms and timing.

Assist you through the steps of due-diligence with inspections, document review and appraisal.

If the property fails inspection or appraisal they will negotiate repairs, price adjustment or withdrawal of contract and recovery of your earnest money.

Work with your lender to facilitate a successful closing.

Walk through the property with you just prior to closing for a final inspection.

Sit with you at the closing table to insure that what you are signing is what you negotiated.

Arrange for the key transfer and possession.


And what about the seller's agent? What do they do?

Fully evaluate your home and property with a top to bottom walk-through taking copious notes for strengths and weaknesses.

Help the you measure your home or assist you in finding a reasonably accurate source for size.

Interview you, the seller to learn about your home and why you enjoyed living there or what benefits might not be immediately apparent.

Work with you to determine what repairs or changes are necessary to maximize the value. Help you see your home through the eyes of the buyer.

Find recently sold and under-contract homes in the neighborhood that would be considered comparable to your home.

Find the active listings in your neighborhood that could be considered competition and visit them is possible to determine your home's advantages or weakness in the market.

Interview agents involved in the comparable sales to get a better feel for market pressure and to find out what hidden conditions might have influenced their sales price.

Bring together the above information and present the most likely marketing, sales and appraisal price.

Determine a time frame for entering the market and discuss probable expectations for showings and offers.

Fill out and explaining all the paperwork necessary to list and represent the property.

Photograph the property.

Create an ad campaign for the property (without using the phrase: "Honey, stop the car" or "Perfect for singles or couples").

Create and print color flyers

Submit all paperwork and photos to the multiple listing service (MLS).

Double-check all MLS data to eliminate data entry errors that could prevent your property from appearing in a buyer's search.

Submit listing data to all available on-line sources for maximum exposure.

Be available by phone, text or email during all reasonable hours, seven days a week to respond to buyer questions.

Arrange all showings.

Schedule a Realtor bus tour for professional exposure and feedback.

Act as your full representative and professionally handle buyer's questions and calls from buyer's agents to protect your position in negotiation.

Regular reevaluation of the market and property price to stay informed of your home's position among the competition.

Collect feedback from buyer's agents who have shown the home.

Receive any and all offers from other agents. Interviewing those agents about their client's qualifications and needs to better craft a negotiation strategy.

Review the offers with you and evaluating their merits and possible pitfalls. Help you determine the best response in order to get the highest net price and best terms for you, the seller.

Pitch any counter offers to the other agent in line with the your instructions.

Assist in the scheduling of inspectors and appraisers. Meeting them at the property if necessary.

Help you evaluate and respond to any request for inspection repairs or appraisal discrepancies.

If the buyer defaults on the contract, inform and assist you in your rights and options to retain the earnest money deposit.

Sit with you at the closing table to ensure that what you are signing is what you negotiated.

Arrange for the key transfer and possession.



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Brad Dundas,P.C.
Stonebrook Real Estate
6375 South Highland Dr.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84121
24/7 phone or text: 801.550.0330
FAX: 801.463.6114