Why Use an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) When You’re Ready to Buy a Home?
Buying a house is a big deal. More often than not, buyers look at around 10 houses before making a decision. It definitely helps to have someone you can trust to help you through this process. In addition, it is probably the biggest investment that someone will ever make – and 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. This accreditation signifies the agent provides best-in-class in buyer services.
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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 will 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.
What is an ABR® (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)?
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative is designed for real estate agents who focus on working directly with home buyers. An ABR® is a specialized practitioner who has demonstrated a commitment to working with buyers. ABRs® are trained to work as hard for the buyer as the listing agent does for the seller. When every dollar counts, as it always does, it is important to have someone trained to negotiate the price, terms, and conditions to your advantage.
The ABR® designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation demonstrates to peers and consumers a commitment to providing outstanding service to real estate buyers.
What is the difference between a normal Real Estate Agent and an ABR?
While any agent can represent a buyer, not all buyer’s agents have the experience and dedication of an ABR®. There are many benefits to establishing a written relationship with your ABR®. With a signed buyer agency agreement you become a client and, therefore, you have certain rights.
- An ABR® must tell you all they know about the seller.
- An ABR® must keep your information confidential.
- An ABR® must negotiate on your behalf.
- An ABR® must attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction.
- An ABR® must pay full attention to your needs and focus housing choices to your specifications.
- An ABR® has taken extra training to represent buyers.
- An ABR® has demonstrated a commitment to the industry and not just trying to add up sales.
If you work with a non-ABR®, and you have no written agency relationship, your interests are second to the seller’s interests.
- The agent can tell the seller all that they know about you, including how much you are pre-approved for, why you are moving, and any other information that puts the seller in a stronger negotiating position.
- The agent will keep all information they know about the seller confidential because the seller has a written agreement and the agent owes the seller a fiduciary responsibility.
- The agent will provide only price information that supports the seller’s listing price.
- The agent will negotiate on behalf of the seller.
- The agent will attempt to solve problems to the seller’s satisfaction. Their job is to protect the seller.
What special training does an Accredited Buyer’s Representative have?
To become an ABR®, a REALTOR® must first show the successful completion of 5 transactions representing a buyer. A REALTOR® must also complete two courses, including the designation core course which teaches agents about buyer representation, negotiation strategies, and best practices and procedures between contract and closing. The ABR® agent must also be in good standing in bot REBAC® and NAR®.
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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®).
Every state has different laws regarding agency relationships. It’s best to have a meeting with your agent to ask questions about your rights and your agent’s role in the buying process.
The best way to be certain your interests as a buyer are represented is to sign a buyer agency agreement with a trained buyer’s representative – an Accredited Buyer’s Representative.
Have you used an ABR® before or purchased a house without an agent? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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