What is all this ‘Agency’ talk? Understanding Representation in Madison WI Real Estate

Are you properly represented? What does that mean? What is the difference between a Seller’s Agent and a Buyer’s Agent? Sometimes Buyers are working with the Selling Agent (who is representing the Seller) and they don’t even know it. Before you start scheduling showings it is important to understand how things work and who is who. And if you want a Realtor to represent your best interest, I highly recommend finding an Agent that you are comfortable with and that you trust that can talk to you about the process and work with as your Buyer’s Agent. Here is a quick overview on what is what and how Realtors get paid…   

Various Representations Buyers can choose:

Seller’s Agent

A Seller’s Agent is any agent showing properties to you without having first signed a buyer agency contract with you. A Seller’s Agent is representing all of the individual sellers of the various properties you are viewing. You are not the Agent’s client. Prior to negotiating an offer, you will receive a Disclosure of Real Estate Agency that lists the fair treatment duties owed to you as a customer and indicates that the agent is representing the Sellers. (or email us at office@thealvaradogroup.com for the most current WI disclosure document).

Buyer’s Agent

If you work with a Buyer’s Agent, you become that agent’s client and are no longer a customer. You and the Buyer’s Agent sign a WB-36; Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement that secures the relationship for a period of time*. The agreement specifically explains the difference in the duties the agent owes all parties and what duties they owe you, our client, above and beyond that. Buyers have great things to say about working with us through the buyer process. *Our buyer agency agreement has an Easy Exit Clause because we don’t believe that you should feel ‘stuck’ working with us if it isn’t a good fit. It’s an important part of who we are and how we do business.

Designated Agent

You can choose designated agency for the times when you like a home that is listed with The Alvarado Group. If you have a Buyer Agency agreement with an Alvarado Group Buyer Specialist you are secure in receiving full Buyer Agent Representation through designated agency. Your agent will become your designated agent for that transaction and the Seller will have their own designated agent even within the same brokerage.


How Realtors® Are Paid

Seller’s Agent The Home Seller pays a commission to their listing broker based on a percentage of the selling price. The listing broker then splits this commission with the selling broker. The commission is agreed upon in the Listing Agreement between the Listing Agent and the Home Seller.

Buyer’s Agent When you hire a Buyer’s Agent you are hiring a professional real estate agent to represent your best interest above all others and it is a professional service. There are three basic ways a buyer’s agent can be paid:

The Alvarado Group can participate in the “MLS Offer of Cooperation” on listed properties. In accepting the MLS offer of compensation we accept whatever compensation the seller has agreed to pay per their listing agreement. This does not create an agency agreement between The Alvarado Group and the Seller – we still represent you, the Buyer. Payment in this manner typically covers all of our agreed upon fees.

As a condition of the offer to purchase, we can instruct the Seller to pay The Alvarado Group on the Buyer’s behalf. This arrangement allows the Buyer Agency fee to be included in the transaction costs. This is can be used with for sale by owner transactions and on discounted brokerage service listings.

The Buyer can pay The Alvarado Group directly upon the close of the sale. We don’t see this happen often, but it is an option.

All of the options are discussed at a no obligation Buyer consultation to ensure there is good understanding and agreement. It is crucial for Buyers and Seller to understand how things work so they can make the right decision and be properly protected.

Sellers interview Agents in selling their home, shouldn’t you interview Agents in buying one? Meet our Buyer Specialists and call for a free consultation today, 608.251.6600.

Was this information helpful? If you have further questions or would like clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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