I believe that 95% of the time the agent that you will work with has the best intentions. They are working for the best interest of their clients, certainly, but usually not to the detriment of the seller. Please keep that in mind. Their goal is to find their buyer a home, not paint you into a corner and squeeze every cent out of you or trick you into losing your homes value. They are also walking a fine line between a client relationship with the buyer and a customer relationship with the seller. So if the buyers agent cannot comment on something or answer your question about confidential information, please consider that they are giving their clients the best service they can. Ask yourself, if I was the buyer, would I want my agent to answer that?
In Georgia, it is typical that the seller pays for the buyer’s agent’s commission. So you should expect that the agent will want you to pay them for their work. Representing a client in the purchase of a home that is being sold by its owner is often more difficult and demanding. Some agents will not show FSBO’s because of that. Consider offering more than is typical to encourage agents to bring their clients. Use terms like “buyers agents welcome” in your internet postings and voicemail recordings. If you want to know what is “typical” for your area, ask some of the agents soliciting your listing what they charge and then add a percentage.
I’m not signing anything!
I cannot tell you how many owners have gotten downright hostile when I ask them to sign the necessary docs required to show a home. Before an agent brings their buyer to see your home, they should have already sent you a copy of an “authorization to show unlisted property” form. This form covers the following:
The agents name and the brokers name (note* page 4 should have every blank filled out for the brokers info. With the exception of the fax number, all of the information is mandatory)
Start and end date (30-45 days)
Address of the property and a legal description
Sales price they can tell their buyer
The names of the buyers
The commission you are agreeing to pay
Any agent worth a darn will not show a home without this form filled out and signed prior to showing. If you have any questions about the form, they should be able to explain it to your satisfaction.
It's not over yet - Other forms/brochures
Hopefully, they will want to make an offer on your home, if so, expect to see some or all of the following from the buyers agent:
GAR “Protect yourself when selling a house” brochure
Lead based paint disclosure
Sellers property disclosure (yes, you need to fill this out. You want to fill this out. It protects you down the road)
Community association disclosure (get the info from your HOA, in writing. Keep it till you close)
In DeKalb a plumbing disclosure
There are more than 250 various forms, exhibits and amendments that are available. If you're not comfortable reading these - consider hiring a transaction agent. You can pay them a flat fee to negotiate the deal and do the paperwork.