An exclusive buyer's agent represents only the buyer.  There are many agents: both selling agents and buyer's agents, who market their services as serving buyers.  What does this really mean?

A selling agent had a fiduciary duty to the seller.  They are bound, by law, to represent the best interests of the seller, and maximise the purchase price.  While the selling agent may assist a buyer with access to the properties on their database, that's about as far as the relationship may extend.

Likewise, there are some buyer's agents who are not exclusive (or independent) buyer's agents.  This means that the buyer's agent is retained by developers or selling agents to use their client databases to sell new developments and existing properties to.  In many cases, the buyer's agent is not paid by the buyer because they receive significant commissions from the selling agent or developer for selling the property/ies to their buyers.  Commissions can be very generous, negating the need for the (non-exclusive / non-independent) buyer's agent to be paid by the buyer.

Although some people believe that a buyer's agent is expensive, the buyer's agents who are paid by the buyer, with no other sources of remuneration, are the ones who are most likely yo be independent / exclusive buyer's agents, 100% representing the needs of the buyer.

How can I be sure that I'm working with a truly exclusive / independent buyer's agent?

  • Does your buyer's agent work for or with a selling agent / selling agent's office?
  • Does your agent work for or with a team that offers a range of services such as mortgage broking, conveyancing, financial planning?
  • Does your buyer's agent only purchase new properties such as development sites, off-the-plan or brand new properties?

If so, the chances are that your buyer's agent is not exclusive / independent.

Melissa Maimann Buyer's Agent is an exclusive and independent buyer's agent.