Silicon Valley Home Buyers: Should You Use a Buyer Broker Agreement?

Should you use a buyer broker agreementIn many parts of the U.S., a buyer broker agreement is normally used between home buyers and their real estate agents, much like a listing agreement is used between sellers and theirs. It’s not so common in Silicon Valley, though. Often home buyers are a little spooked at the prospect of signing a contract for buyer representation & compensation.

My Realtor colleague and blogosphere friend, Elizabeth Weintraub, has a great article on this topic on About.com,  Buyer’s Broker Agreements & Buyer’s Broker Contracts, in which she explains the various types of buyer contracts and agreements which are commonly found around the country. The one which is used the most, if one is used at all, is the “exclusive representation” (which again is similar to a listing agreement, which is also usually an “exclusive representation agreement”).

Why use a buyer broker agreement?

Why would anyone want to use a buyer contract?  Whether you’re the consumer or the agent, the answer is pretty much the same: to have options. In my real estate practice, I do not request nor require a buyer contract as long as my buyer client is willing to purchase something from the selection available on the multiple listing service (MLS).  If that isn’t enough, though, then we chat about the buyer’s options.
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Time to downsize but don’t want condo living?

At some point, the family home may become too much work, expense, and worry for seniors and the decision may be looming about when and how to downsize.   There are many decisions to be made, including:

  • What to keep, what to give to relatives and friends, sell, donate or throw out?
  • How big of a space should the next home be?
  • What type of housing should be targeted – a condo, townhouse, apartment, senior living community, duplex, smaller house or cottage, duet or something else?
  • Is a home with stairs an option?
  • Is outside space a requirement?
  • Will the next home be purchased or rented?
  • Is outside care needed?

Particularly for those accustomed to a large house and garden or yard, going to a living arrangement with shared walls and no yard may not be appealing.   An option for those wishing to buy(and are still very independent) that is sometimes missed is a type of housing which is sort of a gray area, and those are houses held in condominium ownership (such as the Villas of Almaden), as well as patio homes (as we see in some of the Almaden Winery neighborhood).  In both cases, as well as in some planned unit developments, there’s a home owner’s association which will usually do all of the front yard landscaping.  If the back yard is small, it’s possible to have it planted in a low-maintenance manner to maximize your enjoyment while minimizing the yard work.

As part of your recon efforts, be sure to sit down and discuss your thoughts, hopes, wants and needs with a good Realtor familiar with the area where you want to live.  He or she can point out potential alternatives or options that you may not even know exist.

Patio Homes or Zero Lot Line Houses in Silicon Valley

What Is the Difference Between CID Ownership in a Condo, Townhouse or PUD?

When A Parent Has To Sell The House