The majority of real estate agents are “Transaction Agents”. They represent the buyer and the seller, as required by Florida Law. A transaction agent can not reveal anything that they may know that could then be derogatory towards the sale of the property for the seller or the Buyer. The agent must maintain a neutral position between the buyer and the seller’s agent.
This is not in the best interest of the Buyer. The Florida law allows an agent to only represent the Buyers interest if they enter into agreement where the Realtor is acting solely on behalf of the Buyer as an Exclusive Buyers Agent.
Exclusive Buyer’s agents are licensed professionals that specialize in researching, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of property on behalf of the buyer. The key difference between the buyer’s agent and a traditional selling agent is who they represent. A buyer’s agent works exclusively for the buyer.
The Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, through extensive research of all public records along with inquiries from the sellers agent and market peer knowledge, disclose information that will be beneficial to the buyer in negotiating the sale price of the property.
Some information that an Exclusive Buyers Agent can disclose to the Buyer is if the property is in financial distress, if the property is an estate sale, which is common in Florida, where the seller has passed away and the heirs are highly motivated to sell the property and receive the proceeds, any personal information about the seller that the Buyer’s Agent should discover, prior offers the seller may have received as revealed by the seller’s agent along with any other information that may be a benefit to the Buyer in the negotiations of the price for the property. As a Transaction Agent, the agent would not legally be allowed to reveal this information to the Buyer.
As per Florida state legal requirements In order for a Realtor to represent a Buyer as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent the Buyer and Realtor must fill out and sign a Exclusive Buyers Agent form and disclose it to the sellers agent so that all parties know that the Buyer’s Agent is exclusively representing the Buyer.
For a Buyer this is the absolute best working relationship in order to protect the Buyers best interests and get the best market value.
I personally recommend that all buyers work with their Realtor as an Exclusive Buyers Agent.