When you are in the market to purchase some property, you have several choices of how to proceed:
- Go directly to the owner of an “unlisted” property
- Go directly to the broker of a “listed” property
- Obtain a “Buyer’s Broker”
Go Directly to the Owner of an “Unlisted” Property
A “listed” property is one which the owner has entered into a contract with a licensed real estate broker to represent them in the sale of their property. This contract typically commits the owner to pay the broker a negotiated commission in the event a successful sale is culminated.
An “unlisted” property is one in where the owner does not have a contract with a broker. For example an owner will try to sell their property themselves, or an owner is not even offering the property for sale, but an interested buyer contacts them directly. Another example would be, if you, the buyer, are only interested in a specific property (perhaps it is next door) and are not interested in looking at better alternative properties. Additionally, if you, the buyer, can be assured that you are not paying too much and the seller can be assured you are not paying too little, then a deal can be made without incurring the cost of a commission to a real estate broker. Although the seller typically pays real estate commissions, this can still benefit you, the buyer, if the seller is willing to share this savings with you.
However, what about when you, the buyer, want to know what your investment and operational alternatives are? Are you aware of all the properties on the market, both listed and unlisted? Are you certain of the value of the property, or have prices dropped? Do you care what the resale attributes of the property are?
Go Directly to the Broker of a “Listed Property”
The owner of a “listed” property is typically obligated to pay a commission to the real estate agent whether or not the owner or the agent finds the buyer. The owner of the property is willing to enter into this arrangement for good reason.
If you, the buyer, go direct to the broker of a “listed” property, the broker is then involved in what is known as a “Dual Agency.” While this is legal, you no longer have an agent which represents your best interests. Instead, the person you seek information and advice from has a fiduciary responsibility to two opposing parties, their primary interest is generally in receiving both sides of a commission. Typically, the broker still receives the full commission, which means the seller could not share the commission savings with you even if they wanted to. At Rincon, we normally provide, as a part of the listing contract, a reduced commission in the event of dual agency. This arrangement is very unique in the industry, but it does allow the seller to share the savings with you.
Use a Buyer’s Broker
When you hire a Buyer’s Broker, you hire an agent to solely represent your best interests. With a “listed” property, the seller pays the commission to both the Seller’s Broker, and the Buyer’s Broker, which is typically shared evenly. For an “unlisted” property, the payer of the commission is up for negotiations. You will want to use a Buyer’s Broker when one of the following conditions exist:
- You, the buyer, want to have full knowledge of all the properties available, both listed and unlisted
- You, the buyer, want the experience and advice of full time professionals in paying the optimum price
- You, the buyer, want the expertise and assistance in facilitating the transaction
- You, the buyer, have a specific property in mind which is not offered for sale and you want someone to inquire about the property without revealing the name or nature of the inquirer
When you enlist Rincon to represent you as your Buyer’s Broker, we will establish your goals and objectives and work with you to meet them.
First, we provide you the information necessary to make informed and wise decisions. We maintain proprietary databases of listed, unlisted, and targeted properties. We maintain proprietary databases of comparable sales to establish market values and trends. Next, we review with you the alternative properties, their relative strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to meet your objectives. Then we work with you to make offers, structure the terms and conditions of the transaction, and help establish a proper due diligence period. It is necessary to conduct due diligence while the property is in escrow. It is also desirable to have the ability to break the contract in the event the due diligence turns up something which is unacceptable to you. The due diligence needs to include review or the physical elements (wells, irrigation systems, soils, topography, utilities, structures, etc.) and the legal elements (Williamson Act and taxes, zoning, permits, legal parcels, title issues, easements, surveys, etc.), as well as financing issues. Once the due diligence work is complete, it is time to finalize the financing and the elements necessary to close escrow.
Clearly, we feel that you are going to find and make the best deal if you are represented by a qualified Buyer’s Broker. Of course, the quality of the broker you select to represent you is key. At Rincon, we employ fully experienced and qualified agents who have a lifetime of experience in agriculture and real estate. We also enlist the highest of professional standards in the way we conduct business on your behalf. Our job is to make you money, help in your success, and do so with the highest of integrity and professionalism.