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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How does an Exclusive Buyer Agent save a buyer money?
A: Other Realtors may be legally bound to get the best possible terms and price for the sellers. Consumer Reports wrote: "Home buyers may not realize that the friendly real estate agent who may show them dozens of homes and shared their secrets with, is legally obligated to help get the best possible terms and price for their sellers." (July 1997)

Q: So What?
A: An Exclusive Buyer Agent is legally obligated to serve you, not the seller. "US Sprint found 233 relocating Sprint employees who hired buyer brokers paid an average of 91% of a home's list price. People who use traditional agents typically pay 96% of a home's list price. On a house priced at $150,000, that's a difference of $7500. (Money Magazine)

How is that so different from any other agent or broker?
The agent who lists a property for sale has a fiduciary duty to carry out the best wishes of his/her client - the seller. In Montana, an agent may represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction as long as each have agreed to that in writng. Since I represent buyers only, the likelihood of any conflict with your interests is greatly lessened.

Q: Why do you have employment contract I need to sign?
A: Just as the listing agent has a contract to represent you in the sale of your property, I have one to represent you in the purchase of property. In effect, I'm "listing" you for the length of the contract. Listing agents almost never do any work on a property they are not offered payment for selling. My policy is to have a legal contract outlining the terms of our working arrangement and spelling out that I will also be paid for my work.

Q: What if I decide I am not comfortable with this way of doing business?
A: My Pledge to you promises that if I am not living up to my end of the bargain, you can fire me. This is even though the contract we sign may have much longer to run.

Is the Lake County MT real estate market a "buyers market?"
Yes. Historically low interest rates and lowered prices make this the best buying market since I began as a new agent in June of 1990. Foreclosures and "short sales" are very prevalent but there are also many homes and lots that are being priced properly for buyers to seriously consider.

What if I see or know about a "For Sale By Owner" property?
Most people want me to find the right property regardless of how it is being offered. I watch for foreclosures, short sales and FSBO's. THese kinds of properties require more work, especially the FSBO's but that is what you are hiring me to do. If you would prefer to handle FSBO's yourself, we can write the contract to cover that too.

How is it that anyone can buy land or a house on the Flathead Reservation? I thought a person couldn't do anything but lease land within reservation boundaries.
This is an "open" reservation. Although there are parcels that will probably never be for sale due to their cultural or environmental significance, there are thousands of acres and city lots that are held in "fee simple" status just like in any other area and quite a few of them are for sale.

Common Forms

Cindy Willis,
Real Estate Buyers Solutions


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