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Common Real Estate Questions

Following is a list of questions I have been asked a number of times. These answers pertain to the state of Wisconsin.

Can any Real Estate Agent show a property?

The answer is yes, if the property is listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is known as cooperating Brokers. A licensed Agent can show any MLS listed property in the state of Wisconsin.

Can any Agent write an offer to purchase on a property?

Yes, you may be better off having another Agent write an offer on the property. Many people think, if they go to the Listing Agent they will have more information on the property and will be able to get a better price for the property. The Listing Agent represents the Seller and must put the interest of the Seller before the interest of the Buyer. Having your own Agent gives you the opportunity to work with an Agent that will represent you if you wish to enter into a Buyer Agency Agreement.

What is a Buyer Agency Agreement?

In the State of Wisconsin all Real Estate Agents represent the Listing Broker and must put the interest of the Broker before the interest of the Buyer. The Listing Broker has a contract to represent the Seller. So who represents the Buyer? The state of Wisconsin allows the Buyer to enter into a Buyer Agency Agreement and may choose to have an Agent represent them. An Agent can not represent both the Seller and Buyer on the same contract.

What does it cost the Buyer to have an Agent represent them?

In most cases nothing. Some Agents attach a long Addendum to the agreement detailing the method they are to be paid for each circumstance. In most cases the fee is paid for by the Seller and is disclosed in the MLS specification sheet. Other arrangements can be agreed to for properties not listed in the MLS.

How do I know I am paying a fair price?

If you enter into a Buyer Agency Agreement your Agent should supply you with market information known as a Comprehensive Market Analysis or CMA. If you do not have a Buyer Agency Agreement you can still ask for a CMA. You can request a CMA on any property, the Agent should provide one but has no obligation to explain the report if you do not have a Buyer Agency Agreement.

Do I need a property Inspection?

We always suggest you hire your own state licensed Inspector when purchasing a property. The Inspector will be working for you, looking out for your interests. Inspections for a single family home may cost between $250 and $350 and may save you thousands. Most Real Estate Agents are not licensed Inspectors and should not be relied upon to uncover defects or offer suggestions. A large part of an Inspection deals with care and maintenance of a home. It is an educational process. Real Estate Agents may be able to give you a list of Inspectors they have worked with.

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