If you are first time buyer or a buyer new to the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is important to understand the role of real estate agents in your transaction. Virginia allows the buyer a choice of who will represent them in the purchase of a new home. This person is known as a buyer’s agent.
Imagine that you are out and see an open house sign. You go in, look around and begin talking with the on site agent. This person is usually a listing agent. It means they have signed a listing agreement with the seller that clearly states that they will act and protect the seller’s interest in the transaction.
Because they represent the seller, the agent cannot give you unbiased advice on pricing, inspections, comparable sales, contingencies, etc. In fact, any information that you receive will all be in favor of the seller. There is actually nothing wrong with this, the listing agent is just doing his or her job, but as a buyer, you want someone representing your interests. That’s where an Accredited Buyers Representative comes in.
An Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) is a licensed real estate agent who has completed an additional course of study and serves specifically as an agent for buyers in a real estate transaction. Buyers sign an agreement with an agent, just like a seller signs a listing agreement.