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Exclusive Representation FOR BUYERS ONLY with over two decades of Martha's Vineyard Real Estate knowledge and experience.

Is an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent different than a Buyer's Agent?

In order to explain what an Exclusive Buyer's Agent is -- and why they are different, I need to first explain what an ABRŪ is. ABRŪ is an acronym that stands for Accredited Buyer's Representative. ABRŪ is a designation earned through the completion of an extensive multifaceted classroom training program on buyer agency practices and procedures followed by written examinations. However, the designation is not awarded until the applicant is able to submit evidence of practical experience as a buyer's representative --- that means a number of transactions successfully closed representing the buyer's side.

In order to maintain the ABRŪ designation, a real estate licensee must maintain an active membership with the National Association of REALTORSŪ as well as membership with the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC membership assures an ABRŪ of continued education aimed at assisting buyers. You can find an ABRŪ Buyer's Rep in your area at REBAC.net along with other Home Buyer Resources. Any licensed real estate agent can receive the Accredited Buyer Representative ABRŪ designation. They can, and most do, work for traditional real estate firms that will not only offer buyer agency, they will also represent sellers, list properties for sale and practice Disclosed Dual Agency.

When interviewing a buyer's agent it is important to ask two questions:
1) Do you or your firm take listings?
2) Do you practice dual agency?
If the answer to these questions is 'yes', you will NOT be represented by an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent.

A true Exclusive Buyer's Agent (EBA) can never list properties for sale or represent a Seller at any time. EBA's work solely for the Buyer representing their best interest at all times.

Only an EBA is allowed membership with the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents (NAEBA). EBA's are required to adhere to a strict EBA Code of Ethics. To find an EBA in your area, go to NAEBA.org and the 'find an agent' section.

Exclusive Buyer Representation is a partnership in every sense of the word. The goal of the exclusive buyer's agent must be the same as the buyer's goal --- find the best property at the best possible terms and advantage. The exclusive buyer's agent will assist their buyer client in each and every aspect of purchasing a property from start to finish.

Beginning a Fiduciary Relationship
The first step in beginning a relationship is for a prospective buyer to sit down with an exclusive buyer's agent and outline in detail exactly what their goal is. In this way, the exclusive buyer's agent can assess whether or not the buyer's objectives are realistic and if the exclusive buyer's agent has the ability to accomplish those objectives successfully.

During the counseling session you will be asked how you intend to pay for the property you wish to purchase. Don't be offended; it is important for your agent to have a clear picture of your finances. If you will need a mortgage, you will be asked to go to a lender and get Pre-Approved. If you need help locating a lender, the exclusive buyer agent will assist you.

Any and all information that is disclosed to an exclusive buyer's agent must always be kept in the strictest confidence, unlike when a buyer is working with a seller's agent where all information is fair game and will be relayed to the seller. Not only are the buyer's objectives discussed but also the buyer's agent compensation and contractual policy of the firm. The responsibilities of both the buyer and the exclusive buyer's agent are discussed and how the entire search process works.

At the end of the meeting, a decision can be made whether the relationship should be consummated via an Exclusive Right To Represent Buyer Agreement. By executing the Agreement, the agent becomes the advocate for the buyer, and the buyer is now the firm's client to whom the exclusive buyer's agent owes complete fiduciary duties as outlined in the agreement. It is important to note that the Exclusive Right To Represent Buyer Agreement is not unlike the Exclusive Listing Agreement that a seller signs with their listing agent. Sellers have always had representation, and now buyers have the same opportunity.

Buyers want to know, if they hire an Exclusive Buyer's Agent, how that agent is compensated. Is it going to cost the buyer anything extra? The answer is no. At the time the listing agent enters into a listing agreement with the seller, a fee is determined. The seller agent can offer a portion of that fee to the market to encourage co-brokers to bring their buyers. In most cases, buyer agents will accept the compensation offered by the seller. Therefore, it costs you nothing extra for the client level service you receive from an Exclusive Buyer's Agent.

However, in my opinion this is the classic chicken and egg debate. Who brings the bag of money to the closing table? The buyer! The correct way to look at the question of real estate broker commissions is that they are one of the many closing costs associated with purchasing property. Seller and buyer agents are a condition of the sale.

How SplitRock Real Estate Works Exclusively For Buyers
As an Exclusive Buyer Agency, SplitRock Real Estate has access to and searches the complete Multiple Listing Service (LINKMV) inventory of available Martha's Vineyard properties on the market. We investigate Off Market properties, "Pocket Listings", distress properties and For Sale by Owners (FSBO's) if our client so directs.

At SplitRock Real Estate, we cover the entire Island of Martha's Vineyard - all six towns. We work comfortably and cooperatively with all traditional Martha's Vineyard real estate agents and brokers. We have absolutely no allegiance to any seller. We are never conflicted in our fiduciary duty and serve only one master --- the buyer. Our task is to find the property that best suits the wants and needs of our buyer clients at the best possible terms and advantage. It doesn't matter how long that process takes --- 1 month, 6 months, 3 years. We will represent you 100% until your goal is achieved.

When a property is found that best matches our buyer client's criteria, the next step is to research everything possible about the property that may affect our buyer client's enjoyment of that property. We investigate the seller's situation, town restrictions, neighborhood idiosyncrasies, and any concerns the buyer client may have. Research is done at the Dukes County Registry of Deeds, the various Town Hall departments, via on-line information databases and when possible, background and local conditions from residents in the neighborhood are solicited to uncover any problem areas. The data is studied and reviewed with the buyer client in order to give a clearer picture of the property being considered. If the information gathered proves favorable and the buyer client wants to move forward, a comparable sales analysis evaluation is made of similar properties in the area. Now the buyer client can make a reasonably informed decision on whether or not to submit an Offer To Purchase. We counsel our buyer clients on what they can expect during the negotiation process in terms of price. Once the Offer To Purchase strategy is formulated and the Offer is signed by the buyer client it is presented to the seller.

As an Exclusive Buyer's Agent, our intent at SplitRock Real Estate is to create the best possible advantage for the buyer client prior to creation of the Purchase And Sale Agreement by getting as many contingencies, terms and conditions beneficial to the buyer agreed upon during the Offer To Purchase phase of negotiations. In this way, we are able to minimize any expenditure for inspections and additional legal fees. This process deserves explanation because Massachusetts has a two-step purchase and sale contract process: first, an Offer To Purchase Agreement and then a Purchase and Sale Agreement. Both are legal contracts binding all parties; however, the Offer To Purchase is intended to outline and memorialize the major items of importance and is then superseded by the Purchase and Sale Agreement, cementing all the details of the previous agreement along with any other items that may arise that the buyer or seller wish to solidify.

The partnership between the buyer client and the Exclusive Buyer's Agent serves to make the buyer client well informed and empower their Martha's Vineyard real estate decision-making. As a result, they become comfortable with any decision they make, even if they decide not to buy. We recognize that this is probably the largest investment decision any will make and we do not take our responsibility lightly. As the #1 Exclusive Buyer Agency on Martha's Vineyard, SplitRock Real Estate offers complete client level services. We are your partner and ally all the way.

After the seller accepts an Offer To Purchase we enter the next phase of the purchase process. We recommend the professional services necessary to conduct all the various inspections that may be necessary as well as assisting with any other contingencies that the buyer may face. As your exclusive buyer's agent, we will help you to interpret the details of the inspections and counsel you on those items that require attention. We will advocate on your behalf to the seller those items found defective that we feel are the responsibility of the seller to repair or replace. Subsequently, credits or price reductions are negotiated or we may elect to terminate the contract with no harm to either party and all buyer funds returned.

Please feel free to ask any and all questions during the initial consultation session with an Exclusive Buyer's Agent. At SplitRock Real Estate, we do not sell, we service. We are focused on being your partner in realizing your dream of owning real estate on Martha's Vineyard. Our exclusive goal is to make this the best real estate experience you have ever had.

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