JUNE 18, 2014
Consumers beware: "Fake" Exclusive Buyer Agents on the rise
AVONDALE (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Over the last several months, the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) has seen an increase in the number of real estate agents claiming to be Exclusive Buyer Agents in spite of working within a company that takes listings or even taking listings themselves. Per the industry definition, an Exclusive Buyer Agent never works with sellers and works within a company that does not take listings. Because an Exclusive Buyer Agent has no inventory to sell, they can work as a true advocate for the buyer regardless of which home is viewed or purchased.
According to NAEBA President Chris Whitehead, "The definition based on the company taking no listings goes back to the Common Law of Agency. In most states, when contracting with a real estate agent, a consumer is actually contracting with the broker and the agent is simply acting on behalf of that broker. Therefore, in order to state that one works with buyers exclusively, the broker, and as such the company, must actually work with buyers exclusively, not just the agent." In spite of a few states no longer following the Common Law of Agency, the legal industry definition stands.
Over the last several years, consumer groups, financial experts, and even the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office have advocated the use of an Exclusive Buyer Agent when purchasing a home. Unfortunately, as when anything is recommended so highly by multiple organizations, a few people will make false claims and it appears that Exclusive Buyer Agency is no exception. NAEBA Headquarters has seen complaints regarding "fake" Exclusive Buyer Agents increase from two – three per month to two – three per week.
NAEBA President Whitehead, however, states that it is easy to verify that your agent is an Exclusive Buyer Agent. He adds, "Simply check if your agent's brokerage takes listings or sells homes. If the answer is no, you have a true Exclusive Buyer Agent."