Q: How do I get paid?

This is the question most often asked of me as an Exclusive Buyers Agent (EBA). The answer is very simple just like every other real estate broker no more no less. There is no extra fee or charge for my real estate services when you buy a home.

Q: How do commissions work? 
When a seller hires a real estate agency to represent him, the seller and the agency agree to compensation for the services that the agency will provide. There are two sides to each transaction, the listing/selling side and the buying side.

Dirt Road Realty always represents only the purchaser (the buying side), and therefore never has any conflict of interest and doesn't collect fees from both the listing/selling and the buying side of the transaction.

Q: Who pays for the commission? 
It is a little like a chicken and an egg. The seller may be paying the commission directly to the listing agent, but as a buyer, you are paying the commission. Since it is included in the price of the property you are purchasing, you are in fact paying the commission. Traditionally the seller contracts with the listing agent to get the highest price for their home. However, now the buyer can have a say because you are paying the full commission? Why not have someone who is legally and ethically responsible to you, the buyer.

Q: Isn't the agent who shows me homes always representing me by law? 
Not in New York! The only way to have a buyer's agent here is to contract with a buyer's agent. Agents who list properties enter into a signed contract with the sellers to represent them in the sale of their property. Unless you have a written Buyer Agency Agreement with a real estate agent promising to represent only YOUR best interest, you will find yourself working with an agent who is obligated to act in the best interest of the seller. As a buyer, your very best interest is served by an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent where there is no bias or conflict of interest as with a listing agent or other traditional real estate brokers. 

Q: What is the most significant feature of Dirt Road Realty ? 
The most significant feature of our service is Exclusive Buyer Representation. We take no listings and are dedicated to the representation of BUYERS ONLY in real estate transactions.

Q: What makes Dirt Road Realty different from a traditional agency?
Although both Dirt Road Realty and the traditional agency are fully licensed and regulated by the State of New York Department of State (NYSDOS), we at DRR are different in that we have made a business decision to work for home buyers only, not home sellers, as is done with the traditional real estate firm.

Q: How is Dirt Road Realty’s service even more unique?
Exclusive Buyer Agent Harvey Brown has the ability to meet with potential buyers in New York City and surrounding areas – either at the buyer’s home or at their office. No need to make a long trip into the country or even go to a real estate office when Harvey Brown can meet with you, identify your needs and find exactly what you want before you have to travel anywhere.

Q: Won't it cost me more to use a "Buyer's Agent" than a traditional agent? 
Not at all! We have multiple ways for negotiating the best possible price, terms, rates, and closing fees that may actually end up saving you money!

Q: What is the significance of the word “represents” in the real estate world; especially to the buyer? 
It describes a legal function traditionally with the seller and listing agent. The seller of the home enters a legal agreement with the listing agent to get the highest price when his home is sold. Now you have the choice to buy a home from an exclusive buyer’s agent whom only represents you legally and ethically. You can now obtain your property focusing on the lowest cost to you not the highest price for the seller.

Q: Some agents say they can represent both the buyer and the seller. How can this be? 
You be the judge. If you were selling a home, would you want to list it with an agent who represents the buyer? Of course you wouldn't, not any more than you would want to be put in a position of having to divulge your personal finances to an agent representing the seller. What buyers usually don't understand is that when an agent shows a buyer any home listed with that agent's firm, then that agent is obligated to protect the best interests of the seller.

Most real estate agents in Dutchess and Columbia Counties represent only the seller's best interest when showing property to unrepresented home buyers. The seller agent's job is to obtain the "highest price possible" for their seller.

Dutchess and Columbia County area buyers now have a choice. Once homebuyers understand buyer brokerage, they realize that it doesn't make any sense for buyers to look for a home with a seller's agent. As a home buyer, you need to understand why you should avoid Dual Agency at all times.

Q: Does Dirt Road Realty have access to all resources like the Multiple Listing Service? 
Absolutely yes and even more! We belong to the Mid-Hudson Multiple Listing Service, so we can show any homes listed with this service. In addition, since we represent only buyers, we also regularly show homes that are "For Sale by Builder" and "For Sale by Owner."

Q: What does the term “Exclusive” mean in a print ad or on a sign in a front yard?
This should be a signal to you to find a Buyer Agency. You should view an Exclusive home with someone who represents you - not the seller.
 “Exclusive” only pertains to the listing agency or broker who will receive half of the commission from the seller when the house is sold. Any licensed agent or broker from any real estate agency can act on your accord to purchase this property. These “Exclusive” homes are on the Multiple Listing System.

Q: Other agents tell me that they are the only ones who can show the homes listed with their agency?
New York's Department of State supports home buyers and has ruled that the buyer can choose to work with someone on the buyer’s side or with someone on the seller's side. If they choose their own buyer's agent, any home listed by any agency must be made available to the buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can show many more homes than the traditional agent. Dirt Road Realty, a buyer’s agent, can show you any home in the Multiple Listing Service, any "secret" (office exclusive) home, and any home being sold directly by the seller (FSBO).

 Q. Why would a Buyer Agent work for a better price for the buyer if the agent is working on commission? 
In the usual commission split between brokers, even a $5,000 difference in price only results in a minimal difference in the commission the agent receives. Good will and word-of-mouth advertising are much more valuable to Dirt Road Realty , not to mention our legal obligation to represent the Buyer's best interest. We believe that by working hard for you, it will result in a positive recommendation for us whenever you hear about someone wanting to purchase a new home. Our goal is to have happy clients who know that we always acted in their best interests.

Q: What should I know about the Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure for New York State? 

As of March 1, 2002, most sellers of one to four family residences are required to provide buyers with a completed disclosure form prior to the signing of a purchase contract. Failure by the seller to provide a completed disclosure form to the buyer or buyer’s agent prior to the signing by the buyer of a binding contract of sale will result in the buyer receiving a credit of $500 against the purchase price from the seller at closing. You should ask yourself, what does this mean for you the buyer?

In practicality, most sellers do not provide the buyer with a property disclosure form. They do not want to be held responsible for unknown defects. The seller is not required to provide this completed disclosure form, however he must give you, the buyer, a $500 credit against the purchase price at the closing.

Q: Why do I need a Home Inspector?
Re-read Seller’s Property Disclosure for New York State!!
The home inspector’s job is to make sure you are getting your money’s worth out of the home you choose. The inspector confirms the basic integrity of the home and identifies any repairs that are recommended or necessary. This information can certainly be useful in negotiating the final price. An Exclusive Buyer Agent will strongly recommend that you use a highly trained Home Inspector. To avoid conflict, we also suggest not using the home inspector that the Selling or Listing Agent might recommend.


Q: Can a Buyer's Agent tell me if I am paying the right price for a home? 

Your Buyer's Agent should research previous sales to determine the value of a particular home in a given neighborhood. Completing a Competitive Market Analysis will help determine the price you should pay. In addition, the agent can access the property’s history and tax record.

Q: Can I call Dirt Road Realty , if I am not sure where in Dutchess or Columbia County I want to live? Or if I should purchase a house as opposed to land?
Yes of course! This is Harvey Brown’s specialty. He has the patience to educate you and give you the tools you need to make all of the right decisions. Harvey can give you insight into the local real estate market and match is with your exact needs. His commitment is to your empowerment.

Q: What is the Multiple Listing System and can you still use an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent?
There is a reason over 90% of home buyers work with real estate agents: to gain access to the maximum number of homes though the Multiple Listing System (MLS). The Multiple Listing System (MLS) is a data base of all listed properties in a market area.