What is a buyer's agent?

Definition of Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who works with home buyers to find, evaluate and negotiate the purchase of a property.

When making any important decision or purchase, particularly a large investment like buying a house, it’s important to seek out objective, professional advice. A buyer’s agent can help by guiding you through the home buying process, as well as advocate to protect your interests.

Why is this term important?

Not all real estate agents market themselves as buyer's agents (also known as a buyer's broker), but in many real estate transactions in Canada, there are two agents involved: The listing, or selling, agent and the buyer's agent. The buyer's agent only works for the buyer in the real estate process.

Many would-be home buyers are confused about how a buyer's agent gets paid. In most property transactions within Canada, both the seller's agent and the buyer's agent is paid by the home seller, through a negotiated commission structure. Once the sale of the home is complete, the seller's legal representative will forward this commission money to the listing brokerage, who then divides the money between the two agents.

Even though the buyer's agent isn't paid directly by the home buyer, this real estate professional has a fiduciary responsibility to their client, meaning they must provide the home buyer with the highest standard of client care and creates an obligation that the buyer's agent will act solely in good faith and trust when representing the buyer.

Examples of term

In the real estate transaction process, the buyer's agent is your legal representative. Rather than learning the nuances of a real estate transaction, such as what the seller is legally required to disclose, or when a lawyer needs to review documentation, or what to watch out for in strata documents, a buyer's agent is a real estate professional with in-depth knowledge of the real estate transaction process.

A buyer's agent is just as important for residential real estate transactions as it is for commercial. For instance, as a buyer, you may be considering the purchase of a new corporate property. At this point, it's best to seek out the services of a buyer's agent, who can find options and negotiate the terms and conditions of a sale in your best interest.