To put it bluntly, Carrie and Ryan Fitzgerald of Washington, D.C. were "clueless" about home buying when they decided to purchase a condominium.
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"We weren't sure where to start. A friend in Boston suggested getting a buyer's agent instead of a real estate agent, so we thought we'd give it a try," says Carrie.
She went online, and using the search words "buyer's agent" for the Washington area, came up with Steve Israel, a broker for Buyer's Edge of Bethesda, Md. Two months later, the Fitzgeralds signed a contract for a two-story loft condo.
"Steve totally exceeded our expectations," Carrie says.
An exclusive buyer's agent differs from other real estate agents or brokers in that they don't represent sellers. Some, like Israel, never list properties for sale and only work with...