The single biggest mistake I’ve seen home buyers make time & time again when looking to buy a home in Toronto is thinking that they can get a discount if they go directly to the Realtor who listed the house for sale for the seller.

In other words… Not using a Realtor to represent their interests as a buyer but expecting the Realtor who is obligated to look out for the interests of the seller to look after the buyer as well.

The reason people think this [in error] is that they assume if the sellers don’t have to pay an extra commission to the buyers Realtor then the seller will pass on that savings to the buyer.

Let me ask you a question. If you were selling your house and you hired an agent that you trust to sell your house and you had the opportunity to save money or save commission that you would pay out would you rather keep it in your pocket or would you give it away to a buyer who you don’t even know?

Obviously you have the same answer to that question as everybody else.

If you can save money then you’re going to save money.
You’re not going to give it away to someone you don’t even know if you don’t have to.

In fact expecting the listing agent to look out for you as a buyer as well is very risky because the listing agent was first under contract with the seller to sell their house.

So the listing agent legally and ethically owes the seller his or her fiduciary duties and loyalty.
The listing agent must look out for their best interests overall.

So if there were things that you would need to know about the property that might affect whether or not you’d make an offer … or for that matter what offer you might make… If you had a buyers agent or Realtor representing you as a buyer then your agent would likely be able to identify those issues and discuss them with you.

Because the Buyer’s Agent owes his or her fiduciary duties to you, the buyer.
But if you ask certain questions or expect that type of  information from the Seller’s  agent  then you’re mistaken because the Seller’s agent can’t divulge certain things.

Furthermore, if and when you choose to make an offer on a property, your Buyer’s Agent is trained and expected to insert and include the appropriate clauses  and conditions in your offer that look out for your best interest as a buyer.

Those clauses and conditions can often become a point of negotiation because they are that important.

But if the sellers agent were to draft your offer for you then you don’t know what clauses or conditions they might leave out because they are not in the best interest of the seller.

And the Realtor wouldn’t be doing anything illegal or wrong because they don’t all you as a buyer their fiduciary duties if they were first obligated to look out for the seller.

So the moral of the story is you could potentially be opening yourself up to tremendous risk yet there is no advantage because you won’t save any money on the purchase price of the house.

Furthermore it’s also very important to point out that in most circumstances if you hire a Realtor to represent you as a buyer then you get the benefit of their knowledge and expertise and fiduciary duties at no cost.  You don’t have to pay the buyers agent a commission.

It’s the sellers who pay the commission to your buyers agent who’s representing you as the buyer.

So if you could get professional expertise in guidance and full service for free and ultimately protect your best interests then why wouldn’t you?

In fact there’s even a chance that if you hire a buyers agent who is a good negotiator they might even negotiate a lower purchase price for you to pay then if you went to the seller’s agent directly who is always trying to get as much money as possible for the seller.

For more clarification on many of these points please visit my other post called “Do You Actually [Need] An Agent To BUY a Home?

If you’d like more information about finding and buying your next home I’m always happy to answer your questions.