Do you really need a Realtor to help you buy a house or condo or can you do it yourself?
Are Agents only important for selling a home? What Is a Buyer’s Agent? Are there benefits to having a Buyer’s Agent? Are there pitfalls to avoid?
The single biggest mistake I’ve seen home buyers make 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 or a Buyer’s Agent to represent their interests as a buyer.
They hope the Realtor who is representing the seller … and therefore obligated to look out for the best interests of the seller to look after the buyer as well.
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.
Hey … 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 find a way to save money then you are going to take advantage of it.
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 full fiduciary duties & loyalty.
The listing agent must look out for the Seller’s best interests overall.
This is very important because if there are things that you need to know about a property that might affect whether or not you’d make an offer to buy it, or how much you might offer, or what closing date you might offer.
If you had a Buyers Agent looking out for you as a buyer then your agent would likely be able to identify those issues and discuss them with you.
But if you ask certain questions about a property or expect certain answers & information directly from the seller’s agent then you might not get the answers you need because the seller’s agent can’t legally & ethically divulge certain things.
Furthermore, if and when you do choose to make an offer on a property, your buyers agent is trained & expected to insert & include the appropriate Clauses, Conditions & Terms in your offer which 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 aren’t in the best interest of the seller.
By the way, the realtor wouldn’t be doing anything illegal or wrong because they were first obligated [by contract] to look out for the Seller.
They also don’t owe you their fiduciary duties as a buyer if you don’t have a Buyer’s Agreement signed with them.
just in case you want to know how important Clauses & Conditions are I’ve a video post specifically called:
“Clauses, Terms & Conditions: An Important Distinction If Buying/Selling a Home”
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.
AND NOW … HERE’S THE BEST PART.
If you hire a realtor to represent you as a buyer then you get the benefit of their knowledge & expertise & fiduciary duties at no cost.
You don’t have to pay the buyers agent a commission in most circumstances.
It’s the sellers who pay the commission to your Buyers Agent who’s actually representing you and looking out for you as the buyer.
So, if you could get professional expertise & guidance & ultimately have a professional looking out for your best interests (for free) then why wouldn’t you?
In fact a buyers agent who is a good negotiator they will likely negotiate a better purchase price for you to pay than if you went to the Seller’s agent directly, who is always trying to get as much money as possible for the Seller.