Advantages of Buying With or Without an Agent
Some advantages of using a buyer’s agent:
Recommend Other Members of Your Team:
Because real estate is a local industry, agents see the same people working again and again at different parts of the process. They often know home inspectors, appraisers, and even lenders to recommend to you.
Advise You Through the Unexpected:
Home buying is a long and complicated process, and the unexpected is one of the only guarantees. If an unexpected home inspection turns negotiations sour, your agent can act as a buffer between you and the seller.
Real Estate Agents Have a Style:
Whether it’s a neighborhood, type of home or type of seller, all real estate agents have a specialty. Make sure that your agent has a style that meshes with you and your needs, and that they are able to bring their expertise to bear on your home sale.
Some potential disadvantages of using a buyer’s agent:
Focusing on Yourself
As many stories are out there of hero-agents that fulfill their client’s dreams, there are horror stories of agents who have led buyers astray. Agents sometimes have several clients to juggle, and unfortunately, some homebuyers get pushed to the back. A homebuyer representing themselves, however, only has themselves to look out for. If you are a detail-oriented person who loves complicated legal documents and is ready to turn home buying into a full-time job, maybe you are ready to strike out on your own.
While most see the agent’s commission being paid by the seller as a huge bonus, it makes others uncomfortable. Some view both agents as working for the seller, and not as representatives for each. Besides just relying on yourself to complete the sale, some buyers can hire a real estate lawyer to act as the third party in these cases. Additionally, sellers will hire what’s called a dual broker, a person who works both sides of the transaction and collects the full 6% commission. Dual brokers have many critics and view their position as a conflict of interest.
Lower Sale Price?
Other buyers may think about going without an agent because they believe that without the buyer’s agent, the purchase price of the home will reduce by 3%. This is and is not true. With any home sale, the offer is up to the buyer and the final price is negotiable. In this way, a buyer representing themselves can negotiate the sale price to reduce it by whatever the agent’s commission would have been. This is more likely to happen when buying from a family or individual, rather than a bank or other institution. In most cases, both agent’s commissions will be built into the sale price, and the buyer will be paying for an agent whether they use one or not.
Using an Agent vs. Going Alone
In most instances, a reputable, professional agent provides an invaluable service to the homebuyer. It’s important to find an agent that you trust, one that listens to your priorities and has your best interests at heart. For the first-time homebuyer, an agent is essential, and it isn’t recommended you enter the home buying process the first time without one. But, if you are buying your third or fourth house, feel that you understand the process, the market, and know what you’re looking for, then now might be the time to purchase without an agent, and see if you can get yourself a better deal.
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