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I am not sure if having no buyer's agent around is a good thing. Help?!

I know we should have ask an agents help prior to shopping for homes. At first we are just scanning around to know what is available out there, what incentives are available and which area and type of housing are we going to be comfortable with. We finally found this property. Has a decent outdoor space and very private end-unit. Right size for only 2 persons and has garage. 3 floors w/c gives us an extra space to be used as a gym. It wasn't perfect because there is no extra storage space and kitchen's size is just right although buying additional cabinets or counter space would be nice and can be possible. Most esp. the price is right. That I think what led us to making a reservation for that unit while we are still thinking about it. We can gave it back if we decide not to push through. He offered us that maybe he could ask the seller if they are willing to lower the price and the incentives and see if it is possible. He called later nad informed us that they are ok w/the price. There is no formal offer or contract yet. So basically the seller's agent is the one dealing w/us w/o our own agent. The agent seems honest, but I am not comfortable going through the process w/o having a professional working w/us like the buyer's agent. Are we in trouble here?????
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September 28 2011 - Covina
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Hi By Nature,

Although it is possible that your perceptions of the seller's agent being honest are accurate, you are also correct to realize and understand that he is not in a position to represent your interests.

You could benefit from using a buyer's agent, and to leverage information you can access through that agent which you are already aware that you don't have. Examples of this include comps (or a CMA report to show what the market value of the property is), tax records, mortgage history, process counseling, contractor referrals, and to ensure the seller is providing all of the necessary disclosures that can help you make a good buying decision.

Unless you are leveraging a commission buy-down to negotiate a lower price on the property, securing a qualified and competent buyer's agent to represent you can only help you, and won't cost anything. If you proceed to use the seller's broker to complete the transaction, you could at least ask them to appoint another agent in their office to represent you.
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September 28 2011
When representing two clients in the same transaction,even a seasoned agent should not reveal any privately gained knowledge to either party. That being said, once something is said to an agent, for example, "I need to sell now",how does the agent not use this information. 

The fact that another agent would not cost you anything, should be an incentive for you to get one. They will be able to negotiate for you instead of using a person who represents both clients.At that point the agent then becomes nothing more than a messenger for the parties. 


If you are sure of the deal you have, and have a good real estate attorney, you can negotiate the commission down if the agent and agents broker are willing. If you have not been through the home buying process in a while, I do not recomend it.



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May 01 2012
Well, I know you know that agents aren't going to think this is a good idea and most people who have used a seller's listing agent to buy their home are not going to have good positive feelings about that agent after the closing.  The only good reason to use a single agent would be if you could get a great deal from them with the agent kicking in several points on their commission to get the deal done.  But most agents aren't especially willing to do that and if the agent has already signed on to work for the seller, how can you really feel positively that they really have your best interests at heart.  It is just not possible to serve two masters.  Price and concessions are only one part of the deal.  Who is going to battle for you when it comes to negotiating the inspection issues?  Making sure you get an unbiased opinion on the sales price knowing the listing agent set the original price in the first place.  So before using the listing agent to buy your house, think carefully about the pros and cons of your decision and why you would want to do it.
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April 30 2012
Hello By Nature,


Would you go to Court and represent yourself, or have the opposing attorney speak on your behalf?

There are, and have been many buyers that have purchased a home without their own representation.  In MD we are required to explain agency to all our clients, and who's interesting they are representing in the transaction.

I am sure the listing agent is very honest and reputable. It is decision for you to determine how comfortable you will be moving forward.

Good luck
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April 30 2012

First and Foremost, the listing agent represents the Seller and they have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. The listing agent could represent you and they will know what the highest and best offer is which could be your advantage in a multiple offer situation. However, the listing agent represents the seller first... This market is competitive and if you want the home more than the next guy, you will have to represent that in your offer. And the highest price is not always the best offer... You can present your offer through the listing agent and I am sure they will do just a good job for you, but keep in mind, they represent the seller before they represent you...

If I am the listing agent and a buyer approaches me to write and present an offer and they tell me they are willing to pay $350K, but they only want to offer $300K, as the listing agent representing the seller, I am obligated to disclose to the seller that the buyer is willing to pay $350K....

Great question and good luck!

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April 30 2012
In a competitive market like this one , it is best to go with the listing agent. Although it might not sound right, when in a multiple offer situation , the listing agent is more likely to go with an offer where he is representing the seller and buyer. In some cases if he represents both he or she can negotiate commission with the seller. I am aware that this is not the right way to do business but unfortunately there is a lot of desperate agents that will do desperate things. With that being said, we are in a highly competitive market , and inventory has decreased. So if you really want  a good chance of getting your offer accepted go with the listing agent or have someone at their office represent you.
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April 30 2012
You should also be wary if the seller's agent is giving you the distinct impression, or is foolish enough to tell you outright, that without another realtor in the mix, you are going to get a better price.  That is a violation of real estate law and the Realtor Code of Ethics. 
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March 16 2012
The bottome line is how comfortable you are, having a buyers agent is advisable, but not mandatory. Amanda made a wonderful suggestion regarding appointing another agent in the office. Best of luck!
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March 16 2012
I believe you are correct to have reservations and definitely believe you should find a buyers agent. While you very well may be correct that the listing agent is honest, that agent also is unable to put your interests first as a buyers agent can. Best of luck.
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March 16 2012
Purchasing a home can pose challenges and although the listing agent may be acting in good faith, remember the listing agent represents the interests of the sellers.  You may consider hiriing your own buyers representation if you feel any doubt.  Should you require additional advice, Im happy to answer any questions you may have. [website removed by Zillow moderator] 
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March 15 2012
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That is good news. Good luck with your house hunt!
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November 10 2011
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Thank you for all your inputs. I really appreciate it. I turned away from that property and started looking for a new one w/an agent. 
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November 09 2011
Your interests are not being represented. The sellers agent might be treating you ethically and honestly but how do you really know? You should have been dealing with them through your own agent up front, especially since in most cases, it would not cost you anything to have someone who's only responsibility is to look out for your interests taking care of this for you. Not only that, but they would be far more knowledgeable about the market and the process than you are.
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September 28 2011
Besides having an agent that is working directly for you and in your corner.  Their are many reasons to have a buyers agent. 
They will be looking for properties and informing you sometimes before anyone else even sees them.
If they are unfamiliar with the area an agent can educate you on the different areas available. 
The agent can help you negotiate to your advantage, do market analysis for you on the properties you are interested in to see if they are priced right.
I think it's a great idead to have a buyers agent working for you!
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September 28 2011
It would be in your best interest to have a Buyer Agent represent you in
your real estate purchase.
I would not say your are necessarily in trouble, since I don't know the
agent you are dealing with.
You are free to interview some excellent buyer agents to represent you, just make sure you sign a contract with the buyer agent.
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September 28 2011
This is a sensitive subject for most agents.  I believe it is possible to get a great deal on a home while using the listing agent to also represent you as the buyer.  If you find an honest agent, they can sometimes work harder to get the price down - sometimes even cutting their own commission to make it work.  They also may be able to negotiate repairs better for you - even hiring their own handyman to do the repairs to keep everyone happy. 

However, if you have been working with a buyer's agent and the listing agent suddenly "steals" you away so you can secure the home - I believe this is dishonest of the agent and you have every right to tell them that you would like your agent to represent you.  Especially, if you don't have a written contract in place yet.  Procuring cause is a very gray area.
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September 28 2011

Since the listing agent has a responsibility to represent the sellers best interest, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations.  Think of it this way.  The broker has an obligation to disclose any information to his or her seller that benefits the seller.  So only say things to the listing agent that you would say directly to the seller.  Are you in trouble?  Maybe not.  Since the price has been negotiated the next step is to formalize the purchase in writing.  Have the broker draft the agreement and forward it to your attorney before you sign anything.  Let the broker know that your attorney will be in touch to negotiate any changes in the agreement.  Also, do not negotiate any terms further.  Inform the listing agent that all correspondence must go through your attorney.  It is not ideal and it would have been preferable to have a buyer broker, but trying to insert a buyer agent into the process now would be confusing and could bring up issues of procurring cause, especially where you have already negotiated some terms of the purchase.

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September 28 2011
If you were going through a divorce, would you just let your spouses attorney handle everything?????
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September 28 2011
 
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