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Is it neccesary to have a real estate agent to buy a house. I have seen one without an agent

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September 29 2009 - Amherst
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Answers (24)

Buyer agent is not just FREE, it is absolutely valuable and necessary in today's market.

Sourcing, doing comps, price and terms negotiation, dealing with bidding war created by bank owned or short sale listings, your exit strategies and having a good hand in closing to watch out all numbers for you...
 
Agents have tools, stats, data, experience, network and knowledge that a buyer may or may not have. Are all these necessary when buying a house? The answer to your question is right here.
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November 27 2009
Many buyers, especially those who use the word "retard," are, in fact, themselves retards.

But not you, Klarek, I'm sure. Anyway - the answer, which you already know, is, "No." It is not necessary to have a real estate agent to buy a house.

Although, it really is a retarded question!

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November 18 2009
Profile picture for klarek the realist
"I wouldn't recommend it.  A REALTOR(R) is supposed to look out for your best interest."

"The seller typically pays the commission so a there is no downside to using an agent as a buyer."

So as a buyer, I'm not paying anybody, but somehow I'm supposed to believe they're looking out for my best interests?  You guys really think all buyers are retards, don't you?
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November 18 2009

The seller typically pays the commission so a there is no downside to using an agent as a buyer.  Not using an agent as a buyer will not get you a better price it will just get the seller's agent a bigger commission because it will not have to be split.

As a buyer you benefit from using an agent because the agent knows the market, inventory and can prevent you from over paying. Most agents have seen many of the houses in the area and can rule some out based on your criteria saving you tons of time looking. They also do all the leg work setting up showings and keep on top of new properties that come on the market. Agents handle the negotiating of the final price which most people are uncomfortable doing directly. You may also get a free lunch out of the deal.

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November 18 2009
I wouldn't recommend it.  A REALTOR(R) is supposed to look out for your best interest.  They can help you find a home, find a lender, negotiate the price, terms, etc, find a home inspector,  assist you through the entire process, disclosures, explain the paperwork, and so on.  In most cases the buyer's agents commission is paid by the seller so the cost to you most likely would be your loan fees, inspections and so on.  If you are thinking of buying get a referral from someone you know and trust.
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November 01 2009
In the  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, upon the first substantive meeting with a REALTOR, i.e., discussion of financial information, cash on hand, buyer's motivation level, etc., the Consumer Notice must be presented and signed by the customer.  This document is not a contract.  It is designed to disclose the various types of relationships that may exist been consumers and REALTORS. These include Buyer's Agent,  Seller's Agent, Dual Agent, Designated Agent, and, rarely Transaction Licensee.  We refer to this document as the "Miranda Rights of Real Estate," for its intent is to protect consumers and advise them that they have the right to be represented in real estate transactions.

Accompanying the Consumer's Notice, is the Representation Agreement, which reiterates the duties and responsibilities of a Buyer's Agent to his or her client.   As with physicians, lawyers, or counselors, for example, a customer becomes a client when a relationship based on loyalty and trust is formed in writing. 

To answer your question about the need to have a buyer's agent, I would like to respond as follows.  When a REALTOR shows a home to a customer who does not wish to become a represented client- even for that home- he or she is, by default, working to promote and protect the interest of the SELLER.  What this means is that recommendations about list price, overall condition of home, comparison of home to similar ones on the market is not technically permitted under real estate law. However, review of the Seller's Property Disclosure is required regardless of agency. 

Buyer's Agents pledge loyalty, due diligence, good faith effort, confidientiality, disclosue, advocacy and more. When agreeing to list a property, the seller agrees in writing how much to compensate the Broker the buyer's agent responsible for procuring cause for the sale. This  amount is published in the Central Penn Multi-List for all to see.  However, it is important to note that real estate fees may be negotiated.  Helping to find the perfect home
home is the easiest part of reprepsenting one's client.
Negotiating price, reply to inspections, transaction management, risk and loss mitigation, keeping track of deadlines specified in the contract as "time is of the essence" are merely a few of the other responsibilites which a buyer's agent assumes.  Verifying buyer's purchase power, trouble-shooting, problem-solving, and making sure that all conditions of the mortgage application such as home insurance, loan commitment deadline, and providing of required documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, etc., are additional duties of a buyer's agent.

In closing, this representation is an excellent  way of balancing the scales of the purchase sales agreement. Representation of both buyers and sellers affords increased peace of mind, quality control, and equal protection under the law.
 


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October 30 2009
Profile picture for sunnyview
I would be interested in whether or not buying with an agent is actually free to the buyer. Often sellers who are represented by an agent have higher asking prices and those are ultimately passed on the buyer in escrow. Some FSBO sellers pass realtor commissions directly back to buyer outright. In fact in most cases all monies are brought to escrow by the buyer not the seller. So really, who is paying the agent? I guess it depends on who you ask.

You do not need an agent to buy a house, but I would make sure that you consult someone either a real estate attorney by the hour or a licensed agent for a set fee to look over the contract for you. The contract and disclosures protect you as a buyer and should be part of every real estate transaction whether you are fully represented or not. If you are not experienced or if the other party has their own realtor, you might consider getting full representation to provide you with more protection in the transaction.
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October 26 2009
An agent is there to help you. It costs you nothing but can save you so much.
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October 26 2009
What is the benefit of that? Why would you give up a free service to you? Do you know all the contracts envolved and how to protect yourself? It is amazing how people hit themselves in the head with a hammer thinking they may save a penny which turns around bites them and cost them thousands afterwards... Good luck...
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October 26 2009
You do not need an agent, but to go into this transaction alone could backfire.  You could easily end up with a situation of dual agency.  This means that,  the sellers' agent could precede over the sale and would have less duty of loyalty for you than for his or her own client.  To play it safe, and have someone exclusively representing you, at least consult with an agent and weight your options before you jump in alone.
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October 26 2009
You don't need an agent to view home but it really helps.  They have access to any home listed in the MLS.  Also when you go to write an offer on the home your agent will be working for YOU to make sure you get the best price for the home.  They will also have access to all the disclosures and put you in touch with an attoeney to help close the deal.
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October 22 2009
You don't need to be a dentist to pull a tooth, you can do it on your own, but boy does it help to have a professional pull the tooth.
Same goes for a home, a Realtor is a professional that provides you representation.  Buying a home is nothing to be taking lightly, a lot of things can go wrong, why take a gamble?  Hire a professional to represent your interests!!!
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October 22 2009
Profile picture for CarrieDawson
I agree with most of the comments, it really depends on how much your knowledge in real estate market. But if your not that sure better to get one.
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October 20 2009
Depends on your knowledge of the market and how comfortable you feel representing yourself.  In court, he who represents himself has a fool for a client so make sure you know what you are doing or it could cost you thousands more than what you hope to save by not being represented by a Realtor or Agent.
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October 20 2009
No, you do not need an agent to buy. The seller's agent can write the contract for you. Of course, s/he represent the seller so this may not be advisable. Buyer's Agency was created so that buyers would have the same rights of representation as sellers. Will an attorney suffice? Maybe. Generally, attorneys handle contracts. Some will do negotiations. Few will be able to recommend inspectors.If you use a realtor, they will manage the entire transaction from the initial offer to purchase through closing, providing you with their best advice and opinion at each step.
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October 05 2009
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Nah. Hire an attorney to write the contract, get the house inspected, get an appraisal and call it a day.
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October 03 2009
Depends on how knowledgeable you are on the market.  If you know everything that is on and values and the selling agent will reduce his fee to reflect that you are buying without an agent than no.

If you want to beat up the seller and not alienate yourself from them, then you do.
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October 03 2009
Profile picture for Mr Caveat
In Florida, buyers agents do not charge for their services

care to elaborate? because this realtor in miami is under the rediculous impression that she will be paid for her services.

A Single Agency relationship allows the agent to act on the buyer's behalf. This agreement is commonly known as a buyer/broker agreement. It lets you know in writing that: #1 the agent is working for you, not the seller; #2 any retainer the agent may charge you (My services are paid by the seller!); and #3 how the buyer's agent receives their compensation. The seller's agent and the buyer's agent then share the commision that the seller is paying.

i wouldnt use a buyer's agent unless they could prove to me that it was in my best interest to do so, and i can imagine several situations where FSBO and no representation would make more sense than paying almost 7% more for the home than i would need to otherwise.
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October 02 2009
When making a purchase as significant as real estate, it is important to have someone who is looking out for YOUR best interests. In most cases, seller's pay the commission costs. In Florida, buyers agents do not charge for their services. An agent will also save you ALOT of time spent looking at houses that you do not want to buy.
To answer your direct question...You do not have to hire a realtor but I cannot imagine why you would not want to. YOUR agent can assist you i offering the best price and draw up contracts that protect YOU.
Good Luck, Feel free to contact me if I can answer any more questions for you!
P.S. I'm from WNY, Amherst is a wonderful area.
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October 02 2009
How well do you know property values?  How do you know what to offer?  How well can you negotiate?  Whos is really 'saving' the commission .. you or the seller?
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September 29 2009
Profile picture for droopyd
We found it extremely helpful to have an agent assisting with our purchase.

He was good at helping us assess market values of homes, identifying problems with properties that we would not necessarily have noticed ourselves, and working with the seller and the bank to navigate what turned out to be a somewhat complex contract and financing process.

I woud certainly use him again should we need to sell or buy another house -- but hopefully not for at least another decade!

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September 29 2009
Profile picture for sunnyview
It is not necessary to have an agent to buy, however I would recommend having an attorney look over/draw up the purchase contract if you don't use a realtor. Mr. Emery is right contracts help protect you in the purchase and they spell out each party's responsibilities and inspections make sure that you know what you are buying. 
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September 29 2009
Unless you are a seasoned buyer, I suggest that you take advantage of the expertise of a Buyer Agent to assist you with the many details involved in the purchase of a home.  A buyer agent will provide you with information related to the latest comparable sales so that you can make a sensible offer on the property, she ensures that you are pre-approved by a lender, follows up on the Home Inspection and helps you negotiate any items that need to be replaced or fixed and provides you with expertise in the actual writing and negotiations of the offer.
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September 29 2009
It's not necessary to have an agent to buy a home but it's helpful if you are not familiar with buying a home or the contracts needed to purchase a home. If you are comfortable with the process you could hire an attorney to do the paperwork and set up escrow. You can also hire a real estate agent to just do the paperwork and set up escrow, too. They would be willing to do this for a flat fee as opposed to a commission.

In any event, unless you are an attorney, have an attorney at least review the purchase agreement before signing and get the home inspected.
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September 29 2009
 
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