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Is it necessary to have a realtor representing you in a sale purchase?

Is it wise to go directly to the seller with your offer and just negotiate for a lower price>?
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September 28 2012 - Redondo Beach
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It is not required to have an agent represent you but the question to ask yourself is what outcome are you looking for?

If it is to save money, well in CA the seller pays all Real Estate commissions. So, basically the buyer's agent is offering his/her service to the buyer for "free". Arguably, you can say that by not using an agent, you can get a lower price. Not really as most likely the seller is represented by an agent who would be more than happy to represent both parties and get double the commission. Of course in that situation you have to ask yourself who that agent is really working for.

If the property is a FSBO, "for sale by owner", then the expectation is that you do go directly to the seller but that is a recipe for total disaster in most instances. Here's why.

Real Estate transactions are unfortunately somewhat complicated. In CA you will be presented with a stack of documents including disclosures, reports, appraisals, escrow instructions, and other forms that the average person is just ill equipped to make any sense out of. And, if you interpret those documents incorrectly, you can be making a grave mistake that can cost you a lot of money.

Some people think they can just cut a deal with a seller and then go to a lawyer to write it up. That could be done but by the time you are paying the lawyer's hourly wage (for a service you would otherwise be getting for free) you are probably defeating your purpose in most instances. Also, is that attorney likely to know inspectors, contractors, handymen, lenders, and other professionals that you will need during the transaction.

So, the bad analogy I often make is that while many of us go to medical websites to explore symptoms, we probably stop at doing surgery on ourselves. Not that I'm comparing Realtors to Doctors by any stretch of the imagination. Just consider both of us as necessary in certain situations.
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September 29 2012
No, it is not required to have a real estate agent represent you when you're looking to purchase a house, but the question is, "Why wouldn't you use a realtor?" As a buyer's agent, you hire than for free. 
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September 29 2012
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It is not required to have a real estate agent represent you when buying or selling a house.  You can do it yourself if you understand the laws and feel comfortable or have an Investor or professional home buyer help you. You can buy a car that is not on a car lot if you understand the risk or you can pay a buyer to buy it and get a deal usually for less money.

There are several ways to buy or sell a house also. Cash, new loan or mortgage, Owner Finance, lease purchase, Rent to own, Subject to, land trust, land contract, etc. 

Learn more at [website removed by Zillow moderator]

Mark
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September 29 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
I see the Myth/Sales Pitch of the Seller Pays so it's "Free" to you the Buyer is being pitched to you....
Some Agents pitch that Smoke & Mirrors semantics BS because they figure the public is dumb...let's not prove them right

YOU pay for the Property..The Seller then pays the Agents (Both) from the money you just paid them for the property..you figure out who is paying for the Agent

Free to you....I would suggest consumers avoid the Agents tossing out that Sales Pitch Client Fishing BS like the plague..
This is a huge business transaction for you so why start out by hiring the services of a Smoke-blowin Sales pitch BSer?
Lots of excellent Agents out there that do not play that game, find/use one of them, you'll be better off imho

Know all your options...Example
From Dept of Justice Anti-Trust Web Site
California allow Brokers to off Rebates to Consumer
What are the laws in your state?

"How do rebates work?"
"Some real estate brokers offer consumers cash refunds or non-cash incentives to encourage them to use that broker's services. Rebates are typically cash payments from the real estate broker to his or her client after closing. Incentives may include gift certificates, closing-cost payments, or free ancillary services such as home inspections or moving services." Rebates Make Buying a Home Less Expensive.

Please check out the Dept of Justice Anti-Trust Web Site
Competition and Real Estate

Whatever your decision...Good Luck
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September 29 2012
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Thank you for your input. Much appreciated.
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September 29 2012
It is highly recommended that you work with a Licensed Real Estate Sales Person for your purchase.   The agent is the "glue" that holds your deal together as far as all the communication between parties.  Speak to a Realtor that ranks high in your area that can help you professionally with good customer service and knowledge of the process.
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September 29 2012
In my opinion it always best to have in independent advocate working on your behalf in a purchase transaction.  Aside from being skilled in real estate negotiations, a real estate broker will ensure all of the necessary disclosures, paperwork, and due diligence on the property are completed to help mitigate any risks you might need to consider.  
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September 29 2012
Not a good idea to buy a home without a Realtor to represent you. That is probably even more true in California than most states. The forms, disclosures, possibility of litigation, knowing what you have to do and when, it all adds up. And as others have said, why wouldn't you? The seller is paying the commission, not you.

And make sure you have INDEPENDENT representation. Not the seller's agent. Their job is to get the best deal for the seller, not for you.
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September 29 2012
This all depends on your experience level. If you don't know, don't be afraid to ask.
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September 29 2012
Not necessary but highly recommended. Also understand it doesn't cost you anything to be represented. The sellers pay for your agent so why not?   
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September 28 2012
It is not necessary to use a buyer agent, but it sure helps if you have never done it before.  Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
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September 28 2012
If all parties (Buyer/Seller) are in agreement to price and terms you could have an attorney draft an agreement.  But, using a Realtor who is knowledgeable regarding the specific market you are interested in living (real estate and it's agents is very localized) could be to a great advantage.  Not only with reference to negotiating price, terms, repair items, but also educating you on the numerous disclosures involved in a California residential real estate purchase.  If the home you are contemplating is in the South Bay, I would be happy to offer any additional information you might find helpful, no obligation by you and no pressure from me.
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September 28 2012
It is not necessary to have a Realtor® represent you in a sale purchase; it is an optional service.

As to whether the decision to go directly to the seller is especially "wise," I'm not quite sure why anyone wouldn't "negotiate for a lower price" if they were able to.

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September 28 2012
There are several contracts, disclosures and addendums associated with the purchase of a home. You do not have to have a realtor to explain the documents and process to you. But if you don't, I suggest you at least have an attorney review the documents before you sign them.

Oh, a buyers agent (one who works on behalf of the buyer) does not charge you a fee. His/her commission is paid from the sellers proceeds. I don't think attorney's work that way.

Good luck on your purchase.
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September 28 2012

I am a local Realtor and will be happy to help you. You do not pay for a Realtor to represent you, the seller does so why would you contact the seller directly? A Realtor can negotiate a lower price for you among many other things. They are familiar with the market and home values in the area. They can show you homes in the area and how much they have sold for to come up with an offer that you will feel confident about. You need someone to represent you. You want a Real Estate professional to help you with many problems that can come up throughout the transaction.

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September 28 2012
 
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