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My agent or listing agent?

Do I have a better chance of a lower offer being accepted to buy a home if I have my own agent or if I go with the listing agent? 
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November 07 2013 - US
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Answers (8)

Listing agent represents the seller and their job is to get the highest and best price for the seller.

Buyers agent represents the buyer and it is their job to get the lowest and best price for the buyer plus reveal any extenuating circumstances like a divorce, job transfer or other pertinent fact which may be pressuring the seller.

Dual Agent - Listing agent who also represents a buyer is a dual agent.  They cannot lean towards the seller nor can they lean towards the buyer.  They must keep all information confidential from the opposing parties.  They do not negotiate - they facilitate.

You have a choice - appoint an agent who is solely working for you and negotiating in your best interests or use the same agent as the seller who has to walk a middle road.
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November 08 2013
Working with the listing agent will definitely increase your chances of buying the home, but not with the best possible terms.  As many have said the listing agent has their first duty to the Seller, and so long as you know that you can do whatever you want.  I don't "double-end" most of my listings (I know some Agents that double 100% of their listings) because I tell prospective buyers that I will try to negotiate whatever price they want me to but they won't get special treatment.  Every offer is treated equally by my team, be it from another office or our own.  I want the buyers to be happy, but not at the expense of the seller.  

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck
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November 08 2013
I would recommend absolutely having your own qualified Realtor on your side. Having a designated skilled/trained negotiator and representative navigating you through the entire process is in your best interest. All buyers should understand that when a seller lists a property with an agent the 6-7% commission (on average) that is paid out is already figured in their take away and in fact the commission is being paid to the list agent who has agreed to "share" the commission with your Buyer's Agent.  So in terms of negotiation...that little split of commission that you think you may be earning yourself in a "lower sales price" by cutting out your representative may not be of consideration for the list agent. Without having a strong advocate on your side to present and support your offer in addition to minimizing the emotion of the transaction that buyers and sellers sometimes find hard to do, you may never truly know and you still may wonder...did I really get the best deal?  
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November 07 2013
In response to Tim Moore & Rachel Neal, I do think that an experienced negotiator can get a better deal for a client. When I'm presenting a below-list-price offer on behalf of a buyer client, I support the low offer with information on comparable sales, I point out the drawbacks of the property on which I'm presenting the offer, I emphasize the strength of the other aspects of my client's offer (high credit score/strong mortgage approval, quick settlement, etc.), the number of days the property has been on the market including times it was listed and withdrawn, the unlikelihood that the property will appraise at the list price, etc.  The listing agent, when discussing the offer with the seller, probably will summarize or provide a copy of my points which may help the seller accept the reality that the house won't sell for the list price.  At least, that has been my experience.
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November 07 2013
 Would you go to court and allow the other sides lawyer to represent you? No. 
You should have your own buyers agent in your corner working for you.  A good buyers agent can save you lots of money in negotiations and as an extra set of eyes on the property and the deal.   
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November 07 2013
Usually a seller has a price at which they will sell. If a buyer makes an offer close to that amount the seller will agree. It does not matter that much what a buyers agent says unless the buyer and agent are ready to play hard ball by making an offer and walking away until the seller decides it's better to accept than wait for the next buyer to come along. To think an agent would be able to persuade a seller somehow makes me wonder how.
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November 07 2013

This is my second try to post this response; apologies if it's duplicative.  The listing agent represents the seller and is obligated by law to get the best deal for the seller.  If you have a buyer agent, s/he is obligated by law to get the best deal for you. Price aside, a contract to buy a home contains many other provisions, including home inspection contingency, financing and appraisal contingencies, that are negotiable.  The listing agent's job is to make sure there are as few contingencies as possible and that the time for those contingencies to be satisfied is as short as possible.  If there is a home inspection contingency, will you be comfortable accepting the listing agent's recommendation of a home inspector?  If defects are found, and you don't have a buyer agent, you will not have an advocate in negotiations over repairs or a price adjustment. The only way that making your offer through the listing agent would get the seller to accept a lower price is if the seller's agreement with the listing agent calls for a reduced commission if there is no buyer agent. Do you know if that is the case?   Do you know how much lower commission the seller will be paying if you don't have a buyer agent? Or is the listing agent rebating half of the commission to you if you make an offer through her/him? In general, buyers are well-advised to have a buyer agent. If this post was helpful please click on the thumbs-up below.

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November 07 2013
The listing agent represents the seller and there isn't much motivation to get the best possible price for the buyer.

A good buyer's agent will do everything in their power to achieve the best result for you.

No matter how you compromise those perspectives, your own agent should be a better option for you.
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November 07 2013
 
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