Profile picture for lincma

Real Estate Agent - use selling agent or get new agent

We are first time homebuyers and are wondering if we should go through the selling agent or get our own agent who will look around for us? Does it make it cheaper for us to use either one, and are commission prices negocable these days?
  • September 13 2009 - Huntington Beach
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Answers (18)

This thread needs more NAR talking points!!  
  • September 16 2009
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Your own agent will be free from the conflict of interest of having to represent two opposing sides. Commission price is always negotiable.
  • September 16 2009
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It is important for Buyers to understand that the Listing agent, if under an exclusive Right to Sell contract with the Seller, represents only the Seller's interests, positions, and goals.
Only a Buyer's agent, that you contract with, will exclusively represent your goals as a Buyer. If you do not use a Buyers agent of your choosing, you are using a Sellers representative to work with during the process. Any information the Seller's agent gets from you, they are required to disclose to their client (Seller).
If you want someone to represent your interests, do due diligence on the property and all facets of the sale, protect you, and guide you through interpreting info  you should hire your own Buyer's agent.
This agent is normally compensated by the transaction in which the Seller has allowed a portion of the sale to be paid to a Buyers agent.
If there is no allowance from the Seller, the Buyer will pay a commission to the Buyers agent, just as they would compensate any professional working on their behalf.
  • September 16 2009
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jk,

Good for you.  However, I've had way too many dealings with agents who forget that they swore to uphold the Realtor's (r) code of ethics.  I've even experienced blatant cheating on the license renewal exam.  The way I see it, if we could get rid of those agents who either are unethical, lacking in intelligence or a combination of the two, the 20% of us who would be left over could rebuild a positive reputation for the real estate profession.  There are those out there who would take advantage of the fact that they know the limits to which each party would go to close the deal and use that to make the buyers pay a higher price than they would have with individual representation - ESPECIALLY if they are reducing their commission because they're representing both sides of the transaction.
  • September 15 2009
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I have acted as a dual agent many times. It is not a problem for me to act as a middleman. If the buyer wants to offer $100K, I present it. If the seller wants to counter at $125K, I present it. Back and forth we go until they either come to terms or don't. I really don't get why so many agents can't understand that as long as they don't share confidential information to wither party, it is very simple. The same is true with inspection issues. One party asks the other and receives a response. A dual agent must treat both party's equally. That's simple enough in most cases. And a dual agent anticipating 6% commission is in a far better position to kick in a few dollars to get the deal done, knowing they have up to 3% that would have normally gone to another agent. There is a huge difference between being unrepresented and working with a dual agent or transaction broker. The only issue that could be cause for concern is whether the agent can actually be neutral and hold confidences. Of course if you have you own agent, there is no guarantee they won't discuss things they shouldn't with the other agent either.
  • September 15 2009
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With today's market I think it is very tough to have dual representation.  No matter how you look at it, everyone is concerned about the PRICE.  Simple as that.  Therefore, unless you love the home and personally feel it is a great price and are going to pay asking price, don't use the same agent.  This is the most critical point (agreeing to a purchase price) and this can not ethically be done by one agent if there is serious negotiation going on.  Dual agency works in my eyes when the buyer is 100% OK with the asking price or if the property has been sitting for months and the seller is trying to simply get any offer.

Hope this helps.
  • September 15 2009
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Not quite, NTETS.  The negotiations are with the seller, not the seller's agent.  But even with your model, how many home buyers really have enough expertise to represent themselves?  And first time home buyers? That's a recipe for disaster.
  • September 14 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
randy's analogy is flawed, it would be far more like representing yourself as opposed to "using the opposition's attorney"
  • September 13 2009
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Would you go into litigation using the opposition's attorney?  If so, then by all means, work with the seller's agent.  But if you're wise, then you'll have your own representation with an experienced, reputable Buyer's Agent.
  • September 13 2009
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Before you get your own agent, get a full understanding of what a "dual agent" really means. Do not be roped into getting a "buyer's agent" because they are free to you. There is plenty of money to be saved using one agent if you know what you are doing. That is the important part. You must know what you are doing and as a first timer, you probably don't. So yes, get your own agent, but not because they will save you all sorts of money.
  • September 13 2009
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Good answers from the California agents that chimmed in.. Use your own agent to work for you, especially on short and REO sales, get an agent you connect with,who is looking out for you, and understands what you want.  And make sure you are being realistic about your wants and needs, good luck
  • September 13 2009
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The last two answers you got come from states where attorneys handle escrow.  I owned a home in North Carolina so that's where Hamp Yonce and, most likely, NTETS are coming from.

Here in Huntington Beach (I live right here in 92646), we use escrow offices to handle the transaction and Realtors(r) to make the transaction happen.  As previous Realtors(r) have told you, you should have your own representative.  Although California real estate law allows for what we call "dual agency", it is in your own best interest to have your own representative.  No matter how hard they try, agents really can't do justice to both parties in the transaction when they represent both the buyer and seller.

Hope we've now answered your question adequately.  If not, please feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to help in any way I can.  You can Google me.
  • September 13 2009
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The odds of a Real Estate Attorney saving you any money are slim to none.
  • September 13 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
use a real estate attorney, better knowledge, better rates
  • September 13 2009
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you need a buyer's agent
  • September 13 2009
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The listing agent does have a fiduciary duty to the seller and is working on the sellers behalf.  The sellers are paying the commission to the buyer's agent. It is best to have a buyer's agent who's looking out for you and working on your behalf.  The best part is if you have an experienced agent who's good at negotiation he can even save you on price and or terms which will benefit you as well depending on the transaction.  A good agent earns his commission and can really benefit you in the transaction.
It is a process so you want an agent who's looking out for you, great at communication, and good at exlaining things so you'll know where your at and what type of market you're in so you can come up with a game plan to get you into a home in this competitive market.
Sometimes it can be challenging and its good that you have someone experienced and assertive at your side.
Only work with someone you feel comfortable with and that can relate to you.
Good luck & have fun!
  • September 13 2009
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It is for your best interest to hire a buyer's agent.  The listing agent or what you are referring to as selling agent has a fiduciary duty first and foremost to the seller.  The buyer's agent is free and it is the seller who pays the fee for bringing in a qualified buyer for the home.  Buying a home is a very complex process and it is very important that you find someone who can educate you with the entire process including the lending side and will always be there for you to answer all your questions.

For more answers to your question, please visit Tips on Buying a Home
  • September 13 2009
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It is for your best interest to always hire your own buyer's agent.  The listing agent that you refer as selling agent has a fiduciary duty to protect the seller first and foremost.  The buyer's agent has a fiduciary duty to protect you and only you.  There is no cost to hire a buyer's agent.  However, he or she does not get paid until the buyer has a purchased a home and this fee comes from the seller.  As a first-time homebuyer, buying a home is a very complex process and it is very important that you are well-educated from getting a loan to getting the keys to your first home by your agent.  A good agent will always be there for you and knows the ins and outs of the buying process including the lending side.

Hope this helps!
  • September 13 2009
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