Profile picture for palmerunderwater

buying home without agent

we've been looking to buy a home but we've been looking ourselves without an agent.
does it give us an advantage if we use the listing agent as our buying agent?
  • January 23 - US
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Answers (11)

Since your agent is being paid by the seller and not by you why would you not have someone looking out for your interests?

Calling the person on the sign is a sure fire way not to have the very best care take of you as you can.  Why>  Because the person on the sign works for the seller, not for you.  Get a buyer's agent - interview several and ask for references - if they won't give them, move on!  Good luck with your new home!
  • January 23
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If you are out looking to buy a home its a huge decision, you should always take advantage of using a buyers agent that works solely for you and who can give you their opinion and advice.

If you use the listing agent to help you buy it kind of creates a conflict of interest, the listing agent will not be able to give you the advice like a buyers agent can, therefore is not allowed to give any help other than preparing the paperwork but you have to tell him/her what you want and cant rely on him/her telling you what to offer.

Also a buyers agent doesn't cost you as the buyer anything in most cases (unless they charge a small fee for working with you but you don't have to chose a realtor that charges you) because the commission is paid by the seller, so its free to you.

Its a very big investment, get yourself a professional on your side that works for you :)


I'm sure you also take someone with you that knows about vehicles (if you don't already yourself) when you go buy one, to help you figure things out and let you know details that are important, instead of just trusting the sales representative  ;)
  • January 23
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Profile picture for hpvanc
The primary benefit for buyer to have their own agent, is the convenience of a single point of contact.

The primary benefit to agents and the reason "buyer's" agency was adopted by the industry is that it essentially protects half of the commission from negotiation, most agents treat the Selling Agent a.k.a. "buyer's" agent commission as an entitlement and work very hard to keep it as a price of doing business. Most agents do not really work in a buying/purchasing capacity, or even have a solid concept of what that means, the vast majority of "buyer's" agents are Selling Agents that work in the interest of sellers in general.

If a seller has a listing contract that spells out different commission if they buyer is unrepresented you will benefit as a buyer. If you find a property where both the seller and the Listing Agent are willing to negotiate on commission if only one agent is involved you will benefit as a buyer. If you find a FSBO you want to pursue with out an agent you will benefit as a buyer.

If you find a property where the seller did not make a provision in the Listing Agreement and the agent is unwilling to negotiate commission, the primary thing you are losing as a buyer is the single point of contact, so while no benefit there is also very little if any downside.

There are apparently a few agents and sellers that will not work with an unrepresented buyer, my personal opinion is, if it is advertised for sale directly to consumers on the open market it should be a right to purchase it without representation  if a buyer so chooses. While I understand it will not help on an immediate transaction I would still report the behavior to the proper authorities.
  • January 23
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If you're buying you're not going to have to pay the agent - so why not have your own?  Your agent is going to act in your best interest.  Agent's are extremely flexible - tell them how you want to work with them.  Most will do as much or as little as you want.
  • January 23
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Look, it is very easy today to look at houses online and think you don't need a buyer's agent. I would not recommend it. I am a lender and have had very few deals fall through. The ones that have all have one thing in common: No agents. I hope it means something coming from a non-agent like myself (someone who originates primarily purchase loans). I will never buy a home without my own buyer's agent. To me, it's worth the extra 3% on the purchase price. You get what you pay for. 
  • January 23
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Not sure why you would want to do this....buying a home is a complicated process,,,it is in YOUR best interest to have an agent representing you!!
  • January 23
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This is an old myth and is not necessarily true, at all. I strongly recommend you use your own buyer's agent - someone who works for YOU and has no allegiance to the seller.
  • January 23
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There is no advantage.  Do not attend an open house without your own agent.  
  • January 23
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I think that people benefit by having their own agent show them homes and representing them on their purchase.

There's a mindset that we all have that we can learn everything we need to know from the Internet, even though we know that we "don't know what we don't know" and that it's good to have our own expert consultant.

However - working with the listing agent does reducee their agency responsibility to the seller to match yours. Instead of representing the seller, the agent now doesn't represent either of you. They cannot negotiate on behalf of either of you, their job is to represent the transaction.

My advice: if you like this home, use the listing agent. If you decide to keep looking, get your own agent.

All the best,
  • January 23
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Tim Moore is correct in a lot of ways.  Remember that the listing agent has a relationship with the sellers. Even if he says he represents both parties, who do you think his true loyalty is with….someone that he already knows or someone that calls him and says he wants to buy his listing?

Having your own agent doesn't cost you a thing since the seller pays your agent's commission.  If you have your own agent, they will take care of you and help you purchase what4ever home you want..it doesn't matter to him which home you buy.  He (or she) will watch out for you and your interests.  Working with the seller's agent, they may not provide their best efforts to make sure you are protected.

Good luck.
  • January 23
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
It can give you an advantage but only if you ask them to reduce the commission to help make your lower offer work. Otherwise it does not help you to use the agent as a dual agent. Actually you have a dual agency even if you use two different agents if they are in the same office. It's the office, not the agent that makes it a dual situation.

I think most will say that you have more advantages with your own agent than the one that is also the sellers, but either way can work out for you.
  • January 23
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