Profile picture for zuser20140529030327035

if you already know the property you want, is it necessary to get a (buying) agent?

or can you buy straight from the listing agent? do you need a buying agent to represent you, so there are always two agents? or is this unnecessary? my concern is because agents take a large cut of the price of the home, and if you don't need to search for a home (already know the one you want) this seems like a waste (no?) ... if you do get an agent (for bargaining purposes?) is there a proper way to describe your situation of already knowing the home you want and not needing to search but only needing to negotiate a deal on the home? is this feasible to do yourself? or if it is not, (feasible to do yourself)... is there a proper or better way to explain your situation to the agent, so that they don't overcharge you? would you be charged the same percentage (3,6,7, or whatever) if they did not help you find the home, and if they did, is the percentage all the same? ..and is there a proper or better way to explain your situation to the agent, so that they don't overcharge you? 

Thank you.

 

 

 
  • May 29 - League City
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Answers (15)

Well, if you don't want to have your own agent, then you shouldn't. If you want to take your advice from Susie Orman, which is fine with me, then you don't need our advice.
  • May 30
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Profile picture for user4080049

Our experience  with a Buyer's Agent. Our family had the buyer's agent from hell. Not only did she end up not helping us any she has actually cost us money. She put in our contract that we had to pay the difference if the house didn't appraise high enough and because the inspection was so bad  we  terminated the contract. Now the Seller wants our deposit money so he won't sue us if his dumpy house doesn't sell at the price we offered. Our Lawyer is telling us to let seller have the money because it would cost more to take it to court. Bottom line Trust  Your Gut as (  Susie Orman )  says.

  • May 29
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Profile picture for Newman Mitrick Group

You should work with an agent that you are comfortable with to rely on their expertise in the marketplace to make sure you are negotiating the best possible price based on facts and numbers from previously sold homes in the area you are looking in.

  • May 29
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 In response to your question above - and this is a common misconception so I'm happy to reply 
First - the Seller pays both sides/all of the RE agents commission.
A buyer doesn't 'pay' an agent at all.  Most people underestimate the Value of a RE as an advocate for 'representation' in the negotiation process.  Should there be any issue that arises perhaps never disclosed on the property MLS listing or if there are 'material facts' that are not disclosed by seller or that become evident in the inspection process,  - a good agent can make All the difference and maybe save thousands. For example, a recent buyer's property was not showing in MLS as being in a 'Flood Zone'.  Listing agent 'didn't know'... Seller 'didn't know'   Loan Appraiser brought it to my attention as the buyers agent.  My buyer still wanted the property but couldn't afford the 350.00 additional Insurance required.   So we were able to negotiate a lower price !    But more importantly, please know that good agents do work very hard Sometimes properties require several hours of research, paperwork,  preparation, negotiation.  While other properties are straight forward.  I think having peace of mind is priceless.
 I hope this helps
  • May 29
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Just in case you haven't already figured it out from the responses to your question. The primary reason the industry has adopted the title of "buyer's" agent in its current form, is to protect the Selling Agent Sales Commission from negotiation by either the buyer or the seller. Changes in technology have greatly reduced the need for you to use a Selling Agent to find properties, so they came up with a "repackaged" title of "buyer's" agent for the Selling Agent in an attempt to justify the obsolete portion of the sales commission to buyers and sellers.

Unfortunately "buyer's" agent is a fraudulent misrepresentation of what the typical Selling Agent provides in the way of buying/purchasing representation and support in expectation of being compensated with a Sales Commission.
  • May 29
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Around here when the listing agent is also the selling agent we call that a "Birthday", I have no idea where the term came from.  Using only one agent will not save you money but it will make the listing agent happy
  • May 29
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hpvanc, we don't have to pursue it in court, we simply have to tell the buyer, "No."

  • May 29
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Finding the property is about 10% of the process.
Walking you through offer, comps, contracts, lending, closing, home warranties, repairs, inspections, HOA documents, angry sellers, HOA inspections, and 100s of other issues are why you need a realtor.   
Finding a property is normally the easiest part.
Why wouldn't you want a realtor as a buyer.
Typically doesn't cost you anything.
When is option money due?
What is the difference between option and earnest money?
What is the typical option money and earnest money amounts?
When is your earnest money non-refundable?
Is your option money refundable?
How long do you have to do inspection?
Is the condo warrantable?
Does it qualify for lending?
Are the days in the contract business days or actual days?

These are the first of 100s of questions involved in the process.
If you don't know the answer without looking them up, you need a realtor to assist you.
 
  • May 29
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Profile picture for hpvanc
You can also, as you have suggest try to negotiate a reduction of the total commission if only one agent is used. Agent will try to tell you that is contractual interference since the Selling Agent a.k.a "buyer's" agent commission was set in the listing contract and is protected through MLS rules, however I don't think they dare to pursue it in court given the antitrust implication and the situation current political compromises, "all commissions are negotiable" based on court decisions from lawsuits with DOJ Antitrust Division and lawsuits with the FTC on commerce restrictions. It also begs the question of who does the "buyer's" agent really work for, it's definitely not the buyer since the services the buyer chooses to use or not use has no bearing on the compensation.

The only way a "buyer's" agent can be worth anything to a buyer is if you can find one that is willing to work exclusively in a buying/purchasing capacity within your transaction. Most agents identify and act as salespeople, and as such almost always work against your financial interests in the transaction.

If you do choose to complete a transaction without a "buyer's" agent you can and should try to negotiate a reduced commission.
  • May 29
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Great answers given so far and I agree with them but I would ask you.  Would you go into a court of law and be represented by the opposing counsel?   A good buyers agent will fight for your best interests and secure the best terms possible for the property.  Picking out the house is only the beginning in the real estate sales process and I know I would want to be well represented all the way to the closing table and beyond.  
 Of course the sellers agent can and will represent you but she is offering half the already negotiated commission to a buyers agent to secure a ready and able buyer. If there is no buyers agent she keeps all the commission.  
 I have also seen buyers who chose to skip a buyers agent and use their attorney to handle the paperwork but this gets awkward during inspections etc..  since the buyer doesn't have anyone to turn to and it usually costs then more money in the end. 
   Find a buyers agent it won't cost you anything but could end up costing a lot if you don't. 

Good luck  

 
  • May 29
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
As mentioned previously one of your options is to find a Realtor/Agency/Broker who offers a Rebate...
Rebates are legal in 40 States and Texas is one of them
DOJ web site..Competing models of real estate brokerage

"Some real estate brokers have increasingly begun to compete for customers by offering cash rebates or other inducements to home buyers and sellers. Rebates that go directly to buyers or sellers lower costs on both sides of the transaction. Cash rebates are usually calculated as some fraction of the broker's commission and can result in thousands of dollars being returned to the consumer."



The Realtors who offer Rebates belong to the same National Association of Realtors as those who do not offer Rebates...they as those who do not offer Rebates have the same Code of Ethics, follow the same guidelines/standards and offer just as much Professionalism, Service Quality as those Realtors who suggest being a Realtor means something when it comes to those type of things

I'd suggest you might shop around (YOU are hiring Services) and see if ya can find a Realtor offering Quality Service and the Rebate option
High inventory of Agents/Agencies and Low inventory of Paychecks = Buyers Market for the Public when seeking Services imo

Happy Shopping!
  • May 29
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Profile picture for eList Realty
In today's world, I'd argue that most agents don't find homes for their buyers...their buyers are finding the homes they want to view and ultimately purchase themselves.  With all of the technology available, buyers can see almost if not as quickly as the agents can see them.  What you're using a buyer's agent for is negotiating the best possible deal for you and helping you actually get the home you want.

Since the seller has already agreed to pay a specific commission, you're unlikely to gain any advantage by submitting an offer through the listing agent.  They'll simply keep the full commission instead of paying a portion to a buyer's agent.  The listing agent is also representing the seller and already has a relationship with them so you're likely to find that they're biased in negotiations even if they've agreed to remain nonpartisan.  If you hire your own buyer's agent, that person will be working for you and looking out for your best interests in the transaction.

 The only thing I'd advise against is a buyer's agent who wants to be paid an up-front fee to represent you.  They may be good agents, but I think you'd be served just as well by someone who will have to wait until the transaction closes to get paid.

Hope this helps!
  • May 29
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I don't think it's necessary, or even advisable. Buyer's agents do more than just negotiate, they educate, as well.

In your situation, your choices are to contract a "hired gun," who won't get paid unless the deal closes, or to throw yourself on the mercy of the listing agent, who represents the seller.

It is possible (more likely in some areas) that the listing agent will consent to becoming a dual agent, which means that they can't advocate for one party over the other.

The listing agent is going to keep all of the commission; they are willing to pay another agent if they bring the buyer and get the deal closed, but when the listing agent gets the buyer and gets the deal closed, they don't feel a need to pay anybody.

All the best,

  • May 29
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Sunnyview is correct. The seller has agreed to pay their agent a commission. That agent then takes half of their commission and gives it to the buyers agent's company, so the bottom line to you is unaffected. Using one agent tends to make that agent do what it takes to make the deal close because they will get more money than if you have your own agent, would that do something or omit something to make the deal work and them get all the commission? It happens. the sell won't take less because there is one agent or 2. So you lose out because your agent is paid for and is free to you to use.
  • May 29
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You can buy without a listing agent, but as a buyer there is little benefit to you unless you are getting a buyers rebate from the listing agent or your offer is presented in a more favorable way by the listing agent because it might pay a two sided commission.

With no rebate or other incentive, you are probably better off as the buyer to have a separate agent who will look out for your interests especially if you are not an experienced buyer. 
  • May 29
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