The only way to buy a home that is currently listed for sale on the MLS is to use a Realtor. Many buyers try to get around using a buyerâ€™s agent by going direct to the listing agent.
What they donâ€™t realize is:
(1) The seller has agreed to pay a total commission that encompasses both sides of the transaction regardless of who sells the home. As an example, if the commission is 6%, normally 3% goes to the listing agent and 3% goes to the selling agent (buyerâ€™s agent). If a buyer goes direct to the listing agent, then the listing agent gets the entire 6%. Some listing agents are willing to give back part of the commission to the buyer, however, many are not.
(2) When a buyer goes direct to the listing agent, the listing agent, by law, becomes the buyerâ€™s agent IN ADDITION to being the listing agent. This is called dual agency and IS NOT recommended. There are plenty of blogs on Trulia about the potential pitfalls and shortfalls of dual agency relationships.
(3) You may save a couple of thousand dollars going direct, but will not have someone negotiating in your best interest. It is actually more probable that a good buyerâ€™s agent will get you far better pricing and better terms than if you go in by yourself â€“ after all, this is what professional Realtors do for a living and many are very good at their craft. I personally take great pride in getting the absolute best price and terms for the buyers I represent.
Bottom line â€“ you will probably end up with a better deal and more money in your pocket if you have your own professional representation.
The other option is to go door-to-door, find a seller willing to sell direct, go to NOLO Press, buy the book book, buy the forms, and HOPE you get everything right. If you miss anything, itâ€™s a recipe for disaster. You stand the chance of losing far more money in the long haul than the few thousand dollars you may have knocked off the price by have no Realtors in the picture. You can also pull your own teeth and remove your own appendix as wellâ€¦ but I donâ€™t recommend that either.
Most of the Pro's spend their time posting on boards like this or getting head shots for their car magnets.
Buyers pay the entire commission by bringing the money to the table. If you do not think so just ask the Seller!
Besides the negotiating table, who is representing you at other aspects of the transaction?
There are so many disclosures that are required to today to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller, as well as the agents representing them. Should a latent problem surface, for example, pertaining to the condition of the property, and this is not disclosed, what is the recourse? Who is responsible?
Who will monitor the transaction process? if you should want to back out of the agreement, do you know enough to make sure specific terms and conditions are stated in the contract so that you can recover your initial deposit? What if you cancel the agreement after you release your contingencies? How will you negotiate liquidated damages?
It isn't just the price that determine a good offer. Terms and conditions are just as important.
There are very good reasons why realtors have errors and omissions insurance.
What recourse will you have when you, or the seller make a mistake in the transaction?
Having a realtor work for you as the buyer's agent gives you greater peace of mind.
It is the seller that pays the broker fees not the buyer in California. If the property is listed in the MLS the seller will be paying a commission whether you represent yourself or go in with an agent. If the listing agent ends up doing your paperwork, the seller will still have to pay that agent the commission.
It would help you a great deal to have your own agent represent you and negotiate a good price for you. Your agent will also provide you with the comparables to make sure you do not pay more than the market value. In other words the savings by going through a good agent will be more than saving the commission.
If I can help in any way, please call me at 510-279-9580
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
40083 Mission Blvd
Fremont, Ca. 94539