Home Buying in Minneapolis>Question Details

Anish, Home Buyer in Minnesota

I am planning to buy a new house. I am not sure whether I should enlist a real estate agent . Any advise/suggestions ?

Asked by Anish, Minnesota Tue Feb 19, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Debbie Rose hit the right word..."navigate". It's just like my early years in the Coast Guard as a Navigator. When buying a home, you are navigating a mine field. You need to do so carefully, or everything blows up! If you don't have the requisite skills or knowledge, you are likely to strike the first mine in your path. Or worse yet, you might get lucky on the first few mines and get a ways into the field before you blow up, just when you think you're doing great! Get yourself a good Navigator and avoid those mines! Best of luck
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Anish, you have heard from the best of us. The answer is an astounding YES. You need a good, professional real estate agent to walk you down the path. If you were to ask someone that has bought and sold 6 houses, they would tell you that this is the first, not second, first thing you do when you get ready to find a home.

You have the internet and an plethoria of information at your disposal. And that is all, you have information. To go forward with any wisdom whatsoever and accomplish anything more, you need knowledge and expertise.

Do you know what the best part is, Anish? In the state of Minnesota you do not pay your buyer's representative for anything! That's right, we come free of charge. So if you can have the most experienced, wisest, and best agent.....for absolutely no cost whatsoever...isn't that a no brainer.

You need an agent with a close relationship with a good and reputable loan officer. Before you get too excited about looking at anything, you need to get fully approved for a loan. And you need to fully understand all the programs available to you and get approved for them ahead of time. In addition, get approved for a FHA 203K in addition to a 203B. You may be very glad you did that.

You will need an agent to set up a portal on the MLS for you so you an have real time information at your fingertips.

You need an experienced agent that knows how to help you gain an extensive amount of knowledge on each property on each home and provide that to you every time you walk through the door of another house for a showing.

You need an agent who is an expert at netotiating with the seller/banks, one who understand REO and short sales. THAT in itself, Anish, is the most valuable trait to find in a realtor. And you know something? That is something you many not find out until the last minute when it is "too late". And that may be the difference between you paying $10,000 too much for your property, or not having the purchase agreement written up properly and having problems in the end.

Your agent should also have a good, solid title company behind him/her that can make sure the closing goes smooth and most importantly....you get a good, honest owner's title policy with gap coverage.

Here is what I can promise you. And I will be that each of these fine agents here that have taken their valuable time to answer your question can attest to this, as well. I can look back over my entire career and can tell you for a fact that every single buyer I have ever had has told me the same thing at the closing table, Anish. They always say the same things. "THank you, so much, Mark, for sticking this out with us. It was so much work. We had no idea how much we didn't know. You made things so smooth all the way through. Every time we got worried or upset, you smiled, took the reigns and told us you had everything under control. Working together with you and your whole team (i.e.. the loan officer, the title company , our attorneys, the appraiser, the home inspector, etc.) was so comforting." They never say, "That sure was easy. We hardly needed any of your help." It is the exact opposite.

Anish, have you ever heard the wise saying that "you don't know....what you don't know"?

Well, this is one of thosse times, Anish. You are not sure whether you may need an agent or not. And just asking that question shows us that you have no idea what is on the other side of that little hill you are about to climb. And we are your best asset through the entire transaction. We've been down the river, we've walked through the woods, and we can find our way in the dark.

Yes, you need to enlist the help of a real estate professional, preferably a Realtor with lots of experience, with a good company, that has a good solid team they work with and excellent tools (especially with regards to technology) that can and will guide you through everything. You will thank me for this advice later.

Have a terrific day, my friend. And if you have any other questions, just click on my website link below and either shoot me and email or just call and talk with me. I will be more than happy to help you.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
I wouldn't call the MLS real-time info. It's only as fast as each selling agent is willing to put out. I've gone to see several (8?) properties that had offers on them, but didn't have the MLS listing updated. Granted, other websites don't list anything until well after it's already closed....
Flag Thu Mar 21, 2013
Well, in order to navigate the home buying process, you really need to know what you're doing.

Do you?

Besides........considering the homes you will want to see will most likely be listed by an agent.....like it or not, you will wind up dealing with one!

Might as well have someone (an agent) working on your behalf!

What's the down side?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Why wouldn't you? A good Agent knows the market, knows the laws, knows the best practices, knows negotiations and must put your needs ahead of their own. Not all agents are "good" agents, so be picky. Read some answers the local agents have posted here. Read some of their blogs and check out their website.
Get a sense of who they are and pick one knowledgeable, experienced and comfortable for you to work with. A home is a huge investment; there is so much to know you need someone trustworthy in your court. By the way, the buyer's agent is paid by the seller, not directly by you, so find the best available agent and good luck house hunting.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Yikes!!! Look at all these answers!!
Hi, Anish!
I'm sure you have all the info you need on this issue. But, I'll throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth.

With the builder paying the commission for your agent why WOULDN'T YOU enlist your own agent??? They're there to get the best deal for you and look out for your best interests. The builder's agent works for the BUILDER!! They're not evil, just not your agent.

So, that said, MAKE SURE YOUR AGENT IS WITH YOU ON YOUR FIRST VISIT TO THE MODEL!!! Otherwise, the builder might not let them be part of the transaction. It's complicated, trust me.

That's all. Just had to speak my peace~

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 5, 2013
If you planning on building a new house with all the amenities, floor plan and location you want, you should use an agent you can trust. Someone that can help you with lot location and purchase. Even if the land or view is not available on the market there is a possibility your agent can acquire the location for you with the proper finance and skills. You need an agent that can be there for you in land negotiation and throughout the whole building process. I will work with the land owner, builder and yourself on all the details. I am that type of agent that has been on the other side of the spectrum, I built homes myself so I know that you need to be able to rely on someone on site to keep you updated on different phases of construction, also to relay to the builder if you have changes in mind.

So your question is should you use an agent, the answer if you should.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 28, 2013
If you wouldn't operate on yourself for tonsillitis or represent yourself in a criminal case, you should NOT try to make the most important financial decision of your life without the help of someone who truly knows how to do this. It never ceases to amaze me that folks have so little regard for this profession that they all think they can do better alone.
A good buyer's agent with experience and a stellar reputation for honesty can make your home buying process a completely different one than the typical horror stories that get posted on here.
Even if you are buying new construction, you will have someone on your side if you bring an agent. Builders are smart, risk-taking, hard driving people by nature and usually have no qualms about taking advantage of buyers who are inexperienced and unrepresented. To the person who commented that they have saved money by not using an agent, I would guarantee that if you looked at the prices paid by all the buyers, there was no advantage given at the end of the day to those without reresentation.
I represent only buyers--an exclusive buyer agent--and that, to me, is the best form of representation you can have. Perhaps look for one of us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 28, 2013
If i were you would prefer to buy a Multifamily housing. Because every property is different and because each owner has a unique vision for his or her financial future, it’s imperative that you hire a company with experience in this specific sector. Multifamily properties are unique, and residential realtors aren't usually savvy when it comes to the inherent intricacies of an apartment complex. Visit this site http://commercialinvestmentstrategies.com/ This is one of my resources. Maybe this could help you out! Thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
Hi ..It is always good to get a realtor when buying or selling your house..so you will be guided with
all the legal aspects of buying or selling real estate..It will be less stressful.. and you are sure that you get all Documents needed to disclose to buyers and sellers,to get the inspections deemed necessary..before you close on a property..so you will be in your newly purchased house...with comfort ,ease of mind and satisfaction..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
If someone is searching for property and you basically hire or consult with an agent to help you with your search. Few suggestions to help clarify some confusion. Home buyers don't pay an agent any commission when searching or touring property. The commission is already negotiated with the seller when the property is contracted for sale. If an agent shows a property that he/she listed themselves to you, he/she has to advise you that this makes him/her a dual agent. Commissions are still only paid by the seller for both sides of the transactions.

But is a buyer is interested in looking at property that are private listings (For Sale By Owner ), a buyer can hire an agent to help negotiate the transaction and protect their interest in the field ( attorney do the legal paperwork ) in this situation the buyer may pay a commission to an agent. In this type of transaction the agent will try to work out part of the fee with the owner. Sometime during the meetings you maybe asked to sign a Buyers Agreement, be really comfortable with your agent before doing so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Buying a home can be exciting and still demanding process.A buyers agent will help you to negotiate, documentation and basically be with you the entire process.
The good thing is that you don't have to pay your buyers agent because the seller will pay the commission of the buyers agent.
Below is an article with more details on advantages of having a buyers agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2013
If this is a home by an Builder you may go there without an agent and negotiate a better price or have the builder give you extra incentives towards your purchase like upgrades in your house or help with closing cost. The Builder has to pay the agent a 2.5-3% commission so if you go there and negotiate you will stick the money into your own pocket. You do not need an agent but be firm with the builder rep. I have done this and I got extra credit because the builder did not had to pay the agent but got me as a buyer and did not wanted to loose me. So they do not realy care where they give the money to I know for sure they do not want to loose a buyer. Good luck and all the best.
PS: The builder also works with in-house lenders so they can pre-qualify you to and sometimes they give you extra incentives as well using them as a outside bank or mortgage company. Good luck and all the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 23, 2013
A licensed Realtor will work hard for you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013
In a world of litigation and specialization making any choice other than using the services of a real estate professional would be pure folly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013

Of course. One who will schedule an appointment with you! Have you come down and explain the process of buying a home. Anyone can meet you at a home. A great agent will give you the time go over the steps and a clear plan. Depending on state guidelines what their process is. What a contract looks like, what types of inspections may be necessary, costs to you what homes are going for in that area, how multiple offers work etc.

I think the best agent is the one who LISTENS to YOUR needs and helps you plan from there.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013
Any recommendations of finding a good buyers agent ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013
Yes. I only know of one. Call Mike form RES Realty at 763-228-2967. I know him well and he'll work hard to make sure that you understand every step of the process, he'll provide information so you can make a informed decisions, he won't attempt to "steer you" toward any particular lender or other service provider. He listens. He returns phone calls, text messages and emails quickly. Most importantly, he'll work hard to assist you in selecting a lot, choosing various features or options, and then negotiate with the builder to get your new home at a reasonable price. He'll help in every step of the way and guide you through the entire process, without being "pushy". He'll also help you to avoid the many "pitfalls" involved in a new construction purchase.

I know these things because I am he. I'd be happy to assist you.
Flag Mon Feb 25, 2013

Simply YES! Interview 3 see who you have best relationship with and who responds best.
A lot of agents will just send listings. See who truly takes the time, responds the way you want them to thru email or calls and gives best guidance.

Best of luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013
I would find an agent. When I started the home buying process I was in the mindset that if I dealt directly with the sellers agent I would get a better deal, as they wouldn't be splitting the commision.

This proved false. They were hired by the seller. They work for the seller. It also turned into a bit of a nightmare when they kept pushing their other listings at me with complete disregard to my needs and budget.

It took me a few tries, but I finally found an agent who fit.

If you have friends or family who can make a recommendation, that would be a good start, but don't be afraid to try a few agents out and let go of the ones who are not working for you.

Also, if you can, avoid For Sale By Owner. My experience has been that the owner is often too emotionally connected to the property. It's hard to negotiate with someone who points out how they had this room designed this way for their kids and then tells you how much money they put into the place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2013
You can buy a house on your own. My suggestion is to use an attorney that specializes in realestate law for your state. You can even sell on your own, this may take longer because you won't have access to the amount of marketing a licensed realtor would have. That is why the cost of a agency may seem high to most people, but there is alot of knowledge in marketing, access to an audience and tools we have that may sell your home sooner and we help guide you through the inspections needed to finally close.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
As you can see by the answers of the other real estate agents, there are many reasons to be represented by a buyers agent. A professional buyers agent knows what to look for and the questions to ask on your behalf. They will help you navigate through the process. Remember, this is what we do on regular basis. You will benefit by using an agent. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
You don't want any real estate agent, you want one that will be in your corner 100% of the time.

The only way to do that is to hire an Exclusive Buyer's Agent. Exclusive Buyer Agents only work for home buyers and never sellers. There isn't the risk of a the conflict of interest that is inherent with traditional real estate companies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
It is always better to go to a good real estate agent when buying a house. The services of a qualified real estate professional are very useful.The agent will have a good working knowledge of the local real estate market conditions and most importantly, will save you time and money.

Agents are experienced negotiators who will manage your offers and counter-offers. His familiarity with the neighbourhood can enable you to find out more about local real estate values, taxes, utility costs, services and amenities. Since the agent is familiar with the entire home purchasing process, he can advise you on your legal and financial options as well as recommend appraisal, home inspection and contracting services.

In short, an agent can pinpoint homes that fit your needs and dismiss those that do not, thus saving you time and energy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
Anish: Thank you for the clarification. You are considering buying a new house, do you need a REALTOR to represent you? The benefit a REALTOR brings is knowledge and advice. The builder typically will not reduce the price if you buy without an agent. The agent brings a variety of things to the table. The builder has one product, theirs. A REALTOR will introduce to a few options so you can have some competition hopefully, not always. If you are buying in an area with few lots your choices are limited. The REALTOR is there to help you, help explain the options and choices and hopefully make sure you are close to budget. How? Making sure you understand the costs with change orders. Building a home still has many of the same pieces as buying an existing structure plus you now have the pleasure of choosing a design and options at a price that fits your budget.

Tom Simonsen Broker-REALTOR
Counselor Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
I am planning to buy a new construction house. The responses so far are great and eye openers !! Thanks a lot for your inputs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Sweet! We are about 85% complete right now with a buyer of mine Sam (he left a testimonial on Trulia you can check out) and closing in March. If you check out my link to the new construction thread I am actually now working with Grant in the Spring to buy new construction up in Brooklyn Park. He had the same feelings as you do now, and I pretty much did the same thing with just giving unbiased advice. Both Grant and Sam ultimately decided having a realtor fit them best, but that does not mean it is the best for you. If you want check out my reccomendations (just click my icon and it goes to the profile) and if you want to interview me great! Otherwise HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING!!!!! ~CHris
Flag Wed Feb 20, 2013
Anish: Obviously being an agent I will advise you that you definitely want to use a REALTOR. The sellers pay the real estate commission that is used to pay both the sellers agency and the buyers agency. Cost to you is minimal. Many companies charge a buyer a fee also so do some research on that accord. The REALTOR brings so much knowledge and skill that you need that a buyer should interview 2-3 agents and select the best fit. The REALTOR can help get the best financing, help negotiate closing fees, negotiate the purchase agreement. The REALTOR brings market knowledge, negotiating skills and then after a contract is signed the REALTOR really kicks in to hold the sla etogether and moving to completion. Can you do some or most of these? Maybe but why? Interview, choose wisely and get the best skills possible at almost no cost to you. negotiating on your own does not save you commission dollars. The commission is negotiated with the seller when the house is listed.
Tom Simonsen, Broker, REALTOR
Counselor Realty
Your REALTOR for Life
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
I'm not sure whether you are simply talking about a home that is "new" to you or a newly constructed home. Either way, you should have someone represent you because there's a lot at stake...mostly your money. If you were charged with a serious crime, you'd want an attorney to represent you, right? Just as an attorney knows how to represent the interests of his client, a buyer's agent knows how to assist a buyer.

If new construction, The builder/seller would prefer if you used THEIR agent to also represent YOU, but there's an inherent conflict of interest. They'll often offer incentives to get you to do that. Why???? Because an agent who represents your interests SOLELY, will often make them do what they agreed to do.

When a builder says a new home is "finished", I can usually find 20 things that aren't done correctly and need more attention. If I'm representing a buyer, I'll work to make sure the builder does what was promised and that everything works as it should.

There's hundreds of ways for a problem to occur with any transaction, new construction probably adds a hundred more because at the time you agree to purchase the home, it isn't even built yet. In the end, it's what's written on paper that matters. You need to be sure that what is written on paper protects YOUR interests, and addresses YOUR concerns, (not the builder's), because it's YOUR money.

I can help. Call me. 763-228-2967 ~Mike
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Hey Anish,

I don't know if "buy new house" meant new construction. If so I have pasted a link to another discussion on Trulia dealing with this. If is not I will try to keep it simple since there is a million responses by now. I will try to be as unbiased as possible (Don't like it when my responses come across as sales pitches ya know?)

In a basic sense here are the steps to achieving home-ownership:

1) Get financing- You can choose to do this yourself or use the help of a Realtor. If you have amazing credit with a good down payment the lender's qualifications lessen. Rates are very competitive, and if you are that "easy client" loan delays are less likely. The advantage of using a Realtor is I work with lenders every day. This may be your first time but certainly not mine haha! Picking a loan officer is not that much different than hiring us truth be told. There needs to be honesty, trust, and effective communication. You can either interview loan officers yourself, or put your trust in one of us since we have already done this.

2) Searching properties- Yea most buyers do this before financing but that is NOT the correct way. Trulia, Zillow, and independent Realtor websites all have properties you can search. The question is where to buy? What city in Minneapolis (or really neighborhood) will give you the most house for the money? What is important to you? This is 100% something you can do yourself, but keep in mind that this is a major function of what Realtors do. We still have the only accurate website out there (it is not open to the public), and it is our job to understand the neighborhoods you are looking in. I almost always help my buyers with goal setting and identifying neighborhoods and housing to focus on.

3) Showings- Ok you are pre-approved and found some really cool houses to go look at yea! Now how on earth are you going to see them!? Well if you don't enlist a buyer's agent you will work directly with the seller's realtor. They will help you tour the home.

4) Offer and negotiations- OK you found the perfect home and are ready to write an offer! This is usually when emotions run high and buyer's get a little creeped out by all the paperwork. If you work with the seller's listing agent you most likely will enter into a "dual agency representation". That means the listing agent represents both sides and has limited functions on how he can serve you.

For example, lets say you want to get an idea of what offer price you should offer the seller. The listing agent will not be able to tell you this, because he already knows most likely what the seller is WILLING to accept. Likewise, you would not want the seller to know what your bottom line is either.

On the other hand, the listing agent can still talk to you about proper paperwork such as inspections, financing addendum's, closing costs, etc... WE JUST CAN'T NEGOTIATE! That is what you must understand upfront. I can give you access to comps in the neighborhood for determining price if you want, but I can not draft a CMA up for you and talk numbers THIS you must determine yourself.

5) I will end by saying that it can work fine both ways. There are good realtors and bad ones, and just because you are represented does not mean the level of customer service we provide is automatic. That is why I have started adding reccomendations to my profile (my clients have to do it themselves to prevent me from faking it). If you want to interview realtors make sure they have testimonials on Trulia to back up their claims.

If you are a Realtor who has been in this business long enough chances are you listed a home, and if you did your marketing correctly, were able to find a buyer for the house on your own. It happened to me last summer when the buyer lived only a few houses away from where I was listing the home.

It is my job as a listing Realtor (really my MAIN JOB) to actively market a sellers home. That does not mean just put it on the MLS and market to REALTORS, but to actually put forth the effort to go find BUYERS. I don't know too many listing agents that turn down these deals, and I don't know too many agents who would tell these buyers "to go work with someone else because I am the listing agent".

Therefore (if you are still reading this), it would be hypocritical for me to sit here and say YOU MUST USE A BUYER'S AGENT!!!! And yet that is what all 14 responses are telling you to do Anish.



I am not here to do a hard sale on you Anish. I present the facts and let buyers (and really sellers) decide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Hello Anish. When making a decision on one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime - if not the most expensive purchase, you would do well to have a licensed agent represent you and taking care of your expectations and needs. When you say new, do you mean new construction or new as in a different home? Usually a transaction would go smoothly, however it is when they don't that could be a nightmare and very costly. Additionally, getting your own representation does not cost you as the seller pays that fee.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Hi Anish,

I would like to caution against going into a purchase without an Exclusive Buyers Agent overseeing your transaction. There are many pitfalls that can occur if you have no representation. They can create so many issues for you after the purchase that the term 'Buyer's Remorse' would fall short of the mark.

There is also a lack of full disclosure often when using a traditional agent, even if they have a designation of buyers agent, if they work for a broker that lists other property. You run the risk of dual agency in which you have no real representation from your agent.

Since all real estate deals are skewed toward the seller, the best way to ensure that you as the buyer have full disclosure is to get an Exclusive Buyers Agent to assist you. There is no conflict with the seller side or broker as they do not list homes and therefor have only allegiance to you and can provide true disclosure and protection of your private information like your motivation for buying.

This is a changing market, the conditions are in flux and you would be well advised to contract with an Exclusive Buyers Agent to assist you so will get full disclosure and protection of your motivation and financial position.

As an Exclusive Buyers Agent myself, the goal of an EBA is to save you as much money as possible and get the best deal possible for you with the best terms while protecting your interests.

You cannot become an expert in this industry just by reading information on the web, and every deal is different, I'm still running into situations that differ from anything that anyone in my office has had to deal with in the past.

Before you decide to purchase do your research and discuss Agency and the 5 types of Agents in Minnesota. You will see in the Agency disclosure that the Buyers Agent, particularly the Exclusive Buyers Agent brings you the best support as a buyer.

Regardless of whether you are taking out a mortgage or paying cash you still want to ensure that your money and your investment is safe and have someone help you build equity faster by making better more informed decisions throughout the process.

I hope you found this helpful and there's a short video on my website about this as well at
http://www.FindYourMinnesotaHome.com for future reference.

Good luck on your purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
I had eye surgery a few months ago, didn’t do it myself. It worked out better that way.

Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
The short answer is YES, you need your own agent on your side. The seller pays the fees, you reap the benefits. You should interview two or three Realtors. You want a Realtor who is experienced in the type of deal you want to do in the area you want to live in. An experienced Realtor will guide you through the home buying process step-by-step explaining everything along the way. Your Realtor will help you with your search on MLS to narrow down the possibilities. We give you an app for your phone so you can see information on homes when you drive to them. Your Realtor will help you with contracts, negotiation, recommend a closer (title company), an inspector, mortgage professionals, etc. We offer a free buyer's workshop. Hire the best and you will have an enjoyable experience.
Web Reference: http://www.mywra.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
The question is not whether you should enlist an agent - in today's market it is almost critical. The question is who? Key questions:
* How long has the agent been in real estate?
* Are they familiar with the neighborhoods you are considering?
* Do they have experience in short sales, foreclosures and/or property management/leasing (if buying for investment)? Approx. 40% of sales now are "distressed" and fall into short sale or foreclosure categories
* Do they have experience in multiple offers? Believe it or not, this has been very common lately
* What is their level of professionalism and their organizations?

I'd be happy to help:

Brett Hildreth, MBA, CDPE
Coldwell Banker Burnet
(763) 574-2000
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Hi Anish,

If you want to search for properties & schedule all the individual appointments to see them, know how to pull the applicable comparables, write up the contract, negotiate all the terms of the contract so you are properly protected, schedule the home inspection and coordinate entry to the property, follow up with your lender and ensure everything is progressing smoothly, understand all of the contingencies and closing documents that you will ultimately be signing, and have the time and energy to devote to doing all of this yourself - then no, you don't need an agent.

If you'd rather have a professional who does this on a daily basis take care of it at no out of pocket cost to you - then call an agent.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013

If you buy a house that's listed on MLS you will be subject to real estate agency laws. Either you have a buyer's agent who represents your interest, you and the seller are both represented by the same agent in which case neither gets the best representation or just the seller is represented in which case you get no advice while the seller gets a professional on their side. The seller agrees to pay the same commission in all 3 cases so there's really not a financial difference that would result in a lower house price.

If you are buying a For Sale by Owner home directly it still may be advisable to have an agent represent you but it's not mandatory.

Feel free to contact me for a more detailed explanation.

Bill Wallace
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
What are your considerations about enlisting a real estate agent, Anish?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
PS....Anish, I forgot something very important and apologize. I got sidetracked and am very tired, as it is 1 a.m. and I have to be up by 6 a.m.

I never mentioned the legal side of things. Only a few years ago a purchase agrement was a couple of pages. Today it will take 25 -30 pages to buy your home. If it involves a foreclosure or short sale, it may be as much as 70-80. YOu need someone to represent you that understands Minnesota real estate law and how each of the legal forms works. I have approximately 85 legal forms on my computer here that I have to be able to use at any one moment for you. Not 5 or 10, almost 100. And those are the standard forms. You will need an agent that has a secure knowledge of the law and how to use those forms and for one main purpose: to do whatever is humanly possible for you that is in your best interest. IF you get the wrong agent and he/she does not understand even ONE of them,that ONE could be the legal option/form you need in a given situation to secure your interest in a property.

And let me tell you, I have 4 corporate attorneys for the real estate side, two in title, and one in the mortgage side. And I can tell you that I call them all the time to ask questions. I want my buyers and sellers to have the best representation humanly and legally possible. And you know what? They LOVE that!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
I think it would be extremely wise to interview several agents and ask them their thoughts, advise and suggestions either in person or over the phone. There are a lot of variables I would need to know before I could give you a full and thorough answer. Please feel free to call me anytime.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013

I always recommend that a buyer have representation from an agent. Realtors work with negotiations all the time and know what is reasonable, what areas you can negotiate for a little more. They can look in on the transaction with a neutral set of eyes, it is easy to miss things in the excitement of buying a new home. There will be many excellent reasons given by realtors in response to your question. Feel free to contact any of them that reply or I can make a few recommendations for you if you wish.

Let me also say that sometimes a builder will try to discourage people from obtaining representation, by stating that you will have to pay the commission. Any reputable builder will be familiar with working with clients who have buyers agents. Personally if they tell me this I would find a different builder.

Good luck!

-Matt Christensen
NMLS# 373371
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
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