Home Buying in 65203>Question Details

Homefun, Both Buyer and Seller in Columbia, SC

I find a house I want. If I go ahead without buyer agent, what's process to go through?

Asked by Homefun, Columbia, SC Thu Oct 4, 2007

Years ago, I worked with a buyer agent in a fruitless first house buying. I wanted to make a full offer, but the seller agent told mine that I have to pay extra $5000.00 since her cousin came to her himself he wanted it. I don't want this happen again and want to get a good bargain in this downtime house market. What are your expert suggestion?

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So from reading the responses to this question that have already been posted, you surely have a good idea as to why one would want to use a buyers agent. I just wanted to reiterate one point that was mentioned before: EVEN IF YOU DO NOT USE A BUYERS AGENT, YOU ARE STILL PAYING FOR ONE! What I mean by this is whether you use an agent or not, the commission paid to the selling agent is likely to remain the same. This means that you are PAYING FOR AN AGENT WITHOUT GETTING THE PROTECTION OF AN AGENT.

Again, I understand that you have had a bad experience. I would recommend being very deliberate in working with any professional, but especially in working with a Realtor on a home purchase. This is likely to be the largest transaction that you have ever undertaken, and having the right information, and a professional to guide you through the process not only saves you time, but potentially a significant amount of money.

I would suggest that you look for an agent who is willing to sit and listen first to your needs. If you have already identified the home or the market area where you want to buy, your price range, and your preferences, then share these with the agent. Communication is the key here. There are many of us agents here in the St. Louis Area who genuinely value our client's time and will do anything possible to help you achieve your goals. Take some time and look for an agent who can make your vision their own.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2007
It is unfortunate that you have had a bad experience in the past....whether that agent was the real or perceived cause of the problem, the results are still indicitave of poor communication. There are great and not so great in our industry just like in any other...That doesnt mean that you can not benefit from the services of a good Realtor!

I would just point out one thing to you.....the commission your agent would receive for representing you is most likely already "built in" to the sales price and almost expected to be paid to your agent at closing. Why not take advantage of that to gain the assistance of someone who can bring a lot of experience and valuable knowledge to the table on your behalf? You shouldnt let the seller have the upper hand by being the only one with professional representation!

Just spend a little more time in finding a Realtor, dont be afraid to interview them and to ask friends and relatives for a referral....when you talk to the right one for you, you'll know it!
Good luck to you! Angela
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2007
My feelings.... if you broke your leg, would you put a cast on it yourself? If you were in legal trouble, would you represent yourself? Of course not, thats why you hire a professional. And that is exactly what a realtor is, professional. If you think you can save money by doing it yourself, I suggest you try putting a cast on or representing yourself in a court of law first, and then let me know how you made out! Good luck..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
Homefun -
I was just looking at your post again and see that you are a seller as well as a buyer. Are you selling your home yourself or are you using a sellers agent. Many agents work with sellers and buyers. If you trust them enough to sell your house, why don't you use the same agent to help you buy?

If you're doing a for sale by owner, and buying without a buyers agent, you really need to do your homework as there are a thousand ways you can get burned without professional assistance. As I said in an earlier post, not all real estate agents are created equal and not all real estate agents are REALTORS! A REALTOR is a member of the National Association of REALTORS and must meet a higher standard than just a real estate agent. There is a lot of information about buying and selling on REMAX.com, the national site and of course on REALTOR.com as well. Read and educate yourself if you're going to try it alone. If you reconsider using an agent for either or both sides of your transactions, look for those agents with national designations and awards. You need a full time committed professional on your side and there are many of us out there ready to help you make the right decisions.

Interview 3-5 agents and see what their answers are...then make a decision. You should find several that know their profession and one should mesh with you personally. I wish you luck.
Trisha Lee, REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToTrisha.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
If you find a house that is listed by a member of the Multiple Listing Service the REALTOR who is working for the seller will probably write the offer for you. You will have no one working for you. If you find a house that is for sale by an owner. Neither of you will have someone working for you or maybe an attorney will write a contract for one or both of you.
Price is established by the marketplace, what the public is willing to pay for a particular property in a particular location at a particular time. You can find out more about that by studing recent 'comparables', comparing recents sales. There are a LOT of factors that go into that pricing and Included in those prices is the commission for the seller AND buyer agent fees. The biggest reason most people give for not using a REALTOR is to save money. When you are dealing with probably the largest purchase/sale you make, it is good to have a knowledgeable professional that you trust help you. You can find that person through interviews. Meet with some REALTORS, look them in the eye and ask questions.
Web Reference: http://www.MAGroves.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
So you want us to give you the advice a buyer agent would give you, but you don't want to pay for it? @@
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2007
When you find the house you like. Chances are that you talked to listing agent . So you end up writing a contract with listing agent. In this case listing agent is dual agent . It gets difficult for the listing agent to negotiate for both seller and buyer. I would suggest use a agent. I am real agent in saint Louis , MO
( Coldwell Baker Gundaker) I will be glad to assist you with any help you need.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2007
Don't let past mistakes prevent you from working with a qualified person. Call any brokerage and ask for the most ethical agent on staff. That'll help you at least get someone that is trusted by the boss...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007

It doesn't seem to me that the cause of the $5000 increase was as a result of the buyer agent. If another buyer, cousin or not, is willing to purchase a property and you also want it, the contract will generally go the the offer which presents highest price and best terms.

If you buy without a buyers agent, chances are you could pay more that you would with assistance, and you will leave yourself vulnerable throughout the entire transaction.

The route to the best deal is often through a well connected buyer agent who keeps up w/ the changes in the marketplace. Active buyer agents frequently know of a few motivated sellers, or properties that are price well. The savings you think you might retain by skipping the buyers agent may cost you substantially.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Hi Mcu,

While it's true that you don't need a buyer's agent to buy a house, the fact that you're asking "what's the process" tells me that's all the more reason you should have solid representation on your side.

The fact that the listing agent countered at $5000 above your offer of 'ask' when you tried to buy before is not necessarily related to the fact you were using an agent. It could 've happened regarless. Worse yet, had you not used an agent then, they could've tried to take even more advantage of you (it sounds like that listing agent was on the shady side), and you could've ended up seriously over-paying for the house.

Find an agent you feel comfortable with, one that knows the area, one that will work through comparables with you. It doesn't cost you anything.

If you still feel you'd rather go at it alone, be aware of FSBO situations. Be sure you know exactly what you're paying for, that they've provided Disclosures, and that the house is priced right.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
You don't need representation in order to buy a house. Call the listing agent if you haven't already seen the house. The listing agent can help you make an offer and then that agent will present it to the seller. I must warn you however, that without a buyer's agent, you could overpay for the house anyway since you don't have a real estate professional looking out for your best interests. Ask the listing agent to provide you a list of comparable properties that have sold in that neighborhood in the last three months. You might also have him/her look up other properties that are similarly priced and see how they look on paper compared to the house you want to buy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
One benefit to not having a buyers agent is that assuming your offer is competitive with the next highest offer, your offer may be more appealing to the seller's agent, and that agent may be more likely to fight for your offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
When you don't use a buyer's agent you are an unrepresented buyer. The listing agent represents the seller and is working for them. You can ask the listing agent to pull comparable properties sold in the last three months but ultimately you're dealing with someone who represents the other side while you have no representation at all. As your question asks "what process" it seems you aren't experienced or knowledgeable to feel comfortable with the buying process. You certainly can go it alone but the real question is...why would you want to? A knowledgeable buyers agent will guide you past the pitfalls and ultimately save you money, especially in a preowned home.

Interview several buyers agents, ask lots of questions and ask for their credentials. There are national designations from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and one of them is ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative). Another that is highly sought after is CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and shows that your agent has gone above and beyond the basics of education in the field of real estate. Ask for testimonials from other buyers. If you went to buy a car you wouldn't talk to only one dealership and don't stop by only talking to one agent. A truly professional agent won't be insulted if you ask for credentials and a list of satisfied clients but will be proud to have you call those they've helped find their dream home.
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToTrisha.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
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