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.
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
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
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.
( Coldwell Baker Gundaker) I will be glad to assist you with any help you need.
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.
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.
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.