I am not trying to be a smart @ss; however, there are three important questions that need to be resolved prior to answering your question:
1) Do you already have an agent working for you? If so, stick with them if they are meeting or exceeding your expectations;
2) If you could interview local agents to represent you, would the listing agent be your #1 choice? Don't just choose them because they are the listing agent!
3) What does the listing agent bring to the table to help you specifically? In other words, any agent licensed in the state of Idaho can represent you on this transaction. What are your specific needs wants and your weakest link that you need help with in the transaction?
Based on your answers, that should tell you if the listing agent is the best choice. Maybe the only reason they have the listing is because it is their family that owns it. If that is the case, will they ever really look out for you while knowing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, they will be having dinner with "them" instead?
If you buy directly from the listing agent, there are still two choices. 1) they represent the seller as a client and you as a customer; 2) They can be a dual agent in which they represent each of you and don't share each others secrets and confidential information (some say it is the fox guarding the hen house while others re-assure you that the fox is a vegetarian - GRIN).
If the listing agent understands their role as a dual agent and is the best agent FOR YOU, then by all means use them! If not, be grateful we as Realtor's are independent contractors and we can represent "your" best interest as a "buyer's agent" and the seller still gets to pay us instead of having you pay us for our knowledge and service.
For example, if you need a high tech Realtor that knows how to use virtual tours, video messaging, digital signatures, etc., to help compensate for you being in Big Bear verses local and the listing agent still believes in meeting face to face, faxes and overnight mail, you might want to shop around. If they don't understand the jumbo loan process if you are buying a nice home in Tamarack you might want to shop around. If they don't understand self directed IRA's and that is how you intend to buy the property, you might want to shop around.
Hope that helps!
Owner/Broker - Progressive Realty Corporation
Buyer agency came about because buyers didn't have anyone to represent them. Although obviously all agents are working towards a paycheck and are therefore motivated to get their buyers to closing, the key for buyers is to find an agent who will put their buyers' interests before their own, even if it means losing out on that check. The idea is if you show you are trust worthy and work hard for your customers, you will gain referrals which is the goal of all agents.
I'm not sure I answered your question.....
Realtors will do and say anything to make a sale. I told my broker, "no to being near the airport," so she stuck us in the flightpath! When the noise and pollution got bad a year later, she said, "you knew you were in the flightpath!" Liars, all of them. She also told us, " how badly she needed a commission when she sold us a house." News flash: they ALL need commissions!!!!
She never looked out for us, she left us with a contract that only favored the seller. The disclosures failed to show the airport was near us and that we were in the flightpath. This Broker is CRS< GRI< ABR and has been a broker for 25 years in this town... get it. My opinion of these folks is it is an easy way to make money if you can't do something else and have no college degree. The certifications are designed to make buyers feel better about their realtor. They certainly do not care about the law or being honest when they are facing an inability to pay their own bills as is the case with most of them these days. My broker was also quite pleasant and seemed like a good, honest woman, we actually trusted her! Big mistake on our part, HIRE A LAWYER! I hired one later and he had a fit with our contract and the lies.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) Will you benefit (financially or otherwise) by working with the seller's agent?
2) If the listing agent will reduce the commission he/she collects from the sellers to "double-end" the deal, is it likely you will see any of that money? Or will it just sound like it?
3) Do you understand the real estate due diligence process, home construction issues and the local home market well enough to judge the soundness of advice you receive from the seller's side? Remember! Sellers have their own agendas.
4) Do you have a list of trusted supporting professionals (mortgage broker, home inspector, surveyor, insurance agent, lawyer, accountant, etc.)?
5) Are you selling a house in the same area? If so, can you negotiate a reduced cost deal to have your listing agent act also as your buyer's agent?
6) Can you pick up the ball and work through the escrow period unaided if the sellers lose interest in your offer after receiving a better back-up? (Please understand that I am not implying that sellers would do anything illegal under the purchase contract.)
7) If you plan an addition or other significant construction after closing, do you know where to learn about local building restrictions that might limit your plans? Building codes change constantly, usually becoming more restrictive.
8) Are you a good negotiator?
Delynns1: If you answer these questions honestly, I believe you will know whether or not you need a buyer's agent. If you decide you do, I would suggest you get recommendations and interview several.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Realtors need commissions they do not get a salary, buyer beware. Trust none of them! These people are NOT your friends they want money and that is all. They will not lose a commission doing the right thing for you.