Home Buying in Donnelly>Question Details

Delynns1, Home Owner in Big Bear Lake, CA

when buying a home, is it a good idea to buy from the listing agent? When ALL COMPARED, who"s the agent looking out for: the BUYER, or the?

Asked by Delynns1, Big Bear Lake, CA Mon Nov 7, 2011


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Delynns1, The listing agent represents the Seller. You can use the Seller's Agent but you would be in a DUAL Agency situation. I'd recommend contacting a Realtor in Big Bear Lake (or where ever you are purchasing) that will fully represent you. Look for agents that are Realtors and carry at least two or more of the following designations. CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
Yeah, that's about right, Delynns.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
Think of it as trying to hire a mechanic to work on your car. Should you take it to the dealership which costs the most? Should you take it to your cousin and fear mixing business with family? Or should you search Craigslist and find the cheapest solution? The correct answer is . . . It Depends!

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!
Jim Paulson
Owner/Broker - Progressive Realty Corporation
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
My first attempt to buy a house happened in the 1980's before there was buyer agency in NJ. It ended up in disaster due to a variety of reasons, the main one being that the agent actually represented the seller and I was left (literally at one point during an eye-opening inspection process) standing alone. It was a them vs. me situation.

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.....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
The listing agent works for the seller and has their best interest. It is best for a buyer to use their own agent who works for their best interest. A buyer's agent will know what questions to ask and will recognize red flags if they come up. It is true that you might save some money by not using a buyer's realtor, but if a buyer knows this is the house they are going to buy, and they hire an agent to just handle this one transaction, you can ask them to decrease their fee to save some money but still be represented by a professional.
Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
Always hire a real estate attorney, never trust the Realtors. Neither agent really represents you, they are representing their commission to themselves because they receive NO salary. Their livelihood like car salesmen, depends on them producing sales. NO sale = they starve.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 26, 2012
The listing agent legally represents the seller and is obligated to obtain the highest price and best terms in the seller's behalf.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 1, 2012
Hi Delynns1:

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.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Boulder, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 17, 2012
The Buyer's agent looks out for their own pocket because they need a commission! Trust your real estate attorney only! I was sold a house in Sedona, Arizona in the flight path by the Realtors who never told us about the airport flight path or that it was a jetport! They lied on the disclosures. We told our Broker that we did not want to be near an airport, so she stuck us in the flightpath!

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 17, 2012
Answer the question yourself... would you like someone working in your best interest ( at no cost to you ) or someone working in the sellers best interest ( also at no cost to you ) negotiating on your behalf?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 8, 2011
Never a good idea to have much dealings with the seller'e agent. Every thing you say is information the seller can use to the seller's advantagewhen you negotiate for the home. . The seller's agent is representing the seller's interest and who is representing the buyer? The contract a seller's agent writes will have typically nothing written to the buyer's advantage - would you go to court without a lawyer and expect the lawyer for the other side to be concerned about your interests? Level the playing field by getting a buyer's agent. I just had a friend of a friend complain that her daughter was being given the run around by a builder from whom she was buying a new home without buyer representation. They delayed the closing twice and left her in limbo after she gave up her apartment then had nowhere to stay when they did not close as promised... Builders' agents are sellers agents who represent the builder not the buyer. Buyer Beware.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
By using the listing agent as your agent, you will not save any money! The seller pays for both the buyer and seller's agents fees. The best thing though, is for you to have an agent working with you before you get to the point of wanting to make an offer. You should be building a relationship with an agent so you can take full advantage of their knowledge and experience in picking out a home, and learning how to analyze if it's the right one for you! Sounds like you're doing too much work on your own, and then at the last minute finding yourself without an agent. Start meeting agents at open houses and find someone you enjoy working with! maybe some of the agents on Trulia! Best, Terry Bell, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 7, 2011
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