Question Details

Fredman, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

OK, seriously, can you give me SPECIFIC reasons why I should not use a discount buyer's agent?

Asked by Fredman, San Diego, CA Mon Jan 7, 2008

I realize this question irritates agents. But in this kind of buyer's market, where I can do much of the legwork with help from the internet, please give me concrete, specific reasons why a discount agent won't work well for me and save me $. Please don't give me the same old rhetoric about how long you have worked, how professional you are, etc. Assuming that I have already found a property, tell me EXACTLY what you will do that a discount agent will not. Thanks.

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If you want to use a discount buyers agent then you should. The specific reasons you are looking for to hire a full-service agent over a discount agent exist in the actual interviews. I have seen "full -service" agents that don't provide full service. I have seen discount agents that do provide full service. It really comes down to the agent.

If you are not and experienced or knowledgeable buyer a professional agent will do more than just fina a home. Much of what we do is behind the scenes. As Brian mentioned we provide a net against many of the pitfalls that can occur during a transaction. Many times we bring the voice of reason when a transaction is going bad and we save it by working with the other agent/party. Other times it is about knowing the right resource and using our relationships to work out problems. Sometimes we simply know the neighborhood like nobody else does and can spot a value that doesn't exist on the internet.

I don't think the decision is between discount and full service. I think it is about what you need/want an agent to do for you. If your only desire is to save money then hire the cheapest. If you want specific services from your agent, make sure he/she are able to provide them. Call references, ask about what they will do for you as a buyer's agent, ask about how many buyer's they have worked for, ask how many times they had transactions of their last 10 that fell through, ask why they fell through, ask what did their last 10 buyers pay for their house compared to list. Ask about the courses they have taken in the last year to keep up with the market and legal issues. What extra training have they completed.

I don't have a specific reason why you should not hire a discount agent. I do believe most do not know how bad a deal can go until their in the middle of it. Find the discounted professional that will go above and beyond. Not sure that is the answer you are looking for but hope it helps in choosing the right agent, discounted or otherwise.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
If you're willing, and knowledgeable, to do most of the legwork, there is no decent reason not to share in some of the savings by hiring a discount agent (like Redfin). Period.

You'll be making the calls & appointments, arguing with listing agents that "you ARE represented, and don't have to sign a 'no representation' form". But you will save money. Only you can determine if the savings is worth it. Some people are discount brokerage people, who like to "do-it-yourself", and some people are full-service people... there's something out there for everyone.

God, I love this country!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I say do whatever you want to do. My question to you though, why, if you are not paying the commission, would you not use the best possible resource out there. I would imagine you are being offered a portion of the commission as a "refund". Well lets say for instance you pay 500k for the house and receive 5k back for using the services of this broker. Lets say on the other hand you use an experienced full time premium service Realtor and do not receive a "refund", but you pay 485k for the house. There is a more than average chance that the premium broker will be a better negotiator and more in touch with the current and future market.
Not sure that any of us can give you EXACT examples of what we as, premium agents would do, because every transaction has its own issues. I can say that as premium agent I would be ready for whatever happens.

Good Luck!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
They may work for you. But, it could cost you. Will they negotiate the best price for you? Will they be there if something goes wrong and you need to get out of contract (for whatever reason, loan issues etc.)? Will they solve problems that so often arise out of nowhere and for many reasons. Also, have these discount brokers been around the block and know how to best serve you and get the deal closed?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
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