Home Buying in 08536>Question Details

Gila, Home Buyer in 08536

What's the possible benefits of buying a house by myself, instead of hiring a buyer agent?

Asked by Gila, 08536 Wed Feb 18, 2009

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23
I heard there was a little dancing goin' on, sure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
Mack, You looking to start trouble?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
The list is certainly shorter than if you had asked, "what are the possible benefits of hiring a buyer agent, rather than doing it myself."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
Marc said: I'll also typically find thousands of dollars of problems with the house that you should take off your offer. Will the listing agent tell you everything that is wrong with the house. Ummmmmm that's a NO!.

Of all the "ethics" that are being thrown around as a buyers agent .. I guess it is o.k. to state that you will always "shake down" sellers for thousands of dollars?

Does this mean that the buyer does not have to have a home inspection? Or do you do find these things and tell the home inspector to put them on his/ her report? How does that work? Do you work in tandem with a home inspector?

You said: "I will say it again. The standards that exist are NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It is up to the agent to supercede these bare minimums and go way beyond them to provide the greatest possible value to our clients." Furthermore, dual agency is a trap to be avoided by the educated consumer. You just do not seem to understand that the ethics promulgated by the NAR and the State of New Jersey are a bare minimum. A good agent will EXCEED these ethical standards in every respect. "

I see that you have a new listing at http://www.70foxchase.com, congratulations. But, I do not see anywhere on your site that states the following: Please do not call me or my office for information on this property as this would be a dual agency trap. Neither I nor anyone from my office can conduct a conversation with you as it will create a dual agency transaction. How do you handle that? Is your website connected to Coldwell Banker or Weichert so possible buyers are not "trapped" into dual agency with you, your broker and office sales force?

Since you want to lecture agents here about dual agency and your standards that are higher the the state regulations, I am curious to know how this is handled.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
You know what, I agree with just about everything in your last post as far as our responsibility to our buyers. However just because I will not make judgements on physical defects etc. of a house that are normally reserved for a licensed and trained home inspector, (which neither of us are) I do feel that by labeling me as inexperienced, or unable to do my job appropriately because of this is not altogether in the spirit of "(sticking) to the issues and address the questions without criticizing your fellow agents. "

My responses to your post(s) are not meant as an attack, just my point/counterpoint (as are yours) when I feel it may be confusing to a questioner or I have a different way of answering the question. I have never said anything about your ability to DO your job well, I have just voiced my opinion with another point of view, or a different way of explaining you answers. (although using the term "improper advise" was a poor choice of words on my part)

We obviously have a difference of opinion on certain subjects. Let's agree to disagree, respect each others opinions and points of view, and the right to refute them, which sometimes entails rebutting another reply. I promise to chose my words with more caution when rebutting one of your posts if you will do the same. Arguing on Trulia serves no purpose and only serves to demean us and our chosen profession.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Gila,

If you are talking about buying a for sale by owner, more than likely the seller will take a bit less because they are not paying a commission to anyone. The drawback is that most buyers and sellers aren't that well versed in negotiation and sometimes personal feelings (on both sides) get in the way of legitimate negotiations.

If you are talking about buying a home that is listed with an agency, and drawing up your own contract to purchase, you may do so, but would still need an accurate source of comparatives to make the offer and I would suggest you hire an attorney to negotiate both price and terms on your behalf once you submit a contract to the sellers.

What Marc described as "an unethical dual agent" is misleading. What "dual agency means" is that if you see a house listed by Agent A and decide to purchase the house using Agent A to write the contract, then Agent A will become a dual agent, representing both buyer and seller equally. Despite what Marc has said in numerous posts on Trulia, it is NOT unethical NOR unlawful, and is allowed, with certain disclosures, to occur in NJ.

As far as Marc telling you he can find the "thousands of dollars of problems with the house that you should take off your offer", neither Marc nor ANY Real Estate agent is a licensed inspector and should not represent themselves as such. As a matter of fact, the contract of sale we use in Middlesex County specifically states under INSPECTION CLAUSE:

" The broker(s) and saleperson(s) ...are trained Real Estate Licensees...They readily acknowledge that they have no special training, knowledge, or experience with regard to discovering and/or evaluating physical defects including structural defects, roof, basement, mechanical equipment such as heating, air conditioning, electrical, sewage, plumbing systems, exterior drainage, termites..or other damage cause by such infestation. "

Other than maybe telling you the approximate costs of a remodeling project (eg: how much it MIGHT cost to remodel a kitchen or bath if you are comparing your house to a similarly priced one which already had that done) only a licensed home inspector can tell you of potential problems with the house, as well as advise on routine maintenance items that every homeowner should know.

Most importantly the inspection report will tell you things that may need to be fixed before you move in such as faulty wiring, leaky roofs etc,. Those things appear in the inspectors report, which is supplied to the buyer and their attorney. Any repairs requested as a result of this inspection report are submitted to the seller and their attorney, with a copy of the report. These requests are usually negotiated for buyer and seller through their respective attorneys. Since inspections typically occur about 10-14 days after the contract price is agreed upon and the contract is signed by both parties, and usually after attorney review is completed, this negotiation happens WAY after the contract has been signed and is a valid contract of sale. To tell you that a Real Estate agent can negotiate dollars off a sale price due to "(finding) problems with the house" is improper advise.

Hope that helps you and good luck in your home buying experience.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Gila,

You may want to consider the flip side of this question...................

What are the risks of purchasing a home without the support of a real esate professional?

Our advice is to be sure you have all the facts.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
There are some agents who will debate this, but you do not pay a commission so you should always take advantage of the knowledge and negotiation skills of a real estate agent.
The only time in which certain realtors will make you pay a commission is if you sign an agreement saying you will buy a home through them and if you do not, then you owe them a commission or if you go to see a For Sale By Owner and the seller is not willing to pay the agent.
Again, I highly recommend using an agent though. Any negative you can find to hiring an agent will be far outweighed by all the benefits an agent can provide. Good luck!

Jillian Mason-Sales Associate
Direct: 732-586-5488
E-Mail: jillian@jillianmason.com
Web Reference: http://www.jillianmason.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Gila the benefits are the listing agent makes more money. The seller may end up selling at a higher price. You will not get representation because a dual agent can be an advocate to the sale but can not advise you on specifics in the transaction.
A good example would be if you asked "Do you think the seller will take 10,000.00 less?". The answer would have to be "Do you want to try an offer at 10,000.00 less?" or something similar.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Hello Gila,
You have absolutely nothing to LOSE by having a buyers agent to represent YOUR interests, and everything to LOSE if you dont. A buyers agent usually does NOT charge you one single penny.
A buyers agent drives you around, figures out what you want, and works for you for free. Only if you close, does the buyers agent get paid a percentage from the seller at closing...
So...why not take advantage of all that free help and free labor? and someone who will be nice to you even though you arent paying them a cent...sounds like a great deal with not one string attached....
Good luck :)))) I hope to see you soon!

Mary Ryan
Weichert Realtors, Princeton NJ

princetonlandinghomes@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Hi Gila,

I believe many of the issues have been addressed already. There is many details involved in purchasing real estate today from the offer, negotiations, lending, inspections (contractor's, pest, and radon), contractor's addendum, etc. However, one thing a Buyer's Agent does prior to the offer is look for comps that have sold so that you know what the offer should be. This serves as documentation to the seller as to the possible appraisal value of their home. They may not like the comps but the fact is, if the house doesn't appraise, the sellers aren't going to sell their home.

A Buyer's agent does hundred's of little things behind the scenes for their clients that they may not even know about. These things assist for a smoother transaction. In the long run, it is not worth the stress, aggravation and frustration to not have a professional Realtor representing you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
Agreed. Now on to the issues!

-Marc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Mary,

Once again you are categorically incorrect. And obviously quite inexperienced. So I will go easy on you rather than becoming my usual feisty self.

After appraising and showing thousands of homes and preparing detailed repair addendums to fix every problem under the sun in the field of REO dispositions and loss mitigations, I am more than qualified to point out defects in any home I see and recommend to my buyers that they:

a) move on to another home, or
b) take however many thousands of dollars off their offering price that it will take to repair the defect.

Do not assume that because you are unable to offer your buyers this service, that there are not other highly experienced agents who can.

In fact, it is my job and my duty as a buyer's agent to look for any problems in the house that will come back to haunt my buyers at a later date. If you cannot or will not do this, you should not be acting as a buyer's agent.

The combination of a vigilant agent, a competent home inspector, a good mortgage appraiser, and the buyer and other family members who know what they are looking at, comprise a complete home buying team that will enable a buyer to confidently move forward, minimizing the risks of purchase to the greatest possible extent.

Furthermore, dual agency is a trap to be avoided by the educated consumer. You just do not seem to understand that the ethics promulgated by the NAR and the State of New Jersey are a bare minimum. A good agent will EXCEED these ethical standards in every respect.

If you simply do what you are allowed, because it is allowed, then you need to advance your knowledge and experience to the point where you move to a much higher plane of conduct, even if it means sacrificing your commission at times to make sure that the RIGHT THING GETS DONE.

Just the fact that dual agency is illegal in many states should be enough to cause you to question the standards that exist.

I will say it again. The standards that exist are NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It is up to the agent to supercede these bare minimums and go way beyond them to provide the greatest possible value to our clients.

As for your statement that: "To tell you that a Real Estate agent can negotiate dollars off a sale price due to "(finding) problems with the house" is improper advise (sic)." This statement tells me that you are inexperienced and have not fully embraced the compete roll of a competent agent. Over time, you will come to realize that your job is to do more than show people "the drapes and the dog run". You are, and should be, expected to give good hard advice with respect to value, condition, marketability, location, costs to cure defects, financing, law, i.e., everything that entails homeownership.

As agents, we are not allowed to practice law, provide mortgages, do home inspections, or give financial advice. At the same time, our roll embraces all these disciplines. A basic knowledge of each and comfort in communicating the concepts involved to the homebuying and homeselling public are mandatory prerequisites to becoming a fully-rounded "go to" real estate agent.

One further piece of advice:

Your job on Trulia is to answer the questions of the public to the best of your ability. Not to pick fights with other agents and criticize their posts. Stick to the issues and address the questions without criticizing your fellow agents.

Our goal here is to help buyers and sellers make the best possible decision at a very important time in their lives. The more our posts stay with that goal, the more Trulia will become the pre-eminient real estate site on the Internet. And that helps all of us.

-Marc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Gila,

Some buyers think that the listing agent will be able to cut their commission and save the unrepresented buyer some money. Well, maybe the listing agent wil kick in 3 or 4 grand since he is acting as an unethical dual agent and double dipping the transaction. But if you hire me as your buyer's agent, I will save you way more than a measily 3 or 4 thousand by negotiating a much lower price than you can on your own. That is my job. Most homes are overpriced. Do you think that the listing agent is going to tell you that and help present a lower offer based on reality? Not a chance!

Forgetting the seven thousand other things a buyer's agent does for you, just effective negotiating skills alone are sufficient reason to avoid going it alone.

I'll also typically find thousands of dollars of problems with the house that you should take off your offer. Will the listing agent tell you everything that is wrong with the house. Ummmmmm that's a NO!.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Hi GIla,

Since you have the answer to your question about 19 times already,
I have to say I agree with them all...

Let's discuss how I can help you find your home. I have material for first time home buyers that will explain the process of buyng a home here in NJ fro the offer, to the attorney to the closing - this will answer most, if not all of your questions.

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969
Cell 732-213-1409

Email : JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
RULE OF THUMB NEVER PURCHASE DIRECT FROM:
builder, seller, listing agent, or bank

Have your own buyers agent you also fall under your agents e & o insurance if something should happen.

My office answers sooooooooooo many calls or emails across the country when a buyer assume DID NOT REQUIRE A REALTOR either purchase or list a home. Then loss money in escrow , got sued, etc. at that time too late for any professional assist contracts signed.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
I've been a RE agent since I was 19. I have been in the business in one way shape or form every since. I just purchased my first home in November. I STILL NEEDED AN AGENT! :) There was enough out there that I didn't know since I haven't activly sold homes in a while that my agent was able to bring to my attention and help out on.

Either way, if a home is being sold by an real estate company then there is an agreed upon commission the seller is paying no matter if you bring your own representation or not. So you might as well bring your own agent to represent you. If you don't the sellers agent just gets the whole commission anyways.

So, to answer your question.... Unless you are a seasoned real estate agent that knows all the ins and outs of everything, then there are no benefits to representing yourself. Who else is going to do all the dirty work and phone calls when you are at work? :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
I can't think of any and I tried really hard. :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
MVP'08
Contact
Gila,

What are the possible benefits of remdeling your kitchen on your own or hiring a competent, trustworthy contractor? You could file your taxes on your own as well but what if you hired a seasoned, well respected accountant? Play out both scenarios in your mind. I think you will find the answer to your question.

Best Regards,

Jeremy S. Hill, Realtor Associate, Mortgage Consultant
Keller Williams Realty, Aurora Financial Group, Inc.
http://www.YourPhillyHomeSearch.com
http://www.SouthNewJerseyHomes.com
Office: 856.685.1651
Direct: 609.876.5817
Fax: 609.482.8235
Licensed PA, NJ
"Your Interest 1st Always"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
I believe you can answer this question yourself.

If you know where the prices are heading in the area you are looking to purchase, what the lending standards are & what would be the lowest , reasonable offer , that a seller would be willing to accept, how to determine value, between 1 home & another, how to handle inspection issues & negotiations overall.

If you answered 'No" to even 1 of the above......a realtor with knowledge of the area & experience of the process , is in order.
Web Reference: http://www.SoldByShalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Well put, Gina . . . u are the consummate professional and have my vote for any future referrals in your area!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Gila,

I must agree with the previous answers. You can only benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a real estate agent.

When you say "buying a house by myself, instead of hiring a buyer agent"....you do know that if you buy a house listed on the market with a broker then that agent will become a dual agent "working" for both you and the seller so ultimately you will be working with an agent. (I'm not going to discuss dual agency right now because that is a sore subject on Trulia and does not directly pertain to your question). In the event you are working with an agent and want to buy a for sale by owner, most FSBO's will cooperate with a broker and pay a commission to your agent. The knowledge an agent brings to the transaction is a necessity. Your agent will be right by your side from beginning to end, working for you. Including but not limited to, explain each and every detail of the home buying process, assisting with pre-approvals, finding properties, comping solds so you can make an educated offer and not overpay for a property, the list is endless and you will certainly benefit in the end working with an agent.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential New Jersey Properties
Gina.Chirico@PrudentialNewJersey.com
973-715-1158 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Honestly Gila, I don't see any benefit to you the homebuyer to not use a buyer's agent, especially when u consider that the seller pays the commission.

I recently had a friend who found a FSBO (for sale by onwer), didn't want to "waste my time" and wound up spending $400 on a home inspection only to find that the townhome needed more work than she and her fiance had ever anticipated. Not only was she out the $400, but her and her fiance were homeless when they returned from their honeymoon. Had she consulted with me before proceeding with this home insepction, I would have inquired about a Seller's disclosure and been apprehensive about a seller who refused to provide same. The time, money and effort spent on pursuing this property resulted in a short period fo homelessness before they found the home of their dreams (using a Realtor).

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
NJAR Circle of Excellence '06-'07
REALMART REALTY - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell your home
Ranked #15 of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth / Ocean County
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
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