Home Buying in Lakeview>Question Details

Cat Daddy, Home Buyer in 60657

Why do I need a real estate agent as a buyer doing my own online house hunting?

Asked by Cat Daddy, 60657 Sat Jan 12, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:


You dont need a realtor if you find a place on your own. I have bought several properties withour buyer agent representation and it has always went smoothly. I go in un represented in order to negotiate a better deal. As long as you have a good real estate attorney and you are a good business person, your fine.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Ryan, I have been told by seller's agent that they don't take buyer without an agent. So you have to ask around.
Flag Tue Jun 18, 2013
Myke I am a home buyer and I think that that answer was uncalled for. I am searching here for the proper buyer agent. There are soooo many things that can go wrong when you try to handle a real estate deal yourself. As my mother used to say, "If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all."
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
I asked this question awhile back.

Bear in mind - you're asking people who make thier living selling homes - to essentially justify thier jobs.
Expect a little "puffing" as they like to call it.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
You don't, but why wouldn't you?

I've bought with and without an agent --- it seems that in most situations having one works better --- and is unlikely to have any downside.

There is no real cost, and you're not likely to really get the seller's agent to give you back a substantial amount of the double commission he or she would be getting if you buy without an agent. So where's the advantage in NOT having an agent.

Good agents, being people who do this all the time, may look at a property with "better" or at least "different" eyes than you, giving you valuable thoughts when you're being blinded by the bling. (hey, I know you like the chandeliers, but there are too few cabinets in the kitchen.)

Also an agent can offer an "insider's" sense of market issues (and often issues/history of problems with the particular building you're looking at, if he or she has worked in the neighborhood awhile) and the ability to set up showings quickly and easily (a seller's agent is likely to allow another agent to have lockbox access to a listing, but not an individual). An agent may also be able to suggest additional ways/locations to find what you're looking for (and may have access to unlisted or pre-listing properties..) And most agents will drive you around, saving gas money and travel/parking stress while you're trying to think about properties.

Finally, when you get to the nitty-gritty of closing, having your own agent puts another person in the mix who is eager to help get the deal closed -- which can make fixing last minute problems easier.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
That is like saying, why do I need a dentist to fill a cavity, or why do I need a mechanic to fix my car. If you are a first time home buyer you will need a buyer's agent to guide you through the process and give you guidance on many different issues such as 1) what is the house worth, 2) names of inspectors who will find any potential problems and if there are problems, negotiate a credit, 3) Names of attorneys who will help you with the legal aspects of it, 4) names of lenders or mortgage brokers to obtain financing, 5) walk through before closing to make sure everything is working properly, if not negotiate a credit, 6) Hand holding throughout the process. Unless you are knowledgeable and savvy in these areas and are confident in your negotiating skills then you don't need a buyers agent. Otherwise, the buyer's agent's commission (which is paid by the SELLER) is well worth it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008
I'm not sure Myke was trying to be mean. I'm a home buyer as well and asked myself the same question. Only until I learned what a buying agent can do for you and how they can protect your best interests did I realize why a buying agent is really necessary. Initially, I had Myke's outlook too but now I would not recommend anyone go through this process without an agent. Our agent has been invaluable.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008
If you are just looking at pictures and daydreaming, that is fine. If you are a serious and qualified buyer, that is a start to narrow down your possibilities and to have an idea of what you can get for the price that you are willing to pay. When you are ready to really look and make an offer, you need a Realtor ! You need representation, to assure that you are completely informed on all choices. If not, you take a big chance on a major purchase. Remember that if the home is listed, the seller has already agreed to pay for your representation. So, get it !
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Do you have the background to negotiate a real estate contract and the discipline to remain un-emotional so you don't alienate the sellers while working to obtain the most favorable terms and lowest possible purchase price?

Greg Z
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008

Love the name Cat Daddy! :-)

Agents are very supportive of free flowing info to all consumers who wish to receive it. Consumers (both buyers and sellers) often like to review data directly. Agents don't bring value to a purchase transactions because we have listings to share, but rather we assist with the interpretation of data, provide trend history, and analysis, and advise our clients. We help clients through offer and acceptance, suggest walking away from properties that may be pose risk or be unsuitable for the buyer, bring network of professionals to the table with our contacts, and protect the buyers interest all the way through closing and beyond. While we certainly do help some buyers with their complete search, our greatest value lies in the other responsibilities that I outlined above. If you prefer to surf on your own, active and available listings can be found on literally hundreds and even thousands of websites for just about every market in the country. We upload listings to mulititudes of sites to make it easy for buyers to search.

You can certainly surf on your own. Many agent and broker sites, as well as third party sites like Trulia,. allow you to save your favorite properties in a folder.

Best of luck in your home search. Reach out for help when you are ready.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
A knowledgeable and experienced agent specializing in the area in which your house hunting will be invaluable in your ability to negotiate realistically. There is more to closing the deal than simply identifying the property you wish to own. Myriad issues must be addressed toward a smooth and timely closing and a professional will ensure that this will happen. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 6, 2014
If you could get an attorney to represent your for free on a simple traffic violation wouldn't you take it? Why wouldn't you allow the home seller to pay for a professional negotiator (buyers agent) to represent your interests on one of the most important purchases of your life?

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 14, 2008
Gene I completely disagree with your advise. Unless CatDaddy has the EXPERIENCE that you have, then I would not suggest he take that route. You are assuming everyone knows what you already do based on your past dealings and home purchases.

He will not be able to gain access to these homes without a Realtor.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 14, 2008
Cat Daddy,
Let me ask you a question. Would you go to court without an attorney? Probably not. Real Estate transactions done without Realtors is the same thing just a different arena. Make sure you have your own Realtor to work for your best interests. Please be careful and good luck!
Betina Foreman, Realtor Austin Texas
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 14, 2008
Dear Cat Daddy,
A good buyers Agent is worth their weight in gold. THey can: help you save money, locate a reputable home inspector, locate repairmen in case you need repair estimates to be armed to negoitate a lower price or money in escrow for repairs, give you the most recent comparable sold home prices so you know you are not over-paying, Looking online is great but you really NEED someone in your corner fighting for YOU! The owner has a listing agent working exclusively for him. Don't let them fool you into thinking that the listing agent working in dual capacity (for both sides of the deal) is going to benefit you. The seller pays the commission, so please don't go into a transaction without someone on your side. Protect yourself have your own agent, if you have to interveiw 4-5 and see who has a similar working style. Find a Realtor that communicates with you. I promise you will be glad you did!
Betina Foreman Realtor Austin Texas
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 13, 2008
Greetings Cat Daddy!

Interview a few Realtors & decide which person you are the most comfortable with. We Realtors should understand that your "Interviewing" us for a job is VERY important to meeting/exceeding your expectations!

Suggest that when at the first meeting with the Realtor, that they sit you down in front of their MLS(look away as they enter their 'secret' password or access code) and let you DRIVE the MLS! You will find that the MLS data base we Realtors use is a LOT different than the traditional real estate searches that are out in cyber-space. In operating their MLS, you will in fact enter exactly what you want. After you enter the criteria, Bedrooms, Baths, Basements, Waste/Water systems etc. you will go through each & every criteria & see for YOURSELF what is out there. Have the Realtor SAVE the search that YOU created!! Now ask that Realtor to send you the updates via E.Mail daily or several times a day to see the listings that hit ASAP from your personally created data base.

This is the BEST system that I found that works with my Buyers!

Respectfully it is a lot more than just getting E.Mailed from the Realtor, the proof is in the follow-up with you...
"Hello Cat this is Rob the Realtor calling, what did you think about the new listing that just hit today at 123 Main Street that matches YOUR criteria exactly! When may I schedule a showing for us to view the Property?" AAHHH yes, the perfect match!

Good luck to you in finding the right home!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
Finding your home is only one part of the overall transaction. Ask any experienced Realtor and they'll tell you that dealing with the issues once a contract is signed is when experience matters most.
Working with a Realtor will help ensure everyone arrives at the closing table, including the lender with the check.

Best of luck.
Web Reference: http://www.KDRchicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Cat Daddy, I'm going to add my vote to everyone elses. You don't necessarily need a Realtor, but you're crazy to buy without one. The Internet is a great source of information and an excellent way to start a search. But it doesn't take the place of an expert on the ground.

As a mortgage banker I deal with buyers who use Realtors as well as buyers who buy direct from the owner. Most of the problems I see come from those who try and do it on their own with out help from a Realtor. This includes both over paying for the home and not understanding what is involved in the transaction and what they need to do to protect themselves.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Yo Cat Daddy - I agree with the others - you don't need an agent to do your own online hunting. If you are clear about the area you want to be in and are familiar with the types or properties available, amentities that are offered/available, having the ability to search on your own is great.

However, an advantage to working with an agent may be to better discuss advantages or disadvantages of a particular location, type or property or nuances to a particular property that may not be clear or understood during an online search. What is the view really like? How loud is the traffic from the 3rd floor? Is the building well managed? Does the building I like allow washers & dryers to be installed? If parking isn't onsite, where is the nearest available parking? Simple questions not always easy to answer solely in an online search.

Often times with a particular property type, agents who are familiar with the area may also have viewed specific properties you may be interested in seeing - they might be able to provide additional insight. If they are intune with what your are looking for, they may be able to advise that a particular property is not worth a look - saving you time. In addition, they may be able to suggest properties that are not officially on the market but may meet your needs.

Just some food for thought. I hope that helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Quick question - do you believe everything you read?Because, if you believe that is all a real estate professional will do for you, then you are ok on your own. Right now, just searching on the internet amounts to just reading what other people what you to believe.....and in this market, there are some very good fiction writers. Do yourself a favor, interview a couple of Realtors to be your buyers agent, worse case, you pick up some new tips for researching homes....or maybe you will find someone you believe will represent your best interest and help you find the right, not just a place.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
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Sr. Loan Officer
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 15, 2013
Your time is important to your agent and we want you to be involved in the home search. You know better than anyone what you want in a home and we want the home search be a good experience, So if you are choosing the homes you want to see and the agent is sending you property to review this is can and should be a smooth process.. Besides, you should be reviewing the property before showings are scheduled so that your time is not being wasted. This is an important purchase for you and you should want to be involved from the very beginning, and that does include you checking out property for yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
A buyer's agent will work for you and not the seller. They should have your best interests in mind. Commissions are paid by the seller so there's no cost to you. Your agent has access to a lot of information that you cannot get on your own such as how long the house has been on the market, when the price was reduced and by how much, etc... Plus they can make appts to show homes for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 13, 2008
Well, ususally buyers get trapped by the selling agent who REPRESENTS THE SELLER. With an agent representing you, they are looking out for YOUR best interests and know WHAT to look for and guide you throughout the process and of course negotiating the best price for you based on area comps, what has sold recently, and can findout MORE information for you than you could on your own.

It's up to you, if you think you can handle it then kudos to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 13, 2008
Finding a house is the easy part. By using an agent it puts a buffer of reason between the buyer and seller. The agent will advise you of pitfalls that could cost you thousands of dollars. As a potential buyer you don't pay fees the seller does. And unless you are an attorney, to sort out the 85 pages of contract jargon - most people don't want a new hobbie ( that is used in court to protect the most expensive purchsase in your life.) As a Realtor I spend alot of time taking classes to keep myself and my clients out if court or litigation. The average cost to go to court is around $80,000 for the first day. Most people don't want to spend 2 weeks in a deposition and court room prep. That's like going to the denist for root cannal week. I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't use an agent . They save you time , and work with your best intrest at heart.

Rob Reece
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
In my experience of being a real estate agent, its not hard to find a home, the difficulty is coming to a mutual agreement. Deals fall apart all the time because of that. The Seller and Buyer both have the intention on getting the best out of it. Having a experience neutral party can be a great relief. Think of it like this... Would you defend yourself in your own divorce? lol....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
You don't need an agent necessarily. If you are extremely savvy and willing to do some research you may be able to locate an appropriate property and negotiate a fair deal all by yourself. If you're a first time buyer without much exposure to the real estate process you may be well served to hire a re-litter.

I am a home inspector who has worked in the Chicago area for the last 10 years. I've seen the best and the worst. If you want some references from someone who, 'doesn't have a dog in the fight' drop me a line.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
Why would you not use one? It does not cost you one penny. Take advantage of the knowledge for free!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
Hey, Cat Daddy! I am in totaly agreement with Ken Dooley. Looking on line is great and a lot of fun, but when it comes down to writing an offer, that is another story. I am a mortgage lender and have seen many mistakes people have made without having a real estate professional. I strongly suggest having fun looking on line, but also getting a real estate agent when you are ready to go look at a home and make an offer. Kathy Borucki
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Hello, Cat Daddy....I guess my question back would be why would you think of not using a real estate agent to represent your interests rather than the sellers? As an accredited buyer's representative, I take my responsiblities in the relationship very seriously. Shopping through a catalog of inventory is okay, but the agent has the knowledge to know where you probably won't even look!!
Jan McNulty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
You don't. But remember that a good agent can actually configure searches for you and hasve all the new homes that match your needs sent to you everyday into your email box with the address and otehr info that you can not find online. This way you put the MLS and the Web to work for you and never have to fill out another dumb form or read anothee FREE REPORT or add again.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes;

Dirk Knudsen
"The Real Estate Doctor"
Web Reference: http://www.nwhomecenter.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
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