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.
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.
He will not be able to gain access to these homes without a Realtor.
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
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
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!
Working with a Realtor will help ensure everyone arrives at the closing table, including the lender with the check.
Best of luck.
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.
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!
We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (855) 415-5626.
Sr. Loan Officer
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Toll Free: (855) 415-5626 ext. 5734
It's up to you, if you think you can handle it then kudos to you!
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.
Hope this helps!
"The Real Estate Doctor"