Can anyone help me in deciding whether we should have an agent help us buy a SFH or just do it ourself ??

Asked by Dd, Union City, CA Fri Apr 4, 2008

We already have a house in mind that we want to buy. Can u pls tell me the pros and cons of having an agent to buy. We already have an agent selling our house in Union City, CA.

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CJ Brasiel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008

If you have an agent selling your home in Union City, ask them what opportunities there could be to work out a deal on commission to handle both transactions. If you are not happy with their service or do not feel they know your new neighborhood well enough then finding a local agent.

If you are experienced in home buying and know the area well, then you certainly can represent yourself. Many buyers think they will save more by not using an agent when in fact the seller is who pays the commission on the deal and very rarely does any of the credit go back to the buyer if they do not have an agent.

There have been many previous threads on Trulia Voices about this very topic. It comes down to opinion, confidence, and risk levels. If you think you can save X dollars by not using an agent that the seller is paying for , then simply compare that to the risk you are taking by not being represented on X investment of dollars. There is also the peace of mind factor.

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3 votes
Nancy, Home Buyer, RPV
Sun May 4, 2008

I think if you have already had a house in mind, you can get an agent from to sign the papers for you. This way, you can get 20% to 50% of the commission. Depending on the price of the house you are going to buy, it could be worth thousands of dollars.
0 votes
Jack Hannah, Both Buyer And Seller, Fremont, CA
Fri Apr 25, 2008
Hi Dd
What's your hurry?? Prices will come down in the next months , if not years.
This is a significant economic downturn in our country. Don't let sales people oversell you..they always say it's a good time to buy.'s their job to sell..they don't have your best interest at heart.
And in the Bay Area, agents hardly have to work to make minimum $50K + per home.
They are a necessary evil, but use your judgment when buying your home - not theirs.

I personally have to control myself when talking to agents..these are the same greedy guys who oversold to friends of mine during the heyday of housing, but luckily I escaped. Now, when it comes to buying a home, I do the math, see how much I can afford, and then call in one of these "salesmen" to close the deal.
The prices will come down as more ARMs reset. IF you can wait, you should
0 votes
Vicki Jako-O…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Agents are trained to protect the buyer therefore it's important to have someone you can trust represent you. Experienced agents can help you close on desired property in a matter that can be less stressful on you and your family. Realtors can also help you find home inspectors and explain mortgage terms so that you can feel more comfortable about buying your home.
An experienced agent is worth using in order for you to get the most possible benefits of buying your home. Relationships are everything, so look at it that way. A lot of experienced agents have a team of professionals that can truly make your buying experience a pleasurable one.
0 votes
Sl, Both Buyer And Seller, 94539
Thu Apr 24, 2008
All the agents are saying its good to have an agent. Interestingly, there are no non-agents answering your question
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Rich Quigley, , Huntley, IL
Wed Apr 23, 2008
You should have a buyer's agent. Consider that agents are professionals and have knowledge that consumers do not. Agents negotiate contracts all the time, know the pricing for the area, have a network of other real estate professionals such as attorneys and inspectors, and typically there is no charge for representation.
Laws vary by state, but you should be certain that the buyer's agent is really representing your interests. This may entail signing an exclusive buyer agency agreement., which spells out the agents responsibilities to you as well as yours to the agent (mainly loyalty). Get to know the agent before signing and make sure that you can cancel the agreement if there is incompatibility.
If you don't know what to look for in an agent, look for the ABR-Accredited Buyer Representative designation. This means that the agent has had several transactions in which he or she represented buyers and has had additional training on buyer issues. Check out the blog site, Active Rain. There are many knowledgeable agents giving good advice. The link below will take you to the ABR group on Active Rain.
0 votes
Susan Vander…, Agent, Lake Elsinore, CA
Tue Apr 22, 2008
It's interesting to read what my real estate colleagues say.

Why not use an agent?

I was a client a long time ago and fell into the trap of dealing with agents who were looking for a "quick buck."

From my bad experiences, I've been able to look at everything from the client's point of view. As a client, I would think, if this agent does not know what she's doing, I'm better at this than the agent, I can be my own agent. If that is what you feel, then maybe you should talk to a few more agents until you find someone you are comfortable with. Unless, of course, you find all of us agents just absolutely repulsive and hard-headed.

Many of us good agents look out for the best interests of our clients, regardless of what the pay turns out to be. Right everybody?

Whatever route you decide to take -- to "use "or "not use" an agent, you should be truthful because we all work on commission and time is valuable.

Oh, that's a reason you should have an agent working for you. Time. You save lots of time -- calling the "listing agent", scheduling appraisers, inspectors, title company, insurance company, no? I do that for all my clients unless they specifically say, "No, I'll call." We know that our clients work, or some pretend to work, during the day and just don't have time to make calls, return email messages or wait on the phone for answers. That's why an agent is helpful.

Another reason: You'll drive yourself crazy with the emotional roller coaster that you find you'll go through dealing with all these other people on your own. It's like trying to litigate your own case in court -- it gets difficult to separate yourself when you become emotionally involved with the transaction. A good agent acts as your representative and a buffer for you if something embarassing happens. That's right, we take the blame too (but there's a limit to any type of blame).
0 votes
Rhonda Fee, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Apr 19, 2008
This is a great question. I think many buyers think they can save money by purchasing a home without the aid of a Real Estate Professional. Here's the deal...when a listing agent takes a listing (enters into contract with a seller) the amount of commission to be paid for the transaction is set at that time. Unless the agent and the seller agree to a "dual-variable", the commission originally agreed upon will be paid to the listing agent alone if there is not a buyer’s agent in the transaction. If the seller agreed to a "dual-variable" that means in the event that the listing agent procures the buyer and represents both parties a pre arranged commission (a bit less than if there were a buyer's agent), is already set in place. Since the seller has already agreed to pay for YOUR buyer's agent, protect yourself and get representation! Sometimes a double ended transaction is appropriate; usually it's best to have someone watching out for you. You can liken it to a divorce. Sometimes one attorney can represent both parties and sometimes each party requires their own representation. Personally, I’d prefer knowing someone is working for me alone.
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0 votes
Wendy Feurde…, , 94546
Wed Apr 16, 2008
Why wouldn't you use an agent? The agent protects you and the seller pays for pay nothing. You would be doing yourself a serious dis service by doing that .
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Apr 6, 2008
Others here are likely to touch on all the pros to having an agent representing you as a buyer. Just to emphasize the other side of the question, there aren't any cons. It won't cost you anything, and it won't cost, or save, the seller anything (unless the seller is a FSBO). And C.J. made a good point about talking to your current agent and seeing if you can work out a deal on commissions if he/she handles both transactions.
0 votes
Meena Gujral, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Hi Dd,

You need an agent to look out for your best interest and make sure they can negotiate a good price on the property. Your agent will provide you with comparable properties that have sold in the area so that you are aware of the market conditions in that neighborhood and can determine the right price.

As CJ mentioned, you are not saving any money and the seller will not give you the credit that he may have paid in commission, so why would you not want someone working for you...

You don't have anything to lose but a lot to gain bu having your own representation.

If I can help in any way, please call me at 510-279-9580

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
40083 Mission Blvd
Fremont, Ca. 94539
0 votes
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