Do I need a home buyers agent and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Asked by Gabbi, 11379 Fri Nov 23, 2012

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thesilkee1, Home Buyer, District of Columbia
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Unfortunately none of the answer is coming from non-agent people who bought the house. Agents obviously will encourage you to hire agents to keep their job market up.

My brain (probably falsely influenced by conspiracy attitude) does not understand the math.

If you have a buyer's agent and he is paid from sales then why should i not be skeptical that both of the agents ("buyer's and Seller's") will in fact like to see house being sold at high enough price so that they can get most out of it because their fee comes as % of sales price. So instead of 3% only for seller now sale price should also accommodate 3% for buyer's agent. Am I missing something ?
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"...keep in mind that a home is worth what the..." buyer's agent is willing to write an offer for.
Flag Sun Sep 25, 2016
I must correct that if commissions are fixed then agent will fight more ethically in favor of buyer.
Flag Thu Nov 14, 2013
This is exactly my point that commissions are negotiable between the seller and his/her agent and there are no set standards. If there are standards then agent will fight hard because his commission is fixed.
Now when you say the market dictates the price then you oversimplify it. Market dictates at broader levels. Market dictates if a house will cost a million dollar or half million on the basis of supply and demand. But when you are talking about paying 400K or 430 K then agents can put in function all different kinds of charm and tactics to make a buyer believe that he or she should buy it for 430K. BECAUSE there is no rational in these small brackets. An emotional buyer or a tired buyer or a fearful buyer or a lazy buyer will say what the heck it is only 50 dollars more per month in mortgage. Honestly I see no value of having a buyer's agent. But a risk you may end up paying bit more or even end up buying a wrong house because that clever "buyer's agent' convinced you for that.
Flag Thu Nov 14, 2013
The market dictates price, not the agents; keep in mind that a home is worth what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept. Also bear in mind that commissions are negotiable between the seller and his/her agent, there are no set standards.
Flag Wed Nov 13, 2013
Alison Rosen…, Agent, Sycamore, IL
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Try and get a personal referral from a coworker, friend or family. It's best to have a buyer's agent on your side to help negotiate and provide you with recent market comparables to assure you are getting the best price for the market. You can go to the listing agent direct if your state allows for dual agency representation. However, it's best to find an experience, highly recommended agent in your area. Good luck!
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thesilkee1, Home Buyer, District of Columbia
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Buyer's agent is also paid by seller or builder. Payment is around 3% of the selling price. SO.... no matter what side agent is presenting, he or she will be interested that you buy the house and cheaper you buy less he gets paid. Do the math.

Best person to represent you is YOU.
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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sun Nov 25, 2012
Absolutely you need a buyers agent and there are no disadvantages to your having one only advantages.

The listing agent represents the seller and while it's legal in nearly every State for the listing agent to work with you directly, if you and the Seller are foolish enough to permit this all you do is make the listing agent smile as they know their working with two suckers and they get to keep all the money. Dual Agency (one agent working both sides of the transaction) clearly presents a conflict of interest and essentially throws both Seller and Buyer to fend for themselves and the agent the only one well represented.

I've attached a link below to one of my most popular Blogs on Buyer Brokering and how to find a good Buyer Broker regardless of where you are looking for a home, I encourage you to read it and wish you good luck and happy house hunting.
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Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Sun Nov 25, 2012
Hi Gabbi: First off, congratulations! It's a great to time to buy! Prices are still low and so are the interest rates. Here's a question for you which may answer your original question: would you prefer to have an agent that works "with" you or "for" you? Many buyers feel that they will have an advantage if they contact the listing agent on each separate property working with the perception that that agent will somehow have the inside track on the property. One very important aspect of that relationship: the listing agent works for the seller and their job is to get the highest possible price on the property. A good buyer's agent should treat your purchase like it's their own purchase. They should advise a buyer of all the pros and cons on a particular property and through experience and common sense find you the home of your dreams at the best possible price. Good luck with your search. If you're not currently working with a Certified Buyer Representative, I would be pleased to assist you. My office is in the Smithtown area and I would be pleased to furnish you with references.
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Ellen Basile, Agent, East Northport, NY
Fri Nov 23, 2012
.....Let's start from square "one" Every agent upon your first meeting will produce an "Agency Disclosure" ...First thing you will see.It is a form from New York State-Department of State. The second thing you will see in bold letters-THIS IS NOT A CONTRACT-
It is simply the agent letting you know their relationship with you, the consumer...Every agent has the ability to represent the buyer or the seller in a transaction. If you are a buyer, you would want the agent to represent you and would check where it says "buyer's agent." You will receive a copy of the Agency Disclosure ...

I don't know if you're speaking about signing an "Exclusive Buyer" agency agreement...that is totally different...that is a contractual agreement where you are signing a contract to buy a home only with that agent...I believe it is done that way in some states. In New York, it is not customary. You can work with many agents, that are buyer's agents, without signing a contract.
Although, when you find a good fit you might choose to work with that agent...Good Luck in your search!
Ellen Basile
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Nov 23, 2012
You are free to work with whoever you like, but why not have an agent of your own; keep in mind that the commission is paid at closing, by the seller out of the proceeds of the sale; when two agents are involved in the transaction the commission is shared...
0 votes
"out of the proceeds" the buyer provides.
Flag Sun Sep 25, 2016
Thomas Brady, Agent, Plainview, NY
Fri Nov 23, 2012
Hi Gabbi, you don't have to use a buyer's agent, but I believe it's better for you; if you follow a few rules and choose carefully. If you go to an open house, the agent there will be a seller's agent. The seller's agent works for the seller and owes his loyalty and fidutiary responsibility to the seller, not you. If you tell a seller's agent your strategy or plan, they are bound to inform the seller as they are working for them, and in their best interest. If you have a buyer's agent they are working for you and can help you formulate a strategy to find the best deal for you, with making offers, comparables, and many other things; anything you say to them is confidential, they are working in your best interests.

The only two things I would recommend when working with a buyer's agent is 1. make sure they will take whatever the seller offers as their full compensation. 2. Do not sign an exclusivs agreement. Many buyer's agents won't work with you if you don't sign the exclusive agreement, but others will. The exclusive agreement binds you to that agent for the stipulated time period. If you get a lazy agent you'll be stuck, or if you and the agent just aren't on the same page you'll have to wait out the time period or reach an agreement with the agent you signed with.
Good luck.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
#1 Listing & Selling Brokerage in NY
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
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Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Fri Nov 23, 2012

Buyers might need to work with an agent who has their interest at hand.
A buyer's agent's goal is to find the best home available to meet their client's
needs. You will be able to save money or get better information if they do no
use a buyer's agent. This is simply not true.
Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
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Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Nov 23, 2012
First of all having a buyers agent is free to you the buyer, so let me ask why you would not want free professional help buying the most expensive thing you will ever own? That should answer your question.
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Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Fri Nov 23, 2012
Any Realtor can represent either the buyer or the seller.

The Seller's agent has a fidcuiary obligation to the seller to sell the house as quickly as possible for the highest price; they will not be working in your best interest.

if you have someone to represent you, that is what they should be doing...helping you to negotiate the price in your favor and making sure they guide you to find complete information on the condition and title of the property.

Commissions come out of the sales price; you will not have to put your hand in your pocket.

Please have someone representing your interests!!!!

If you need further assistance, contact us at or call us at 631-425-6150.
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