If I have identified a home to buy and know how much I will pay, do I need a buyer agent?

Asked by Bobby118, 07728 Thu Jun 19, 2008

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Tim Churchwe…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Jun 19, 2008
Is the house listed with an agent? Will you be negotiating or do you think the house is reasonably priced? If you like the house and price, it can be beneficial to use the same agent as the paperwork becomes streamlined. However, keep in mind that unless the agent is working as a dual agent, and discloses that fact, then the agent is working for the seller. If you will be negotiating, then I suggest you have an agent represent your interest. Especially since the seller almost always pays the buyer's agent. So why not have your own representation?

If the seller does not have an agent, then you can probably save time, headache, and money by asking an agent to represent you. In many states, the agent has standard purchasing contracts and relationships with attorneys, title companies, etc. which can get you discounted fees and have one "central" person taking care of all the tasks involved. Also, even with for sale by owners, the sellers are almost always willing to pay the buyer's agent fee.
Web Reference:  http://www.tchurchwell.com
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Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Thu Jun 19, 2008

However, if the home is on the MLS the commission has already been set aside for the buyer's agent. I often hear the argument that the buyer will negotiate that away from the listing agent. This will rarely happen.

First, the listing contract is in writing so the seller is obligated to pay the entire commission regardless of what you offer. Second, if the listing agent (who has an existing relationship with the seller) is going to give anyone a discount on his commission, it will likely be the seller. Third, the listing agent will earn that commission becuase they will need to do the work that the buyer's agent normally would.

At the end of the day hiring a buyer's agent that you trust is free but it appears that you would prefer not to work with one so you will end up working the listing agent of the house you like. My guess is that next time you will hire your own buyer's agent but I have been wrong before. I hope that helps.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference:  http://www.campiper.com
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