I'm gonna do what is called bumping this thread and bringing it back to the top.
Some "Real Estate Pros" are real jackals. Err I mean Most "REP" are jackals. There are a few out there that are straight forward and nice. Now that the market is not moving as fast and furious as it was in the previous few years some of these REP's now have to work. What better way then trolling these forums and telling people what they want to hear. To quote Jack:
"Sigh... I remember during 2003 - 2006, there were realtors who kept upbidding, and even asking sellers - why is the price so low (the buyer's agent) - no I am not kidding. I saw it with my own eyes during an open house.
Remember, during every overbid, the realtor makes a lot of money - the only person who loses is the buyer.
In the Bay area, a realtor does not work. Period. People just buy what they can afford. I have yet to find a realtor who has the buyer's interest at heart. So asking questions like yours here, will simply solicit answers from already-too-rich-without-working realtors , who are just like used car salesmen.
do what you must based on your situation. It's as simple as that.
Asking a realtor if you should buy a house, is like asking a car salesman : should I buy a car?
That's their job. I personally cannot tolerate realtors.
Especially here in the BA.
People like me are highly educated, work hard,and these shmucks (most can't even speak English in the Bay Area) get a license, and drum up prices, sit back and count the dollars while buyers get screwed.
They are a necessary evil (since surprise - the seller's agent won't deal with you unless you have a realtor, though nowhere in California law does it say so)
so if you can get one you like, do the research on homes in the BA on the internet yourself, find what you can afford, and use the salesman to sign paperwork.
I am gonna say +1 to his comment.