Should a Buyers agent be considered?

Asked by Theodora Diggs, Brooklyn, NY Thu Nov 5, 2009

I am in the market for a Condo and I have recently seen one that I am in love with. Should I look for a buyers agent to assist with the offers and negotiations or should I deal directly with the listing agent. My concern be it relevant or not, is that the listing agent may have their own agenda on the price negotiations based on the commission.

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Ron Trzcinski, Agent, Aberdeen, SD
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Get a Buyer's Agent. Since the condo is listed, the Seller most likely has agreed in his listing agreement to pay the Buyer's Agent's Commission. The Buyer's Agent would have a fiduciary responsibility to you, the Buyer, whereas the Listing Agent would not have that same fiduciary responsibility, but only the responsibility to treat you fairly.
1 vote
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Fri Jan 8, 2010
It is always to your advantage as a buyer to have a buyer's agent vs. dealing directly with a listing agent. Even though it seems you have already located a property, it is always helpful to have a professional in your corner. A good agent will negotiate for you, link you to good mortgage people and attorney and deal with all the little bumps in the road that seem to come up in almost every deal these days. Any good agent, however, to address part of your question, should not be looking out for their commission but rather for the best interests of their client. That is our fiduciary responsibility.

Hope this helps.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Since it has been a couple of months since this was posted...

Did you use a buyers agent? How has the house hunting gone for you?
0 votes
Caroline Gos…, Agent, Short Hills, NJ
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Absolutely! You need someone on your side that owes you (and no one else) fiduciary duties. Negotiations can be tricky and it is always better to have a buffer in place. Your agent, if skilled, may very likely be able to negotiate a better price for the property. I would also highly recommend hiring a real estate attorney to look over the contract. They usually charge a flat fee for a closing.

Good luck!
Caroline Gosselin
Realtor / Associate
Coldwell Banker
Cell: (973) 985-6117
Ask me about the First Time Homebuyer’s Federal Tax Credit... it runs out in April!
0 votes
Rhonda Holt, Agent, New York, NY
Sat Jan 2, 2010
Hello, I see you answered your own question. You are correct when you say that you should always have someone represent you and have your best interests at heart. The thing is you need to introduce your agent to this process before you even put in an offer because the listing agent may think this person is coming in on his or her deal to late. If you wait to long you may have to pay an agent to represent you throughout the process.

Rhonda Holt
Full Time Top Sales Agent
Weichert Realtors,H.P Greenfield
1712 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11234
Cell: 646-725-5941
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0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Nov 7, 2009
This question comes up quite a lot, and I think the correct answer is somewhat more nuanced than a simple, resounding, "Yes!"
The best time to get a buyer's agent is when you're shopping. Putting aside the benefits of having experienced agents show you property, you also get them involved in your success - they're assured that they'll get paid if they can land you a place that fits your needs, and they develop a pretty good sense of what your tolerances are.
If you run out and get an agent now, you put them in the position where they're essentially being hired to get you THIS deal, and the best way to do that is to get you to pay full price and terms, which you can do on your own. Remember - they don't get paid if you don't buy The One That You Love. And their loyalty to you will be perfunctory; there's no assurance you can give them that if they mess this up for you, you'll let them represent you in the future.
You know how taxis hate long hauls? They make their money on the drop, and so do real estate agents - the listing agent isn't motivated by three or even six percent of even a $100,000 as much as they are by getting paid for the sale closing.
Knowing what I know as a 15-year professional, I'd take my chances with the listing agent. It isn't ideal, but neither is going out to find a hired gun.
0 votes
Stephanie K, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Fri Nov 6, 2009
YES! You should find youself a good buyers agent ! Please read all the way through to find access to a list of Accredited Buyers Representatives in your area.

What is a buyer’s representative?
Defined most simply, a buyer’s representative (also buyer’s rep, or buyer’s agent) is an advocate for the buyer—not the seller—in a real estate transaction. Real estate laws and regulations vary from state to state, but buyer’s representatives usually owe full fiduciary (legal) duties, including loyalty and confidentiality, to their buyer-clients and work in their clients’ best interests throughout the entire transaction.

What services are provided by a buyer’s representative?
If you’ve established an agency relationship with a buyer’s representative, common services include:

*Helping you clarify your priorities.
*Suggesting sources of financing and other service professionals, such as inspectors and exterminators.
*Providing sources of accurate and lawful information on neighborhoods, schools, and communities.
*Selecting and arranging property showings.
*Evaluating particular properties.
*Explaining forms and agreements.
*Suggesting contract contingencies to protect you, rather than the seller.
*Assisting in the negotiations for a favorable price and terms.
*Keeping all information confidential that could weaken your bargaining position.
*Monitoring the entire purchase process, assisting with issues that arise through closing.

To find an Accredited Buyer's Representative in your area, use the link below. All of the information in my answer came directly from the website.

Good Luck in your search!
Stephanie Kelley, ABR, CRS, GRI
0 votes
Alen Moshkov…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Hi Theodora,

Why not? It's an no cost to you to have somene represent you on your purchase. We negotiate for a living.

I'll be happy to work with you, I live in Park Slope and lived in Brooklyn for the past 18 years.

0 votes
Susan Long, Agent, Greenwood, IN
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Theodora, You should have an Agent representing you in any transaction. As your agent they can advise you on price negotiations due to their knowledge of the current sales prices in the neighborhood. They can help you with your home inspections, Cl 100 inspection and can help make sure you are getting the best interest rates with the lowest closing costs based on your personal financial needs.
0 votes
Tonja Ward, Agent, Milford, OH
Thu Nov 5, 2009
You absolutely need a buyer agent to represent your best interest. Try to find one that specializes in the area you are looking.
0 votes
Neal Brown, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Yes get a Buyers agent .I would like to add to these great answers.Your buyers agent will be able to verify and assist you in learning if the condo is on approved lending list for F.H.A. financing.He/She will proctect you from charges for delayed closing that do occur in yhis market.
0 votes
Josh Smiling, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Theodora a buyers agent is KEY to ensuring your interests are represented in ANY and ALL aspects of your transaction, most importantly......during the price and offer negotiation. As a condo buyer in Brooklyn, there are sure to me more than one buyer interested in the unit. You need an agent that can make certain that your interests are represented in the offer, while still be competitive. It doesnt cost you any money up front to insure this piece of mind, just a signature on a buyers brokerage agreement. Certainly worth your consideration to hire a buyer broker.

Best of luck in your search. I incidently function predominantly as a buyers representative so if you havent selected an agent yet, or have any questions please feel free to call. I have been involved in Brookl Real Estate for more than ten years.

Be well

Josh Smiling
Principal Broker
Smiling Realty
917 807 7942
Web Reference:
0 votes
Kelly Putz, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Sort of like in the Miranda Rights "if you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you" - if you don't come in with your own Buyer's Agent, one will be assigned to you from within the Listing Agent's company. If it's another agent, it's called Dual Designation - meaning two agents under the same broker. However, sometimes this can be the same agent , called Dual Agency, in which the Listing Agent does both sides of the deal. This is legal in most states, but does create a conflict of interest, because no matter what their fiduciary duties are to you as the buyer - their first duty is to the seller.

Also, if you are a first time homebuyer, you may not know that YOUR buyer's agents fees are paid by the seller out of the proceeds of the sale of their home, meaning nothing extra out of your pocket for the peace-of-mind of having your own agent. Hope this helps in making your decision.
0 votes
Shawna Turner, , Knoxville, TN
Thu Nov 5, 2009
You should absolutely have a buyer's rep. The lising agent works for the SELLER and the seller only. There is no way to truly be an agent for both parties where price negotiation is concerned. That is considered dual agency and in some states it is strictly forbidden. For your own peace of mind, get representation.
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Sandra Lewan…, Agent, Town of Islip, NY
Thu Nov 5, 2009
You should absolutely look for a buyers agent, they have your best interest on obtaining the best sale price. The buyers agents responsibility is to you not the sellers. The listing agents fiduciary dutys are with the seller, to get them the best possible offer. If you are looking on Long Island, I would be happy to help you or I can refer you to our closer office near Brooklyn.
0 votes
Kirk Dirksen, , Sioux Falls, SD
Thu Nov 5, 2009
I would strongly recomend that you get a buyers agent to assist you. The listing agent is not allowed to help you in the negotiations because of the contract that they have with the seller. However, if you have a buyers rep. they will be able to pull comps for you and help you determine what to offer.
0 votes
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