FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER FAQ #4: Do I Really Need a Realtor When I Can Do It Myself?

Do I Really Need a Realtor When I Can Do It Myself?

[HOT-BUTTON TOPIC ALERT! ]  There are many arguments on both sides of this representation fence.
This question NEVER ceases to amaze me.  My first response to the person who thinks or asks this is:

WHO HAS THE MOST TO LOSE IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?empty pockets

The buyer that is PAYING the money or the seller that is TAKING it?  *crickets* followed by *sheepish grin*

Right!  The buyer!  Why would you as a buyer fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars blindly to a seller?  Why would you consider using the same agent that is ALREADY CONTRACTED BY  SELLER TO GET THE HIGHEST AND BEST OFFER as your agent representation?  How does that same agent strategize and work relentlessly on your behalf to get you the most house, the best terms (i.e. have seller pay for closing costs, warranties, city/county transfer taxes, the most repairs performed) for the least amount of money out of the your pocket while at the SAME time getting the seller top dollar, highest and best offer, best terms (little to no monies paid for repairs, taxes, or closing costs, etc.)?  In my opinion, they can’t.  Read that again and tell me how you think it’s possible.

Also think about this.  Usually the seller has to live somewhere after they sell their home right?  Unless they are moving completely out of the area, who is most likely going to represent them in the purchase of their next home after your deal closes?  Do you think that agent is going to risk an immediate future deal and commission by AGGRESSIVELY and tenaciously fighting on your behalf?

NEUTRAL AGENT = LUKEWARM AGENT

Now with all of that said, can a listing agent sincerely represent both buyer and seller.  Yes. However, the agent then becomes a neutral party.  They cannot be protective and loyal to only you as buyer or seller, nor can they reveal any information of either party to the other side.  In my opinion, strategy goes right out the window.   If I’m representing the seller or buyer, I want and NEED to obtain and use all information at my disposal to benefit my client to get them top dollar if they are my seller or to have them pay the absolute minimum out-of-pocket if they are my buyer.  The best negotiations are built on the knowledge the agent has and how they use it in my opinion.

When you as a first-time homebuyer are spending your savings, pulling money out of a 401K, having mom and dad foot the bill for your down payment, followed by 30 years of your paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home, why on God’s green earth would you want to be represented by a neutral agent?  Isn’t that a watered down version of agent representation at best?

EXCELong Beach Realtor, Downey RealtorPTIONS:
1) In some SHORT SALE situations where both parties are at the mercy of the bank(s), I do not have a problem with a listing agent representing both buyer and seller because the main goal for both can be achieved as the primary goal of the agent in that situation is to get the seller out of their home with as few monetary repercussions as possible by the bank, while at the same time getting the buyer the best deal and terms allowed by the same bank(s).
2)  DESIGNATED AGENCY: when TWO different agents work for the same brokerage, but only represent one side of transaction.

WHAT IS IT CALLED WHEN THE LISTING AGENT REPRESENTS BOTH THE BUYER AND SELLER IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION:
DUAL AGENCY:  The listing agent (or brokerage)represents both the seller and buyer in the same real estate transaction.  Cons: Limited fudiciary duties to both sides. Dual agency is not legal in all 50 states.

When you need your own agent representation, do not hesitate to contact us at 310-508-4354 or visit our website at www.FirstTimeHomeBuyerRealEstate.com

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