Thinking Of Buying a Home without Your Own Agent? Think Again!
Why Do You Need a Buyer’s Agent?
Real estate agents get calls from buyers all of the time, requesting that we show them homes that we have listed and many of which we aren’t the listing agents. These buyers don’t want to see ANY other properties, no matter how you insist that they view a ‘little something to compare!’
We ascertain that these buyers have been pre-approved with a lender, contacting the lender for confirmation.
We discuss the neighborhood, the property and what this property has that they are in search of, their immediate needs, their long-term goals and of course, what time to meet them at the property this afternoon.
Still, these buyers only want to see the ONE listing. I’ve even arrived at the property to show the buyers and for the longest time during our conversation, they think that I am the listing agent. When they discover that I’m not the person named “John” on the sign in the front yard, they have nothing else to discuss with me.
With IDX (listings that most agents in an area share) being used now by so many agents, often the buyer thinks that we are the listing agent because the home was found on our websites. Buyers reaize that they’re not dealing with the listing agent and are ready to bolt!
When I am representing the seller, and I am asked by these customers if I can only show them my listings, I engage them in a conversational review of the types of agency.
MANY buyers absolutely refuse to listen to advice about dual agency, saying that they “WANT to purchase from the listing agent so that they can SAVE MONEY!” After citing some horror stories, many look a bit worried but, others continue to “shop the listing agents!”
Three things that I don’t believe many buyers realize:
1. I often hear, “Well, we’ve purchased 7 homes so, we KNOW what we’re doing!” That’s fantastic! I’ve helped clients purchase hundreds of homes and no two purchase experiences are ever the same. However, the experienced agent will KNOW when they see a red-flag; the experienced agent can save you far more time and money than you can imagine!
2. In North Carolina, the sellers sign an agreement with the listing firm, offering a fee in the amount of _$_ to the firm to sell their home. That amount is divided between the two firms representing the buyer and the seller. Why would a buyer want to pay someone double the money and risk THEIR best interests when doing so? The listing documents are signed prior to that ‘for sale’ sign going up in the yard. What makes these buyers think that they’re going to find that perfect home in which not only the seller but, the real estate firm listing the property are willing to cut the cost of doing business?
3. Who is going to work with the buyer to get the due diligence done on the property that they’re about to purchase? Does the buyer REALLY think that the listing agent, who already has a relationship with the seller (could even be best friends, cousins, who knows?) is going to mention something that will run a buyer off such as the proposed landfill just around the corner? What about the planning meeting from last week, where the Board decided to assess all homeowners in the community with a fee to cover refinishing the community pool?
I know many agents who do dual agency. As much as I’ve learned of how to make dual agency work for me, I am more of an advocate that each party to the transaction have their own representation. I would rather both parties have someone in their corner, exclusively for them.