Working directly with a listing agent is not always the best practice. Many Buyers feel that there is no difference between the do it yourself or buyer representation by a selling agent approach to shopping for a new home. Certainly this is perfectly legal and although I don’t recommend it, it is an acceptable practice by many. Today Buyers have many option when shopping for real estate, to mention a few, the internet, scanning neighborhoods by driving up and down streets, third party website like Zillow and Trulia, and the most recommendable, working with a professional who can properly inform the Buyer about market conditions and tailor a shopping experience and Buyer’s needs. Most importantly, this service is mostly free except for the occasional minor additional fee/commission charged by a Brokerage at closing (my Brokerage charges $390 only if there is a closing). According to general real estate practices the commission is charged to the Seller (not the Buyer). This commission rate is based on the listing agreement made with the listing Broker and the Seller at the time the property is listed. This commission is paid out whether the Buyer works directly with the listing agent or is working a Selling agent.
Working with a Selling agent has many advantages. Unlike a listing agent, a selling agent or often referred to as the Buyer’s agent will be at your side when viewing property, collecting information and comparing property value with one another. This process is vital when making reasonable offer. A Buyer’s agent must have current market information and a comprehensive understanding of the area the property is in. A Buyer’s agent is able to research market sale information, with unique tools and technology only available to Realtors ©. He or she must gather pertinent data on each of the properties on your shortlist. Only then, will the agent be able to, collectively with the Buyer, determine the accurate value of the choice home and make the offer. This is critical in today’s market in which Buyers compete with multiple offers for the same home. A Buyer may only get one chance to make the right offer. The offer must be competitive or the Buyer risks losing the property to another Buyer. A Buyer’s agent with good negotiation skills and knowledge of the immediate area the property is in, is critical to the Buyer making his or her best and most competitive offer for the desired home.
After the offer is accepted, the Buyer’s agent will continue to be at your side throughout the daunting process of the contract stage, fielding often critical decisions and tasks necessary for a successful closing. Decisions such as financing, inspections and finding the right real estate attorney are just a few areas a qualified and experienced agent can help he Buyer with.