Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

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investing1012
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Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:05 pm

I'm looking to purchase a home in the 600k - 800k. Do I really need a buyers agent? Can't I just look up the listing agent on Zillow, have them show me the property, and then ask the seller to reduce the price of the home by an extra 2.5-3% since there will be no buyers agent?

I'm familiar with the process of buying and selling a home, since I've sold a small condo without an agent in the past.

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lthenderson
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:27 pm

investing1012 wrote:I'm looking to purchase a home in the 600k - 800k. Do I really need a buyers agent? Can't I just look up the listing agent on Zillow, have them show me the property, and then ask the seller to reduce the price of the home by an extra 2.5-3% since there will be no buyers agent?

I'm familiar with the process of buying and selling a home, since I've sold a small condo without an agent in the past.
You don't have to have a buyers agent. You can ask the listing agent to show you the property. You may be able to ask them to reduce the price since there is no buyers agent and as long as the selling agent didn't specify in their contract that they get the entire 5 or 6% if there was no buying agent.

The only thing I would caution is that since this is out of the norm for buying a house, people will look at you differently and usually not in a good way and in a bidding case, you may lose due to that. They will assume you are trying to get a lower price and not realize that you are saving them money too. 95% of the people just don't understand how the home buying process works.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:46 pm

There are programs to give buyers a "rebate" (e.g. a portion of the buyer's agent commission) for using buyer's agents who participate in the program. If you have such a program in your area, then using a buyer's agent is actually beneficial to you, since you get the rebate. You do sometimes get bad agents through such a program... I had to "fire" my first agent through the program I used because she was not working for me on multiple fronts. So make sure there's some way to "fire" a bad agent and ask for another agent if you do decide to participate in such a program.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by fishingmn » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:49 pm

investing1012 wrote:I'm looking to purchase a home in the 600k - 800k. Do I really need a buyers agent? Can't I just look up the listing agent on Zillow, have them show me the property, and then ask the seller to reduce the price of the home by an extra 2.5-3% since there will be no buyers agent?

I'm familiar with the process of buying and selling a home, since I've sold a small condo without an agent in the past.
Technically, that's not how it works (I'm an agent).

When the seller signed a listing contract they agreed to pay the brokerage a % of the sales price - period. This is often 5-6% but can certainly vary. The listing agent then agrees through MLS to cooperate with other brokers who bring them a buyer by giving that brokerage a % of the listing fee. This is often in that 2.5-3% range you cite.

If you wanted to do this you would need to approach the listing agent about a reduction in the commission paid. It would be their call, not the sellers. I highly doubt they would agree to the entire 2.5-3% but may do 1% (that's what I have done anyway). They still would potentially be assisting you with processing the sale. Technically, even though you may or may not sign a Buyer Representation Agreement with them you would still be using them as a Facilitator to process the sale on your behalf.

btenny
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by btenny » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:06 pm

You can try this but you may get a lot of kickback from the agent. Most agents work for brokers and the contract that most sellers sign specifies that full amount of the sales fee is payable on property sale regardless of the number of agents. And the broker wants both halves of the fee in your case and will try to get it. Plus big agencies with lots of agents have fee sharing agreements with the broker to spell out the fee sharing and broker fees. Basically there are lots of issues around that 6 per cent fee and cutting it is hard when there is a signed MLS listing agreement.

in my case I found that working with a buyers agents was better so we could travel around town and visit several homes (mostly ones I pre-selected) in a day to compare them. That saved us a lot of time and made our selection process easier. I am pretty sure you will have difficulties getting into lots of homes via the listing agents as they are busy doing other stuff. I found most agents preferred showing me multiple properties over a morning or afternoon. They don't like single showings. Plus in my area many listing agents don't do a lot of selling. They just know tons of people and list stuff.

So it is complicated. Good Luck with your search.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by btenny » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:19 pm

I also did not sign any buyer agreement with my agent. I just used her services and called her as needed to look at properties. We did a ton of sorting and looking on the internet for our last home with out our agent. We also did a lot of just driving around and looking and writing down home addresses without our agent. The key in my case was our agent was very familiar with my exact area. She knew exactly what homes sold for in my areas, what floor plans were in what subdivision and what homes were custom and so forth. She was just an area expert. Plus she was great negotiator. She helped us work though the negotiation process to get a good price that was below the listing price.

So I would look around your area for an area real estate agent expert to help you in your home buying process. Do not use a friend for this task. They will not help you as well as a area expert.

Good Luck.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Tigermoose » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:37 pm

So as a buyer, you do not normally have to pay a buyer agent? The fees come from the seller?
Institutions matter

investing1012
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:07 pm

Tigermoose wrote:So as a buyer, you do not normally have to pay a buyer agent? The fees come from the seller?
The fees are paid by the seller which I'm looking to see if I can get an extra 3% price reduction if I don't use a buyer's agent.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Tal- » Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:13 pm

Tal thinks you probably need a buyer's agent.

I hear your logic, and it sounds great on paper. On paper, the listing agent should be jumping over themselves to help, but that's not my experience.

I've dabbled in trying to buy without a buyer's agent before, and gotten a lot of push back. In short, if I could find the listing agent (not always easy), and get a return call (not easy), they would often opt to NOT show me the house. Instead, they would reference a future open house, or another agent who might help.

I've never got as far as an offer in this strategy, but I expect that the seller's agent/seller would only offer a modest decrease (1%?). They are highly unlikely to reduce it by the full buyer's agent commission (the agent will justify this by saying that you not having an agent will need additional hand-holding).

Either way, happy hunting!
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Onion » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:09 am

If you're open to having an agent, check out Hungry Agents. They will give you a rebate on the sale.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by jfn111 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:29 am

When you call the listing agent one of two things happen. The listing agent will happily show up and agree to work with you hoping for a "hogger". (That's where they get all, or most, the commission).
The second scenario is they will refer you to a teammate that's a Buyer's Agent (like moi) to keep an arms length separation.
In the first scenario keep in mind that you have no representation. The listing agent will be working for the seller and will happily make a bigger commission by acting as a Facilitator for you. This can often work out but review the contract carefully because they will be writing the offer with the seller in mind, not you. :sharebeer

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:04 am

One thing to keep in mind. A real estate agent whether a seller's agent or a buyer's agent really only work for themselves. Oh sure, they nominally have a fiduciary duty (Accounting, Care, Confidentiality, Disclosure, Loyalty and Obedience). Don't assume this means they won't throw you under the bus in the pursuit of commissions. A lot of them make Edward Jones advisors and used car salesmen look like pillars of virtue.

Now a majority of them may take their responsibilities seriously and will work diligently and tirelessly on your behalf. However, always consider their potential motivations when listening to them. This is especially true during negotiations. Assume anything you tell a buyer's agent will be shared with the seller's agent/seller and vice versa. For example, don't ever tell a buyers agent something like my offer is $240K, but I'm willing to go to $$250K

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:14 am

I did what you're trying to do. the experience that was so bad using a sellers agent that it involved a long drawn out legal battle.

Do not take shortcuts in real estate. It's a huge transaction and complicated process that will effect you financially for the rest of your life. The Realtor on the other end has no responsibility to you, and not everyone in this game is ethical. Protect yourself as much as possible.

kjv

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Auream » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:28 am

Pretty good comments here so far and I agree with most. Its unfortunate, but in my experience it seems that listing agents are next to useless. So as an unrepresented buyer, if you try to engage with them, they will not want to waste their time with you, and will think that you are not serious since you don't have your own agent. If that was MY listing agent, (as the seller) I'd be pissed that they aren't doing their job fielding all interested parties. But I suppose most sellers don't know or don't care.

In my experience, the best option is to go with a good agent who is offering a rebate. 1% is common, but you might be able to get even more than that. On my last house purchase a few years ago, I worked with an agent, an older guy who ran his own brokerage (no employees and nobody who he had to share commission with) who rebated 1%. He knew the area really well and was extremely familiar with the local practices, forms, gotchas, etc. I'd say he was far better than the "average" agent, despite giving a 1% rebate. Your best bet would probably be to find someone like that.
Last edited by Auream on Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hypersion
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Hypersion » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:41 am

If you're in a Buyer's market you might able to get away with this but in a multi offer seller's market you don't want to be the odd man out with no buyer's agent.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Onion » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:00 am

Auream wrote:
In my experience, the best option is to go with a good agent who is offering a rebate. 1% is common, but you might be able to get even more than that. On my last house purchase a few years ago, I worked with an agent, an older guy who ran his own brokerage (no employees and nobody who he had to share commission with) who rebated 1%. He knew the area really well and was extremely familiar with the local practices, forms, gotchas, etc. I'd say he was far better than the "average" agent, despite giving a 1% rebate. Your best bet would probably be to find someone like that.
I should have added this in my last post, in which I recommended HA, but we did the same. I have used HA, but during our last home purchase we went with a two-person family business and we were given a 1.5% rebate. That realtor was the best we've had to date.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:33 am

For one thing, Zillow is not a home listing site. It shows things that aren't even for sale and often has dated and inaccurate information. Try Redfin.

Agents will probably not take you seriously and will want to get the whole 5-6% commission themselves. They will have to do extra work as you don't have an agent to do certain things. They also know when an agent brings a client, they are usually pre-screened to at least some degree. They will ask if you are pre-approved and gauge how serious you are based on their interactions with you over time. A seller's agent has no clue and will discount you typically.

I would use RedFin if they are in the area you are looking. You will get a kickback, and they will handle everything the buyer's agent is supposed to do.

You can give your idea a try on a few properties, but I think it won't work and the seller's agent will dismiss you.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by William104 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:01 pm

I've encountered very few people who actually know enough about the real estate transaction processes to say they should represent themselves. Too much can go wrong throughout the process if you don't know what you are doing. List agents are typically hesitant to do this as they know they will end up doing all of your work as well since you don't know what you are doing. Find a list agent, ask for a 1% reduction in commissions for them to be a dual agent, and go from there. If the list agent won't go for it, ask around for experienced buyers agents to offer a rebate.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:43 pm

Once you decide you want to make a bid, just ask the agent privately if they would give you some sort of rebate if the sale goes through. You hold the cards before you make any bid. Maybe ask for a 1 to 2% rebate on the total selling price, depending on the situation. This leaves the agency with a
4% to 5% commision, which is reasonable. But be prepared to walk away if they say no since you can't pursue this particular property elsewhere.

investing1012
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:36 pm

Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:42 pm

William104 wrote:Find a list agent, ask for a 1% reduction in commissions for them to be a dual agent, and go from there. If the list agent won't go for it, ask around for experienced buyers agents to offer a rebate.
To my understanding, a if you approach a listing agent to buy, they cannot be a "dual agent", but only a transaction facilitator. This is a different standard of liability.

I will never buy real estate again without a competent agent AND attorney involved on my end.

investing1012
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:44 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
William104 wrote:Find a list agent, ask for a 1% reduction in commissions for them to be a dual agent, and go from there. If the list agent won't go for it, ask around for experienced buyers agents to offer a rebate.
To my understanding, a if you approach a listing agent to buy, they cannot be a "dual agent", but only a transaction facilitator. This is a different standard of liability.

I will never buy real estate again without a competent agent AND attorney involved on my end.
I've definitely sold a real estate successfully with no agent and came out ahead. I would of course make sure a good title agency is involved but other than that you don't need a real estate agent (they're actually not liable for anything and state that in their documents).

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Auream » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:52 pm

investing1012 wrote:Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.
I should have tempered my comments a bit. Some listing agents are great and are happy to show the house to anyone. I've found that something like 50% of the houses I wanted to see, though, did not have a great agent. They hemmed and hawed and tried to get out of showing the house, or said something like "Oh you don't have an agent? OK I'll set you up with one of the buyer's agents in my office!" and refused to just do a showing with an unrepresented buyer. At that point, if I had wanted to make an offer, I would have effectively had a buyer's agent forced down my throat (they'd have a claim for procuring cause to get a commission on that house if I let that buyer's agent show me the house).

So after having that happen too many times, I just got my own (rebating) agent. Even then, there were a couple times where I wanted to see a house while my agent was out of town. The listing agent just flat-out refused to show me the house and said I'd have to wait until my buyer's agent got back in town. If the listing agent REFUSES to actually show anyone the house, what exactly are they doing?

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:56 pm

investing1012 wrote:
kjvmartin wrote:
William104 wrote:Find a list agent, ask for a 1% reduction in commissions for them to be a dual agent, and go from there. If the list agent won't go for it, ask around for experienced buyers agents to offer a rebate.
To my understanding, a if you approach a listing agent to buy, they cannot be a "dual agent", but only a transaction facilitator. This is a different standard of liability.

I will never buy real estate again without a competent agent AND attorney involved on my end.
I've definitely sold a real estate successfully with no agent and came out ahead. I would of course make sure a good title agency is involved but other than that you don't need a real estate agent (they're actually not liable for anything and state that in their documents).
This could vary by state, but in some states there's a realtor disclosure form that they're required to present prior to dealing with a customer. They can select buyers agent, sellers agent, dual agent, or transaction facilitator. It explains whose interest thy are looking out for. If they then somehow betray your interests to the other party, or do not provide someone with this form in advance, they can be held to a penalty by the local Realtor board and/or state licensing agency. You're coming from a sellers perspective or a no realtor on either side of the deal. The OP is a buyer where the seller is using a listing agent.

kjv

jalbert
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by jalbert » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:58 pm

I think the most likely behavior of a listing agent approached by an unrepresented buyer by far would be to show the buyer the listed house, and then try to recruit the buyer as a client if the buyer did not want to purchase the listed house.

investing1012
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:59 pm

Auream wrote:
investing1012 wrote:Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.
If the listing agent REFUSES to actually show anyone the house, what exactly are they doing?
Lookup the owner on the tax asessors website and contact the owner directly and let him know his agent is refusing to show the property.

BW1985
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by BW1985 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:03 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:For one thing, Zillow is not a home listing site. It shows things that aren't even for sale and often has dated and inaccurate information. Try Redfin.

Agents will probably not take you seriously and will want to get the whole 5-6% commission themselves. They will have to do extra work as you don't have an agent to do certain things. They also know when an agent brings a client, they are usually pre-screened to at least some degree. They will ask if you are pre-approved and gauge how serious you are based on their interactions with you over time. A seller's agent has no clue and will discount you typically.

I would use RedFin if they are in the area you are looking. You will get a kickback, and they will handle everything the buyer's agent is supposed to do.

You can give your idea a try on a few properties, but I think it won't work and the seller's agent will dismiss you.
Seller's agent would be foolish to dismiss any potential buyer interested in making an offer unless it's a hot market and they already have other offers.
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:30 pm

BW1985 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:For one thing, Zillow is not a home listing site. It shows things that aren't even for sale and often has dated and inaccurate information. Try Redfin.

Agents will probably not take you seriously and will want to get the whole 5-6% commission themselves. They will have to do extra work as you don't have an agent to do certain things. They also know when an agent brings a client, they are usually pre-screened to at least some degree. They will ask if you are pre-approved and gauge how serious you are based on their interactions with you over time. A seller's agent has no clue and will discount you typically.

I would use RedFin if they are in the area you are looking. You will get a kickback, and they will handle everything the buyer's agent is supposed to do.

You can give your idea a try on a few properties, but I think it won't work and the seller's agent will dismiss you.
Seller's agent would be foolish to dismiss any potential buyer interested in making an offer unless it's a hot market and they already have other o
ffers.
There are legal issues. A licensed agent is entitled to BOTH sides of the commission if another agent isn't involved. It is part of the contract. The standard contract would need to be modified to account for a kickback to the buyer from the seller and a reduction in the commission to the seller's agent. The seller's agent is not really beholden to giving the buyer anything based on the standard contract. There may need to be a side contract or the seller himself agreeing to give the money to the buyer.

You think they would be foolish to dismiss them, but people that have been in the business know when they are wasting their time. They also don't want to do more work for the same money. It is true if a property is sitting there and there is no interest, they will probably be more willing to deal with you. Keep in mind, the seller's agent is the gatekeeper. They don't need to report your proposition to the seller (unless it is a formal offer in writing).

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:56 pm

The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb (hence all the stay at home moms being real estate agents on the side) can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:58 pm

investing1012 wrote:The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms.
That is standard. No one changes that in the contract. At least where I live. Why do you think the seller's agent is having open houses and hoping to get an unrepresented buyer?

investing1012
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:59 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
investing1012 wrote:The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms.
That is standard. No one changes that in the contract. At least where I live. Why do you think the seller's agent is having open houses and hoping to get an unrepresented buyer?
Ok so this may be for the state that you live, for the state I live, the buyer has to agree with the terms.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by BW1985 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:28 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:For one thing, Zillow is not a home listing site. It shows things that aren't even for sale and often has dated and inaccurate information. Try Redfin.

Agents will probably not take you seriously and will want to get the whole 5-6% commission themselves. They will have to do extra work as you don't have an agent to do certain things. They also know when an agent brings a client, they are usually pre-screened to at least some degree. They will ask if you are pre-approved and gauge how serious you are based on their interactions with you over time. A seller's agent has no clue and will discount you typically.

I would use RedFin if they are in the area you are looking. You will get a kickback, and they will handle everything the buyer's agent is supposed to do.

You can give your idea a try on a few properties, but I think it won't work and the seller's agent will dismiss you.
Seller's agent would be foolish to dismiss any potential buyer interested in making an offer unless it's a hot market and they already have other o
ffers.
There are legal issues. A licensed agent is entitled to BOTH sides of the commission if another agent isn't involved. It is part of the contract. The standard contract would need to be modified to account for a kickback to the buyer from the seller and a reduction in the commission to the seller's agent. The seller's agent is not really beholden to giving the buyer anything based on the standard contract. There may need to be a side contract or the seller himself agreeing to give the money to the buyer.

You think they would be foolish to dismiss them, but people that have been in the business know when they are wasting their time. They also don't want to do more work for the same money. It is true if a property is sitting there and there is no interest, they will probably be more willing to deal with you. Keep in mind, the seller's agent is the gatekeeper. They don't need to report your proposition to the seller (unless it is a formal offer in writing).
Right, so the seller's agent would have to agree to the commission credit and modify the contract, understood & doable. Everything is negotiable in real estate, no? I don't see why they would dismiss it, the agents I've dealt with all want to reach a deal as soon as possible. If the agent/broker choose not to be flexible than you could just walk and find one who will, they're out there.

Just because you choose not to bring a buyer's agent and request a credit in lieu does not mean you're wasting anyone's time. I'd say chances are they're a more serious buyer because they've done their homework, found the house themselves and know enough about how this game works to request a commission credit.
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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Auream » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:12 pm

BW1985 wrote:Just because you choose not to bring a buyer's agent and request a credit in lieu does not mean you're wasting anyone's time. I'd say chances are they're a more serious buyer because they've done their homework, found the house themselves and know enough about how this game works to request a commission credit.
Agreed that it should work like that IN THEORY, but in practice it rarely does. I suppose its at least partly because most listing agents have rarely or never experienced having a knowledgable, unrepresented buyer on the other side, and don't really know what to do, so they fall back to the easy option (like "I'll just set you up with another agent from my office, it'll be much easier!")

They also may fear legal issues as their contract is with the seller, then suddenly you're asking them to rebate back a portion of their commission to the buyer, etc. Its all doable, but it isn't straightforward and agents really don't like things that aren't straightforward and can't just be done by checking a box on the standard form.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by slow n steady » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:24 pm

I am in the middle of buying a townhome where I have done this. When looking at the place, I asked the realtor if she was open to the idea of crediting the buyers back 2% so I could offer a lower amount and they would get more money. The realtor also wins by getting 4%. It's working out so far.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by stan1 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:09 pm

slow n steady wrote:I am in the middle of buying a townhome where I have done this. When looking at the place, I asked the realtor if she was open to the idea of crediting the buyers back 2% so I could offer a lower amount and they would get more money. The realtor also wins by getting 4%. It's working out so far.
You may have found a naive seller which poses an opportunity for you. Seller should have negotiated a 1.5% or 2% commission for the listing agent rather than 3%. Had they done that the realtor would not have been able to rebate you 2% back.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by jfn111 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:40 pm

investing1012 wrote:The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb (hence all the stay at home moms being real estate agents on the side) can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms.
What planet are you living on? :shock:

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by stan1 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:51 pm

investing1012 wrote:The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb (hence all the stay at home moms being real estate agents on the side) can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms.
It doesn't work entirely that way in my state. The seller signs a listing contract with the listing agent that identifies commissions for the listing agent AND the buyer's agent. Both commissions are built into the price of the house. There's nothing for the buyer to agree to. What you can do is find a buyer's agent who agrees to rebate part of her commission (unless you live in a state that bans such rebates). Or, during negotiations you can ask the seller to reduce the asking price if realtor agrees to a lower commission.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:58 pm

investing1012 wrote:
Auream wrote:
investing1012 wrote:Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.
If the listing agent REFUSES to actually show anyone the house, what exactly are they doing?
Lookup the owner on the tax asessors website and contact the owner directly and let him know his agent is refusing to show the property.
Something tells me that might not work out too nicely.... like the fact you're bypassing the agent to "rat" him or her out directly to the owner, who presumably has an agent because he or she does not want to be randomly called about the house for sale. Or that it has a bit of a stalker-ish vibe... even though you're only using public information, that just isn't a normal real estate interaction.

Besides, such an action would completely kill your chance at actually making an offer on the house. It's not like the owner is going to respond with "Thanks for the heads-up bro. That agent was totally calling it in. How much you want to offer?" You'd be lucky if you just got a "who are you and how did you get this number?"

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by investing1012 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
investing1012 wrote:
Auream wrote:
investing1012 wrote:Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.
If the listing agent REFUSES to actually show anyone the house, what exactly are they doing?
Lookup the owner on the tax asessors website and contact the owner directly and let him know his agent is refusing to show the property.
Something tells me that might not work out too nicely.... like the fact you're bypassing the agent to "rat" him or her out directly to the owner, who presumably has an agent because he or she does not want to be randomly called about the house for sale. Or that it has a bit of a stalker-ish vibe... even though you're only using public information, that just isn't a normal real estate interaction.

Besides, such an action would completely kill your chance at actually making an offer on the house. It's not like the owner is going to respond with "Thanks for the heads-up bro. That agent was totally calling it in. How much you want to offer?" You'd be lucky if you just got a "who are you and how did you get this number?"
Pretty sure no one wants to give up 6% of their property value. They're more likely to thank me and work out a deal directly :p

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:50 am

investing1012 wrote:Pretty sure no one wants to give up 6% of their property value. They're more likely to thank me and work out a deal directly :p
Contractually, they're still on hook for that 6% until the agreement with the listing agent expires. In the meanwhile, the carrying costs may consume a good portion of that 6% and they're not going to pass over other offers just to wait until they're able to make one with you.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Leemiller » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:49 am

Auream wrote:
investing1012 wrote:Actually I disagree on the commentators who say that the listing agent is useless. All the listing agents have showed me the home on the same day that I requested the home to be shown.
I should have tempered my comments a bit. Some listing agents are great and are happy to show the house to anyone. I've found that something like 50% of the houses I wanted to see, though, did not have a great agent. They hemmed and hawed and tried to get out of showing the house, or said something like "Oh you don't have an agent? OK I'll set you up with one of the buyer's agents in my office!" and refused to just do a showing with an unrepresented buyer. At that point, if I had wanted to make an offer, I would have effectively had a buyer's agent forced down my throat (they'd have a claim for procuring cause to get a commission on that house if I let that buyer's agent show me the house).

So after having that happen too many times, I just got my own (rebating) agent. Even then, there were a couple times where I wanted to see a house while my agent was out of town. The listing agent just flat-out refused to show me the house and said I'd have to wait until my buyer's agent got back in town. If the listing agent REFUSES to actually show anyone the house, what exactly are they doing?
Your buyer's agent was the problem, professional agents always set up a back up to handle any business when they leave town for a percentage of any deal that does through.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Leemiller » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:55 am

From an agent's perspective many don't want to work with buyers because they are a pain. They don't know what they want and take lots of time and hand holding. Also, in my market there are agents that specialize in neighborhoods and when they get a new listing they already have a list of interested potential buyers before the property hits the market. Instead of focusing on the minor 1-2% of the cost you'd be better off leaving the agent's fee of the table and trying to get 5-10% from the owner.

Ps I'm not in real estate but grew up around the business. If the fee model changes, then it may move to more of an hourly rate type of business. I've seen it go both ways, tons of work for nothing or for a commission vs very little work for big money.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by queso » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:52 am

I have started to see other options in my area rather than the 3% listing/3% buying that was the norm for years. I'm not sure what to make of them yet myself, but I have a friend using RedFin right now so it will be interesting to get her feedback once she finishes the process.

https://www.redfin.com/why-redfin-how-you-save

http://www.glasshousere.com/

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by Auream » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:00 am

Leemiller wrote:Your buyer's agent was the problem, professional agents always set up a back up to handle any business when they leave town for a percentage of any deal that does through.
Sounds like an excuse for laziness. If I was paying 5-6% to a listing agent to sell my house, they better be showing any and all interested parties, even if it requires them to actually *gasp* go and show the house to someone.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by jfn111 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:39 am

Auream wrote:
Leemiller wrote:Your buyer's agent was the problem, professional agents always set up a back up to handle any business when they leave town for a percentage of any deal that does through.
Sounds like an excuse for laziness. If I was paying 5-6% to a listing agent to sell my house, they better be showing any and all interested parties, even if it requires them to actually *gasp* go and show the house to someone.
You forgot to include "qualified" parties. As soon as an agent unlocks the door to an occupied house they're on the hook if something goes missing. I'm not taking anyone through a house unless I know they're pre-qualified and can afford to buy the house.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:06 am

I think you have gotten some good advice. Like I said before, you can give it a try, but I doubt it will work well.

Another thing is, the owner will know you are getting 2-3% off the commission and may just not lower the price as much as they would have otherwise.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by BW1985 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:16 am

michaeljc70 wrote:I think you have gotten some good advice. Like I said before, you can give it a try, but I doubt it will work well.

Another thing is, the owner will know you are getting 2-3% off the commission and may just not lower the price as much as they would have otherwise.
That 2-3% is gone in the contract either way, regardless if it goes to an agent or to the buyer. Not a valid negotiating tactic IMO. I suppose it all comes down to how hot the market is. In a normal market there are plenty of other properties, the leverage is with the buyer.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by William104 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:05 am

kjvmartin wrote:
William104 wrote:Find a list agent, ask for a 1% reduction in commissions for them to be a dual agent, and go from there. If the list agent won't go for it, ask around for experienced buyers agents to offer a rebate.
To my understanding, a if you approach a listing agent to buy, they cannot be a "dual agent", but only a transaction facilitator. This is a different standard of liability.

I will never buy real estate again without a competent agent AND attorney involved on my end.
Sorry, I meant "limited" agent instead of dual agent. And yes, competant and experienced agent makes a world of difference.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by goingup » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:20 am

We use a local agent and have been looking to trade up in our area for over a year. She is invaluable. Here's a sampling of things she has told us about various properties:

-"This one has septic issues and that is the reason it has been on the market so long. The repairs will probably cost $XX,000"
-"A new home is slated to be built in front of this property. It will likely destroy your view of the water."
-"This one had a geo report done 10 years ago, but another realtor in my office had an inspector look at the foundation and his client passed."

She also has tells us immediately when a property is getting listed. We trust her reputation and she has proven she isn't just trying to wedge us into a new home. I think a good realtor, who is truly your advocate, is worth every penny.

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Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

Post by jfn111 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:51 am

goingup wrote:We use a local agent and have been looking to trade up in our area for over a year. She is invaluable. Here's a sampling of things she has told us about various properties:

-"This one has septic issues and that is the reason it has been on the market so long. The repairs will probably cost $XX,000"
-"A new home is slated to be built in front of this property. It will likely destroy your view of the water."
-"This one had a geo report done 10 years ago, but another realtor in my office had an inspector look at the foundation and his client passed."

She also has tells us immediately when a property is getting listed. We trust her reputation and she has proven she isn't just trying to wedge us into a new home. I think a good realtor, who is truly your advocate, is worth every penny.
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