If you are looking for a home, please take advantage of our free MLS access via the IDX links available at our agent’s pages here.
As you do, please take a minute to understand the importance of having a buyer’s agent representing your interests and how it is possible to ensure that your buyer’s agent is paid by the listing agent, not you.
Many buyers assume that by not hiring a buyers’ agent they will save money and help the transaction run smoothly because there is only one agent involved (the listing agent) instead of two. Many times, the opposite is true. The transaction may indeed move more quickly; but that is saying nothing about saving you money or ensuring that the sale is arranged in a manner that benefits and protects you the buyer.
Somebody on your side
While it is possible for the listing agent to represent both the seller and the buyer, it generally does not produce the best scenario for the buyer. Many times in this situation, the buyer is assuming that the listing agent is working for them, when, in fact, the listing agent already has a contract with and a fiduciary responsibility to the seller!
The buyer is obtaining recommendations and making significant real estate decisions from the real estate professional that is representing someone with largely opposing interests, the seller. The direct contact to the listing agent creates a potential conflict of interest for the listing agent that they may not explain in detail because of their fiduciary responsibility to the seller.
Are you really saving money?
All commission structures are negotiable, and every transaction is unique in how commissions are determined.
That being said, consider a transaction where the seller negotiates and pays the listing agent’s brokerage a commission. In this example, also consider that generally the listing agent secures the sellers’ approval (in the listing contract) to pay a portion of this commission to a buyers’ agent or sub-agent brokerage for assistance in facilitating the sale. The listing agent’s brokerage keeps a portion of the commission and pays a portion to the buyers’ agent’s brokerage. Regardless of any possible total or split commission amounts, the seller is essentially paying the buyers’ agent their commission… not you the buyer!
Also, if the buyer purchases the home without buyer representation, the listing agent will, in most cases, receive the entire unsplit commission (both halves from our example above). The savings that were expected by not hiring a buyers’ agent will likely not materialize because the total commission is paid either way. The seller has already agreed to give a certain negotiated commission to the listing agent regardless of whether or not the buyer has representation.
Buyers, as you view listings via the MLS system please keep in mind, it may not be in your best interest to contact the listing agent directly. Rather, contact the real estate professional that you trust the most to represent you as a Buyer.
When you are preparing to move, there are many details to occupy your attention outside of the process of selling your home.
You should enlist the service of an agent with whom you are most comfortable, and that can make the process less of a burden in your time of a transition.
When considering potential candidates to list your home, consider these questions:
1. Does this agent make me feel comfortable in making decisions, or do they make me feel pressured or anxious?
You will have many more decisions to make after selecting an agent; why not work with someone who is able to decrease the pressure of making decisions rather than increase it?
2. Does this agent display a high level of attention to detail? Do they seem to know the documents and contracts well or do they just fly through them without explaining anything? Would this agent provide an advantage or disadvantage in contract negotiations?
There is much at stake in the details of the transaction. Select an agent who will keep track of the dates, signatures, contingencies, communications, etc. so that you can focus on your new home.
3. Does this agent take superior photographs to market your home in the best possible light?
In this day and age, an agent’s first job when marketing your home is to take many, great pictures, and to get those pictures all over the internet. Ask to see some examples of the agent’s current listings and evaluate if their pictures are compelling and if their listings are easy to locate on the internet.
4. How much is this brokerage going to charge me? Are they going to charge any extra fees on top of their commission?
William Penn never charges any extra fees above the commission, and if you are being quoted commissions percentages of 6%, 6.5% or 7% plus fees, please review speak with an agent here and see how much you can save.