Buying a home without an agent:
When I started in real estate, 31+ years ago, Realtors carried around a huge book similar to an L.A. phone book, with all the listings in it. They were updated every 2 weeks! Buyers did not have access to the information.
Today, with the proliferation of the internet, buyers can not only find information on all the available properties for sale, but combined with public access to County records, an individual can find out almost anything about a property! This has led to a phenomenon where homebuyers think they don’t need a buyer’s agent. Some even think that they can actually purchase a home, “sight unseen”, often out-of-state. Some will contact the listing agent directly (who works for the seller), to write the offer.
Is this really a good idea? Who benefits from this scenario? The buyer thinks they do. All they had to do was to make a phone call, and the listing agent did all the work, at no cost to the buyer. The problem is, that listing agent works for the SELLER, not the buyer. They have been hired by the seller to get the highest dollar amount for their house, and that agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller, not the buyer. The listing agent owes the buyer only honesty and fair dealing, they are NOT the buyer’s advocate. Typically, these scenarios benefit the seller.
Additionally, a local buyer’s agent, that would represent the buyer exclusively, knows the neighborhood. They can advise a buyer about things like “the train tracks that are behind the home”, or that there is a lot of drug activity in the area, or that the particular neighborhood might have a lot of rental properties, (which can bring down the values of surrounding homes), water issues, ongoing builder defect lawsuits, planned rezoning or new roads, etc. A buyer’s agent is your advocate!
Newest Selling and Buying Trend in Real Estate
How about the newest trend in real estate: “ibuyers”, such as Zillow, Open Door, and others, who will buy your house without you having to list it. Sound intriguing? This concept has been around forever! You may have seen flyers, letters or cards in your neighborhood, “ I want to buy your house for cash”. Some Realtors even offer to buy your home if it does not sell in a prescribed time. Sure… anyone with the resources, or access to them, would do that, since they are buying your home WHOLESALE, not retail. Think about it! NO ONE would buy your home for RETAIL, and then resell it at a loss! Why would they do that?
When you sell your home to ibuyer, or Zillow, or Open Door, they will not offer you a “retail” price. In addition, they will discount their offer to you 7.1% (as of 11/19 from the Open Door website) , for “fees”. Then they try and refer an Agent who pays them a referral fee to help you find a home. They claim that if you already found a home, or have an Agent, they will “work with you”. I have yet to do one of these deals this year, so not sure what that entails.
What about your home they just “bought”?. They don’t want your home. They list it at a retail price, with an agent, and sell it for a profit. According to the National Real Estate Post, Open Door touts that they can buy your house “cash”, but if cash is not required to buy the house, they will REBATE the buyer 1-2% of the purchase price. Sound intriguing? Not so fast! If you are looking at this as a possible option, read the fine print before you commit.
Typically, in most residential real estate transactions, the seller pays for the commission for both the listing agent and the selling agent. Commissions are not set, they are negotiable. In most transactions using a Buyer Agent, there is NO cost to the buyer for their services. Their commission is built into the price and paid for by the seller. If the buyer agent’s commission is NOT paid by the seller, the buyer may have to pay a portion or all of the commission to the agent. Talk to me about this for more details.
I have seen many different kinds of real estate companies and services come and go over the years. Time will tell, but before you look at other options, talk to me to get the REAL story. I have been doing professional Real Estate for over 31 years! Professional Service, Honesty, Ethics, and Professional Results! That’s what you get with Larry Emerson!