As a Licensed Realtor® since 2006, I often hear from people that they will save money purchasing their home because they will use the listing agent to negotiate the offer. I realize that this is a common misconception in people's minds.
It couldn't be further from the truth!
First off, I would love it if you would work with me to represent you when I am the listing agent!!! Who doesn't like double time? My paycheck would be at least twice what I would normally make on a transaction.
The Number One misconception of real estate transactions is:
If only one Realtor® is involved, then the Seller will pay less in Real Estate Fees! NOT!
The Seller has a signed contract with a brokerage for a certain percentage that will be charged. That contract does not change. What does change is that in the contract it states that the 'Co-operating Brokerage' (the Buyer's Agents' brokerage) will be paid from the listing commission. If there is no Co-operating Brokerage, then the whole amount stays with the listing Brokerage.
Now, you like a house and want to submit an offer..... you have some choices to make. You can bring in your own Licensed Realtor® (remember the Realtor® is paid from the listing commission) and be represented and have your better interests protected. You can choose to be represented by the Selling Realtor® (that's called Dual Agency - a Realtor can represent both parties, but make sure that you are clear on whether you are being treated as a 'Customer' or a 'Client'. (The Realtor® must explain this to you and give it to you in writing).
There is a definite distinction between the two:
As a 'Customer', the Real Estate Brokerage (The Licensed Realtor® as the representative), has the obligation to treat you in 'a fair and honest manner'. You are the person in the driver's seat though. We are required to do as directed and to treat you fairly, but we don't provide direction or advice. So, if you are experienced in all aspects of Buying and Selling Real Estate and have a sound understanding of Contract Law, by all means go it alone.
As a 'Client' on the other hand, the Real Estate Brokerage (The Licensed Realtor® as the representative), is obligated to get the best deal possible and make sure that the client is protected in all aspects of the transaction. We ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. We ensure that there are conditions in the offer that protect our clients. We make sure that the 'timeline' for the closing works in the best interest of everyone involved. As a Full-Time Licensed Realtor®, I have seen and dealt with many different challenges in Real Estate transactions and was able to solve them all. Through hundreds of closings there are many different hurdles to overcome. Sometimes something as simple as speaking with a Mortgage Broker or a Lawyer on my clients' behalf can save a deal that looked like it was doomed.
What if the home is not listed with a Licensed Realtor®? Even more reason to ensure that you are protected! (Most Sellers will negotiate a commission arrangement with a Professional). Is the house priced correctly? Is the Seller hiding a problem with the house? Where does your deposit go? Is the contract (an Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a contract) solid? Does the Seller have any liens on the property that will prevent the house from changing hands? Was the house a 'flip'? Was it used for illegal activity? An experienced agent can usually see signs of something that 'isn't quite right' which will trigger off investigation into the house. Would you???
Ensure that you are protected in the biggest investment that you will make. Use an Insured, Experienced Licensed Realtor® in your Real Estate Transaction to represent YOU!!!!