Hi, Rob i'm calling about the home at 123 Maple. Can you show it to us today"?
Sounds like a promising call, right? Too bad I sold 123 Maple over a year ago. The website these nice folks were surfing still had the home as "Active for sale". When I shared this news the buyer's response caught my attention. "Yeah I figued, been getting that a lot this week." Instead of hiring an agent, he was calling on homes advertised online. Let's examine why he should consider shopping for an agent instead of a house.
1) Third party websites often have old information-- The property pictured sold in 2010, I founded it online recently still active for sale. Surfing blinding not only wastes time but introduces frustration from the start of an already stressful process.
2) Listing agents work for the seller-- We sign a contract with the seller PROMISING to work in their best interest, even ahead of our own. Where do you think this leaves your interest? Yep, comfortably in THIRD place.
3) Listing agents can't give unrepresented buyers half the commission-- I hear this from time to time. "If we don't have an agent, the seller will give me the buyer's commission. Commissions are negotiated between the seller and BROKER at the time of listing. How often do you think a broker allows an agent to give away thousands of dollars? Think they will make an exception for YOU?
4) Buyers representation is normally paid by the seller--What will it cost you to have professional representation? Nothing normally.
5) A buyer's agent can show you ANY home listed for sale-- In our market real estate agencies cooperate. I can sell homes listed by any brokerage in my MLS. Don't think you have to call the name on the sign.
So how did the phone call end? Did the buyer "see the light" and put me to work for his best interest? "No thanks, I'll just call the listing agent". Some seller is likely to score a great deal on their home.