“We won’t be using a real estate agent”, “We don’t need an agent”, “We can get a better deal if we don’t have a buyers agent“,”I can save money on the sale of my home without using a Realtor.” Boy have I heard those words a few times in my career. In theory it all sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately it rarely works out for both buyers and sellers. Here is why.
1) “I don’t need an agent to sell my home, I will save some money.” Today buyers are too savvy. They know that “For Sale By Owners” are trying to save money. They can also calculate how much the homeowner is saving by not paying a listing side commission. Lets say the listing side commission is $10,000. The buyer decides what the home is worth and then offers $10,000 less than that because he knows the seller doesn’t have to pay the agent. In this case the seller could have paid the agent $10,000 or they take $10,000 less for their home. It’s a lose/lose scenario. Remember the FSBO also had to do all their own marketing, contract negotiation, paperwork and more. In the end most sellers rarely see the savings they were hoping for because they did not have an experienced negotiator in their corner.
2) “I don’t need an agent to buy a home. In fact I can get a better deal if I use the listing agent.” Not always so! Remember you do not know the terms of the listing agreement between the seller and the listing agent. The listing contract may say that if the buyer does not bring an agent to the transaction the listing agent gets the full commission (meaning the seller still must pay the full listing side and the full buying side). In that case there is no savings to the seller, they are not likely to accept a lower price and you, as buyer will not get a better deal. More importantly you as buyer are entering into a high stakes contract without anyone protecting your best interest.
Buyers you are not hiring an agent to show you homes. Anyone can show you homes in fact we have showing assistants that just do that. The reason a buyer should have an agent is to have an expert in the market passionately represent them and protect their best interest.
Sellers it would take three newspaper columns to outline all that needs to be done in order to successfully sell a home. If you think it’s nothing more that putting a sign in the yard then I invite you to spend a day with me. I’m fairly sure you’ll change your mind.
In conclusion if Realtors did not add any value to the practice of real estate the career would have died out decades ago.
Dan Polimino is an Owner/Broker with Keller Williams Realty DTC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org