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.