What's your strategy for buying property?
I find most people end up using a "Buyer's Agent" to assist them but I do get calls on my listings from people who believe they will get a better deal working with the agent listing the home. It happens all the time.
The reasons I've been given is they think they'll have access to insider information and the agent, who stands to make significantly more money by assisting both parties, will be willing to flex with commission. They also think the listing agent may be more motivated to persuade the seller of the attraction of their offer.
Sure. These seem valid arguments from one viewpoint, and may in SOME cases save them money.
I don't believe it really works as a long term strategy though.
As a listing agent, my duties are to my seller. I protect their confidences and their financial interests. I disclose all known facts that could affect their decision. There is no leaking of "insider" info to a buyer. While it's nice to make extra $$ for representing both sides in a transaction, I won't compromise my ethics or morals, not to mention my legal obligations. I'm not motivated by the money; I'm motivated by doing a good job. So this strategy, while it MAY work with some agents, won't work with me (and I'd like to think, won't work with most agents).
I think people make the best decisions they can based on the information they have. Unfortunately, if they don't have a Buyer's Agent helping them, they don't have the best information. A Buyer's agent can provide real time listing information, compare property values, and negotiate in most cases free of conflict of interest concerns. They are often aware of properties before they are listed, and, having formed a relationship with their clients, know and recognize how to best serve their interests.
So, those who choose door number 2 are calling on stale listings, negotiating without representation, and expecting to save money. They may. But they likely won't be finding the best property for their needs, and may not save as much as they could by having their own representative.
I'd love to hear other opinions, and stories where either strategy has worked or not worked.