I got a call this week from a buyer who wanted to see a property of which she thought I was the listing agent. I was not and when I explained this to her she wanted the phone number of the listing agent. I asked her if she was looking at other homes and that I could set up all the appointments for her and represent her when she bought a home.
She politely declined saying she wanted to deal with the listing agents because she wanted to negotiate. I informed her that I could help her with negotiations and that as the property was in the MLS the owner was already committed to paying a commission but she refused to be swayed.
When I was able to look up the property, I realized the seller was of the same cloth, using a no service listing agent and all calls needing to go to the seller direct. So I texted the information to this buyer so she could connect.
Now, I understand that she thinks she is going to get a better price because she buys the home through the listing agent, but why. Most listing contracts fix the commission rate for the sale of the house and then the seller determines how much of that commission they want to offer a buyers agent or a transaction coordinator, but is still committed to the full commission rate agreed. So by using the listing agent, you only allow yourself to be unprotected in the transaction however good you are at negotiation there are many steps in the process where mistakes and problems can arise. Having an agent represent you means that you have someone who is looking out for your interests and shepherding you through the maze of dates and deadlines to make sure you are not liable to lose your deposit or in breach of contract.
Even if the buyer, paid their agent direct rather than the agent being paid by the seller why would you not want to be protected. As my wife put it, would you want to use the attorney of your husband in a divorce? Of course not, but so many buyers put themselves at risk purchasing through a listing agent or having no representation in the deal. Your agent does much more than just writing your contract up, and because they handle these types of negotiations every day, they are used to the transactions and the problems that can arise.
Any thoughts anyone?