Why would you want to be unrepresented?

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

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?

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Kelly Cordova-Armer
Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals - Ogden, UT
Selling with Soul amidst the Utah Mountains!

I had a similiar call this week as well.  The "Buyer" at the other end of the line requested to see my listing.  When I asked if he had an Agent that was helping him - he responded "No, I don't want to pay for any REALTOR fees".  I than went into the spill of explaining (as we do!)  Buyer's don't pay for the fees, Seller's do!  He than replied "Yes, I know - but I want to negotiate that Brokerage fee and get the price off the listing price.  ::: sigh ::: I than replied "The Brokerage fee is not negotiable, but it's always my goal to get interested buyer's into the home for a showing".  I showed him and his wife the property.   I called him back today, had a nice conversation.  I will keep him in my database.  Maybe one day he'll realize that he needs to be represented.

Apr 09, 2011 09:23 AM #1
Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

It's always been a mystery to me -- but I think it is probably the notion that somehow they will get a better deal.  Even though studies show they don't necessarily.

Apr 09, 2011 09:24 AM #2
Tom Robinson
Keller Williams Realty Kingstowne/Alexandria, VA Office - Fairfax, VA
Experienced Real Estate, Professional Serving No. VA and DC

There was an article in the Washington Post this morning about someone who bought a home directly from a seller and ended up with a lot of problems. Buers Beware and Read This...Now they are in court:


Page E8 of the Real Estate Section

Apr 09, 2011 09:53 AM #3
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Kelly is not correct that the commission is not negotiable. The sale is the emphasise to get to the closing table and not haggling over commission splits. You can figure out procurring cause after the sale. It's not the agent's, broker's property, it is a listing you have or you don't. We have 95% of our sales with one broker, both sides of the sale and I would not call the buyer's we deal with helpless, naive or not savvy. Plus in the age of full disclosure the fear tackle that buyer's beware, something left out and not disclosed is not a card buyer agents can play with a straight face any more. My experience with buyer agents is where are you? I find they show up after the contract signed, deal details worked out, properties toured and not on board. Forgotten about by the buyer's too. Maybe unique to rural markets? List more, sell more and have enough listings and you are like your own MLS. Too many cooks in the real estate kitchen justifying being in that kitchen slows the process, does not automatically help the deal for anyone in it.

Apr 09, 2011 10:33 AM #4
Kelly Cordova-Armer
Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals - Ogden, UT
Selling with Soul amidst the Utah Mountains!

@Andrew - I'm an Agent that is willing to give up a portion of my commission (if necessary) to make a deal happen.  However a Buyer choosing not to be represented does not opt for a drop in commission. The fee charged by the Brokerage is a Brokerage Fee. I stand behind my profession and those that do it well. I prefer not to handle both sides of the deal "Limited Agency" would not be by choice.  Andrew - I have to disagree with you on your point of view on Buyer's Agents.  I am one of those too!  I strive for 100% pure Client Satisfaction. Nick said it quite eloquently.  It's a maze of paperwork... Why not choose to be protected with your own Agent.

Apr 09, 2011 04:13 PM #5
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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