How to buy a house in San Diego
Buyers often want to contact the listing agent to write an offer on a house. I'm assuming they are driving in the neighborhood, see the sign and call the number. I understand the desire to see the house and the convenience of just calling the number of the listing agent from the sign posted in the yard.
However, there seems to be a belief that if you write an offer with the listing agent you will get a better deal. A better deal meaning you can offer less than the asking price. My best guess is that this idea comes from the thought that if there is only one agent the seller won't have to pay a buyers agent.
The listing agent must protect the financial interests of his seller and therefore when you write an offer with the listing agent you do not get someone who is representing your best interests, remember the listing agent is working for the seller - not the buyer.
Although a Realtor can become a dual agent - represent both the buyer and the seller, a buyer really ends up without any representation. In the case of dual agency the buyer does not save money because they don't have an agent, the commission that would have been paid to the buyers agent is not collected by the listing agent. In other words if enter into a dual agency the agent will be paid both commissions.
If you want to buy a house in San Diego - or anywhere - you need a buyers agent to represent your best interests. The listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility, contractually outlined to the seller, not to the buyers.
A Buyers agent represents the buyers best interests
A Buyers agent educates buyers about the transaction - contracts, forms, reports, market information, physical inspection reports, title reports, taxes, escrow, and more...
A Buyers agent analyzes and studies market conditions and activity
A Buyers agent is an adviser and advocate for the buyer
A buyers agent gives you the inside information and details
If you want to buy a house in San Diego, if you want someone to help you get the best deal and terms, if you want a custom search of new listings, if you want to be the first to receive market information and if you want to be confident that you will find your dream home - than you need a buyers agent.