Dear Online Bidder

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO 2004008944

I'm not sure why, exactly, you have decided to attempt to purchase a house online, as if it were an eBay item, but I'd like for you to consider the following:

You WILL pay EXACTLY the same commission as you would if you used a local agent. That "5% buyer's premium" will not be decreased one penny if you go the self-service route. The commission is not optional, does not change, and is built-in during the bid process.

Happy bidderYou will have no local agent to help you with anything. If you want a local agent, just pick up the phone and call one BEFORE you make that bid online. Let the agent register as your agent and then make the bid for you.

You do have an agent, actually. Your agent is the auction company, and the auction company will get that part of the commission that would have gone to a local agent. Make no mistake, the auction company will get the commission you paid, and you will pay it! The commission that COULD have bought you many services from a local agent will, instead, go to the auction company that cannot possibly provide you the same services.

Just try depending on the auction company to answer your specific questions about the house they have never been inside. Just try to get them to accompany your insurance agent, appraiser, and home inspector as they visit the house. What about a "final walk-thru" for you?

Direct all of your questions to your "auction agent" about the contract, the addenda, which lines to sign, ordering title work, title insurance, exceptions to the title insurance, meeting the requirements of your lender, local utility company information, amendments to the contract, inspection reports, dewinterizing, mandatory rekeying.... I could go on, but you get the drift. At least I hope you get the drift, and I hope you are experienced enough as a buyer to know that there are many more steps to buying a house than merely making an offer.

And when Aunt Tilda is in town, your in-laws want to see the house, your children want to pick out their rooms, your spouse wants to measure walls or windows--go ahead and call your "auction agent" and see if s/he will accompany you to the house.

It won't save you a PENNY to go it alone, but bidding is fun; so, go ahead, pretend you are on eBay. BUT when you win the auction, don't expect the listing agent to act like your agent. THAT person is not your agent. Your agent is merely a virtual buddy who will not be present for any of the above and will not accompany you to closing.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, you CAN avoid paying commissions if you buy a FSBO. Oops, that would create new problems and all of the problems above, in addition to leaving you without any of the legal forms you will need...nevermind.

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If you are looking for a foreclosure in Cape Girardeau, Perry, N. Scott, or Bollinger counties, I am the region's most experienced REO agent. As the area's ONLY Fannie Mae direct listing agent, I list more foreclosure properties than any other agent in this MLS. I am among the few local agents approved to both list and sell HUD properties. Give me a call if you are looking for help with the purchase of a foreclosure property.

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Comments (4)

Janet McCarthy
San Diego Homes Guide - San Diego, CA
Broker Associate

This goes in the urban real estate myths catalog.  For some reason buyers think they will get a better deal if they don't have an agent. 

May 12, 2011 03:56 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Janet~ Too true. As an REO agent who sometimes has properties that go to auction, I hear from them after they have "won." I hear from their lenders, insurance agents, appraisers. You get it, I know.

May 12, 2011 04:00 PM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

So true Liz.  

For me, I could say something similar for new home buyers who routinely forego having an agent even though it is already built into the price.  It just floors me.  It's like because the home is new they think they don't need an agent.  Wouldn't you like to know what the homes around here sell for?  Wouldn't you like to know the incentives offered by other new home builders now?  Wouldn't you like someone to step in and insist that the home be inspected?  Ahhhh. I'll just never understand that.


May 12, 2011 04:55 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Tni~ Wouldn't you like to have someone with your best interests at heart? Do you REALLY believe that the builder or the builder's agent is going to advocate for you?

AHHH, yes, we could go on. I'll just never understand it, either!

May 18, 2011 06:14 PM