Many concerned future home-buyers and sellers first question when deciding to buy or sell is can I do it myself? What will it cost? What is the first step? How much should I list for or offer to purchase a home? All of these are legitimate questions and most have very simple or very complicated answers depending on your knowledge of the field.
In North Carolina(laws vary per state) most buyers will hire a Buyer's Agent to represent them in a transaction. In most cases the seller pays the commission so for the most part you as a buyer would not pay anything; and with representation you get just that....someone who is knowledgeable and can advise you on what happens step by step in the process while making sure you don't pay too much for a new home. If you have an exclusive buyer's agent they have a fiduciary trust/relationship with you and all information about you is confidential so you can tell them your inner feelings about a property or financial situation and BY LAW they cannot divulge to the other party. Having a buyer's agent is a very good idea when buying a home.
When selling you will have a listing agent or a.k.a. seller's agent. They have the same duties to the seller as a buyer's agent has to the buyer. The seller's agent has a duty to represent the seller and get the most for the property as possible.
Realtor's have a strict code of ethics to follow, so just because the other agent may represent the other party, they are not out to get you....they must be honest and hold accountablity towards you/the other party.
I have heard this statement before which doesn't necessarily only pertain to the Real Estate field. "You don't pay me for what I do, you pay me for what I know". It sounds a bit aloof, but it rings true in many professions. There are many things/issues that can pop up in transactions and if you don't have a professional with experience on your side you are open be taken advantage of by someone. Changes to contracts such as amendments, schedules, exhibits and closing statements are very common and I myself pride myself in taking continuing education and keeping an active license by staying abreast of changes to real estate laws and regulations, principles and practices. For more information please visit us here. Hope this helps.