You'd be amazed at how many people never ask....
Actually, it's a great system for Buyers. When a Seller lists his property with an agent, he agrees to pay the real estate agent a certain percentage of the sales price. The Seller's agent then puts the property in an enormous database, which is called the Northwest Multiple Listing Service in Kitsap County real estate lingo. The listed home is then available for other real estate agents to access and show to potential buyers.
If another agent brings in a client to purchase the property, the Seller's agent splits his commission with the Buyer's agent. (In this case, if you purchase property using me, I would be your Buyer's agent.)
For example, Mary puts her Silverdale home for sale with real estate agent Bob. You contact me and want to see properties for sale in Central Kitsap County that match the description of Mary's house in Silverdale. I check the database and find Mary's house listed there, by Agent Bob. We go look at the house, and you decide it is a great house and fits your needs well.
We write an offer, and it is accepted. You are buying a house! When we close on the house, Agent Bob gets a check from the proceeds of the sale of Mary's house. He then turns around and sends half of his check to my company.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you decide to purchase a home that was not listed with a real estate agent, we would have to work out some sort of payment structure.
Some people believe that they will save money if they don't use a Buyer's agent. Studies have shown that this usually ends up costing them more money, for two reasons:
- First, the seller is going to pay his agent the agreed-upon commission, no matter what, whether he has to split it with another agent or not.
- Also, because the seller has someone to protect him and look out for his best interests, and the buyer does not, the buyer often ends up either paying more for the property right away, or finding out later on that he could have done or paid for certain things during the home's sale that would have saved him money years later, such as a homeowner's warranty or a private home inspection.
If you are considering buying a home or land in Kitsap County, I strongly advise you to get a Buyer's agent to work exclusively for you! It won't cost you extra in most cases, and will probably prevent you from losing money.