Friday, July 16, 2010

Do I Need a Buyer’s Agent for Home Purchase?

 Do I Need a Buyer’s Agent for Home Purchase?
Q: We own a home now in town for 14 years. We’ve done a drive-by and are interested in a different home in a rural setting. We have made an appointment with the listing agent to see the house on our own. If we are still interested after seeing the house, we will need to sell ours in order to buy it. We may or may not continue looking if that one is not “the one.” A friend is urging us to have our own REALTOR® now to represent our interests before our appointment next week. I don’t see the need until we’ve decided that we’re ready to give up our current home for another. What do you advise?
~ Brenda
A: Brenda, there are a couple of problems with looking at homes without your own Realtor (working as a Buyer’s Agent). First, the listing agent is representing the seller, and cannot give you any information on the property other than what the seller would allow.

The other issue is that the compensation for representing a buyer typically goes to the agent who first showed the property to the buyer. So, if you go to see a home with the listing agent, then your agent could possibly be cut out of receiving any compensation from the transaction if you decide that you want to make an offer. Your agent may not even want to represent you because of that fact, or you may have to pay your agent out of your own pocket.
If you want to see homes without your agent, then you could go to open houses. If you need to make an appointment to see a property, then you should go through your own Realtor. As a Realtor, this is part of our job. So don’t hesitate to give him/her a call.
~ Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong-thumb

Jim Armstrong is a Realtor-Broker with Armstrong Field Real Estate in Essex County, MA.
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