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Think Twofold Before Trusting A Seller's Realtor

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By : Bella Kellogg    99 or more times read
Many people shopping the real estate market, looking for their dream home, make a extremely universal oversight by not doing business with their own real estate agent. Lots of home hunters don’t know the repercussions of opting not to use a buyer’s realtor. They see nothing wrong with calling the listing agent of every property they’re interested in.

In fact, there is a mistaken belief that going through the seller’s agent will get the buyer a better deal. Needless to say, this isn’t accurate. A buyer’s real estate agent and seller’s real estate agent will most often split the commission down the middle. The seller’s agent just gets 100% of the commission when no buyer’s real estate agent is present. Even when a buyer’s realtor requires a down payment for their services, this is usually credited towards the eventual closing costs. So having your own real estate realtor basically costs you nothing additional.

The most important thing that residence hunters fail to realize is a real estate agent, unless specifically working as the buyer’s agent, has the seller’s best interest in mind, not the buyer’s. They have a fiduciary accountability, in other words, a legal liability, to operate within the best interest of the seller. It doesn’t matter how cooperative and nice they appear to be. They are in the seller’s corner - not yours.

For case in point, let’s say the seller’s realtor is helping you prepare your first offer on the residence. While you’re discussing the matter, you casually suggest that you’d be willing to go $10,000 higher than what you’re offering, but you’d like to start low to feel the situation out.

Seems harmless enough, right? Well, keep in mind that the seller’s realtor has a responsibility to the seller who hired them and are required by law to reveal anything that they and a prospective buyer discuss.

The realtor may spend a lot of time with you, showing you other homes that they have listed, helping you organize your offers, but their allegiance is with the seller unless they are hired as your real estate agent.

And don’t just assume that they’ve indirectly become your “buyer’s agent” because they are showing you other homes that they have listed. Even when a listing agent of another estate seemingly takes an interest in your situation and shows you other homes on the market, more times than not they are showing you houses in their portfolio that they have listed. They are still working as the “seller’s real estate agent” on these properties and have more of a commitment to the seller than you.

However, with a buyer’s real estate agent, you have more control when it comes to finding a residence that suits your specific criteria. A buyer’s real estate agent or broker can show you any house that you’re interested in. This means that residence seekers can view a better sampling of the market and a variety of listings that aren’t just limited to one real estate agent.

A real estate agent dedicated to serving your needs and interests is an undeniable asset. They can advise you of potential issues with the house (something a seller’s real estate agent isn’t always forthright with) and help you with negotiating and understanding purchase agreement language.

Just keep in mind, regardless of whether they are your real estate agent or the seller’s agent, a real estate agent is a sales person. They make their money when they sell you a property and because of this their neutrality can always be subject. But, if you’re dealing with a seller’s real estate agent only, it’s critical to always take into account that you can’t afford to be too open or frank with them. A seller’s real estate agent is more or less a spy for the seller - and it’s completely legal.

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