This topic comes up on occasion but I’m really not sure why it still does given the amount of information already out there but it is worth repeating. Here’s the scenario. Say you’ve already been preapproved for a VA home loan and have been searching the MLS and real estate agent websites. You know exactly what you want and you’re very picky but you have every right to be. This will be your new home for a while. Then one morning you’re alerted of a potential property, you do your research and decide you’ve finally found it. And guess what, there’s an open house today!
You make your way to the home and the real estate agent holding the listing first asks you, without fail, “Are you working with any other agent?” You figure you didn’t need one because you knew exactly what you wanted. You tell the agent that in fact you don’t have an agent. The agent then asks if you would like the agent to look for other homes for you in addition to the one you’re now in. “Sure, why not?” you respond and you now have an agent.
Okay, but if the agent is indeed your agent, do you think you’ll get the lowest price on that perfect home you just found? The listing agent’s primary responsibility is with the seller and while the agent may tell you she will represent your interests during the transaction do you think they agent might be reluctant to offer the low price you want? Agents get paid a percentage of the sales price and the higher the price the higher the commission and it’s the seller that pays the commission, not you.
It may be perfectly legal for an agent to represents both sides of a transaction and there are some very good agents who do just that. Yet when it comes to negotiations, do you think your interests will be attended to with equal fervor? A buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you anything, they negotiate for you just like they’ve negotiated for hundreds of happy campers. Take advantage of the professionalism available to you. Find a good agent to be on your side.