Because most of us don’t deal in real estate on a day-to-day basis, it can be tricky to understand how a transaction works and even how to get started in the buying process. It’s one of those things that if you don’t do it often enough, you could miss a lot of important details, such as having your own representation when buying a property.
As a Mercer Island buyers agent, it is my duty to represent buyers on their behalf. However, most buyers, especially those that just don’t buy property that often, don’t understand how important it is to have your own representation. Consider this, when a homeowner wants to sell their property they enlist the help of a real estate agent. This agent is called the listing agent or selling agent. They agreed to list and market the property for the homeowner and will receive a commission for doing so. What most buyers don’t realize is that by contacting the listing agent on a property instead of having their own representation, the listing agent receives the full commission and may not have the buyers best interest at heart. Remember, this agent has been hired to sell this particular property for the homeowner. They technically work for the seller first before the buyer. If a buyer comes along and the same agent represents both the buyer and the seller, there can be a grave conflict of interest. The goal is to sell the property, not necessarily to get the best deal for the buyer.
Now, consider having your own agent. Your buyer’s agent will represent you throughout the process with your best interest at heart. My goal is to make sure that we get the property you want at your terms and your price. If the listing agent knows all of your negotiating tactics, there’s no leverage. However, if the buyer’s agent understands the process and the negotiation strategy, they’re more likely to get the terms that the buyer wants rather than the seller.
Let me give you a scenario: a couple of my buyers really loved this house on Mercer Island. The house was listed at $950,000. The buyers were well-qualified over $1 million but the house had been on the market for a couple of months and they didn’t want to pay full price. We submitted an offer for $900,000, $50,000 under list price. We also added a letter of preapproval simply stating that the buyer was approved for the $900,000 offer price, no more. The seller received the offer and because they didn’t realize how much the buyer was actually approved for nor how much they really loved the property and probably would’ve paid full price, they agreed to the offer instead of risking leaving the property on the market any longer.
Because of this leverage, my buyers saved $50,000 in purchasing this property.
And this is just one story. Having your own representation means you have somebody fighting on your behalf throughout the process. Having your own agent means that your questions are answered, there’s no ulterior motive to sell you one house over another, and one of the best things about having a buyers agent is that you pay nothing for their services.
When a homeowner lists their property they agreed to a commission. That commission is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. So, it really doesn’t matter to us which home you choose, we will receive a split commission regardless, however, your concerns and your best interest is our priority throughout the transaction.