Never Go House Hunting Without Your REALTOR!
When an agent contracts with a seller, they negotiate commission fees to cover the costs of paying the buyer's agent. Buyers often do not realize that most agents are paid at closing, and that they won't be out any upfront money to hire their own agent. In essence the buyer receives free buyer guidance and representation.
As a Buyer, You Should Have Your Own Agent
Today, more and more buyers are hiring their own agents to multiply their chances of finding the right home at the best price. Buyer's agents network with other agents to find the homes best fit for your needs and wants. They learn which homes are coming onto the market well before the general public. Many homes are bought and sold without a sign ever going into the yard.
As a buyer, it's wise to hire your own agent to represent your interests. If you go house-hunting without your agent for any reason, you must make sure that the seller's agent understands that you have representation. If the seller's agent does not understand that you have representation, your agent's ability to represent you properly can be put in jeopardy.
How It Works
Here's how it works. All agents showing open houses or builder homes have a registration log. When you enter, you sign your name and the name of your agent. If your agent is with you, he or she will do the signing. This reinforces your agent's responsibilities in representing your interest in that particular home.
What if you go to an open house or builder model home tour and never mention that you have an agent? If you decide to buy the home that you're looking at, the seller's agent has the right to refuse to pay your agent's commission. Without the seller's agent co-pay, your agent can't represent you. You will be subject to the seller's terms, which are in the seller's interests, not yours.
If you're shopping for homes without your agent, or using multiple agents to find a home, your agent will eventually hear about it because agents network to get more homes sold. Your lack of commitment to your agent could have consequences. If you choose to shop for homes without being represented, be aware that you are in competition with other buyers who are. The sellers that you'll be negotiating with also have their own representation, so you could miss out on a jewel of a home by simply not having an agent looking out for you.
A Highly Motivated Agent
Good agents build their businesses through repeat clients and referrals. They are highly motivated to do the best job possible for homebuyers. They understand that buyers eventually become sellers and "move up" buyers. It's about building a relationship of trust. Take advantage of that. Don't go house-hunting without your agent. Let your agent do the best job possible for you.