Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent
If you faced a lawsuit, would you go to court without a lawyer? Definitely not. Yet some homebuyers enter into contracts to buy homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars without a buyer’s agent. Take for example the buyers who walk into an open house and then have the seller’s agent write them a contract for purchase. In this case who does the agent represent? Exclusively the seller.
Since the buyers do not have an agent, they have nobody to advise them on structuring an offer or negotiating on their behalf the price, financing, and terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. The seller’s agent has no fiduciary responsibility to the buyers and is not bound to confidentiality, so buyers should be careful not to reveal too much.
But don’t these unrepresented buyers save on real estate commissions? No. The commission is paid by the seller and is negotiated in advance. The seller’s agent has already agreed to split the commission with the buyer’s agent. But if the buyer is unrepresented, the seller’s agent takes all the commission. Neither the seller nor the buyer saves on the commission. The buyers are then stuck with handling many of the transaction tasks themselves or relying on the seller’s agent to assist them. It is better for everyone involved, especially the buyers, if a qualified Realtor is representing the buyers.