Do You Really Need a Real Estate Agent for a Buyer?
Surprisingly, no you don?t need a real estate agent for a buyer. A Buyer?s Agent is theoretically there to assist you in the buying process and look out for your interests but the reality is that the Buyer?s Agent is also getting paid from the sale of the house unless you have already agreed to pay them directly.
The Buyer?s Agent is supposed to be guiding you through the process and there is no doubt that some real estate agents do that. The reality in the litigation cases I have seen representing sellers, buyers, agents and inspectors says something very different. The reality is that the Buyer?s Agent is like everyone you know including yourself ? they want the most amount of pay for the least amount of work. So Buyer?s Agents will routinely filter the information between you, the home buyer, and the sellers? agent.
A typical example is a case I had in Houston where the Sellers? Disclosure Notice indicated that there was 38 inches of rain over 3 days. In another section, the seller noted in an open space on the form ?1 foot in garage? next to the 100 year flood plain checkbox. The actual reality was that the seller had 3 feet of water running throughout the first floor and they were rescued from their neighborhood by a boat moving through their street.
The buyers, from Iowa, not familiar with the rain deluges of Houston, thought the ?1 foot in the garage? referred to the flood zone mapping. They asked their realtor to check on it and he did. The sellers? agent confirmed that the remark referred to the garage flood zone and not the level of water. If the Buyers? Agent had been looking out for the buyer, they would have demanded that the sellers? agent have the seller confirm any facts in writing. Instead, she answered her cell phone and answered the question without any contact with the sellers.
After buying the house, the next door neighbor produced photos and video of the sellers getting into boats with life jackets on in the ?street? that was in front of their house. Other neighbors were rescued by helicopter.
The sellers and the sellers? agents made the direct misrepresentations. The Buyers? Agent allowed the deception because he was not looking out for the buyers? interest.
You might be better off finding a house yourself and hiring an attorney to represent you. A real estate broker can not and will not share a commission fee with the attorney, but you can negotiate the attorneys fees from the commission usually paid a buyer?s agent. This will probably save the realtor money and you will get a professional who can guide you without bias.