Is having a realtor a worthwhile idea?

3 Replies

I just got my first verbal offer on a property for 259k. He had a previous offer on the table for 267k but the buyer wanted to use a realtor and taking a 6% commision would bring the actual net price to 251k. He said he would take his off 3% for the previous offer and drop it  259k and not use a realtor. My question is now as the new buyer am I able to use a realtor without it affecting the price? My understanding is that when buying a property a realtor does not cost you anything. Also is the work a realtor does worth hiring or is it things you can figure out as long as you do your homework. 

Buying a property DOES COST THE BUYER.   Repeat after me:  THE BUYER PAYS THE COMMISSION.   It's just baked into the price. 

As a BUYER, there is very little reason (IMO) to use a realtor.   He's willing to sell to you for less than someone with a realtor as if he sells to you there is no one to pay.  That's why I say the buyer is the one who really pays.

That said, if he himself doesn't have a realtor, then the other buyer who had a reatlor shouldn't have cost him 3%.  It's up to that seller to offer to pay whatever he wants and if that buyers realtor didn't have to split with a sellers realtor he'd have likely done it for 2-3%

People act like this stuff is set in stone and there is no negotiating. 

Hi Mike,

The way your post is worded at the beginning is a little unclear.  It sounds like you're the seller at first but i'm assuming you're the buyer as later stated.

The seller typically pays the commission for both sides of the deal (listing agent and buyers agent).  This normally totals the 6% you're talking about.  If you wanted to use an agent, it will typically come at no cost to you as the buyer (but in a round about way could be perceived that way) -- this is paid by the seller as part of the 6%.  If the seller chooses not to be represented, they could save half of the total commission.  Their out of pocket expense would then be between 2-3%, payable to your agent.

If you wanted to use a realtor without affecting the price for the seller, you'd have to negotiate a commission with your agent to be payable by you, which in turn makes your net price bigger.

In my opinion, and maybe i'm a little biased, working with a Real Estate Agent is always a good idea, more so if you don't know how the process works.  There's a lot that can go wrong throughout a transaction and a good agent will do everything they can to not only negotiate for you, but limit your risk and keep you protected.  That said, you can always go out and hire a lawyer to transact the property if you've already identified one and have an offer accepted.  This would save the seller some money but wouldn't really be saving you anything unless they were willing to discount the property.

Hopefully that helps in some way.  Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if I was clear as mud :)

- Jake