do i really need an agent. ??

21 Replies

do I really need an agent. I worked with one. didn't know lick of what I want. I got more alerts from redfin than him. changed and now have another and she send me things redfin sent me already and I already didn't like. so I'm doing all the legwork. I have 3 months that I sgned but I don't wanna buy anything and they get the commission . so I wanna wait until it's over and do it on my own. am I doing the right thing calling the listing agent to see the property because my agent is booked this whole week. any advice .

Find another agent; it doesn't cost you anything. Do you have a pre-approval? They may not think you are a serious buyer.

I love being a listing agent and getting an unrepresented buyer. I get them bidding against themselves, waiving contingencies there is no reason to waive, forcing them into bad decisions.

Find a realtor who will work with you.

A lot of the initial legwork will still be on you. They don’t really know what you’re looking for - you’re the one who has to bet the properties and decide if they are worth seeing.

But the big deal is having someone to help you put in an offer, comps, contingencies, and helping with issues as they arise.

Out of curiosity what do you feel you would be gaining from only working with a listing agent, and not having your own representation? In my opinion realtors do not earn their commission by finding you the property you decide to move forward on, I have yet to meet one that can read minds.

No. You do not need an agent. This is year 2018. Real Estate agents are the next dinosaurs. All you truly need is a good Title Company. 

Having said that, for properties that are listed through an agent (old timers set in their ways) I have an agent that I use. She is investor friendly and will go to bat for me. Here is how I handle that whole thing to avoid what you are going through.

I find the properties online myself. Same exact homes a realtor has access to. I then make a list of properties. I drive by the house to check out the street/neighborhood and to see the outside of the home in person. If I am still interested then I reach out to the listing agent to kind of feel out the situation and depending on the county I will go to the Assessor's website and see what the seller paid for the property and what year the property was bought. 

AFTER ALL OF THAT, If I am still interested and I think I can get it for a good deal, THAT is when I call my agent and have her set up a time to view the inside of the house. 

My agent knows when I call her that I have already done a lot of leg work and that I am most likely going to make some sort of offer on the property. 

If someone tries to be a jerk like @Russell Brazil who unethically tries to get you to bid against yourself then just walk away. You should know your numbers before making an offer. Don't get emotional with it. Keep it simple. If they don't want to sell it for your price then find another home. 

So the short answer is NO you do not need a realtor. Realtors probably wont even be around 20 years from now. Unfortunately there are unethical Realtors such as Russell so you should use one from time to time but don't count on them to be able to locate properties and such for you. Just do all of that yourself and use the Realtor to set up showings of inside and to negotiate for you.

1. Do not wait "until it is over". Contact the Agent and notify them you want to terminate the agreement immediately because they are not performing. If they refuse, contact their Broker. They will typically let you go instead of working with a customer that hates them. Get the termination in writing.

2. When you walk into a brokerage, the agent assigned floor duty is who they send you to. That's the wrong way to find an agent! You need to research and find an agent with good experience, good reviews, and a personality you mesh with. Start by searching online. Narrow it down to a few agents and then contact them directly and interview them over the phone or in person. Let them know you are interviewing them so they can "sell" their services. If they can't sell their services, they are probably not a good agent!

3. Always use an agent to purchase. It doesn't cost you a dime because their fees are paid by the seller. It's not unusual to find your own listings because nobody knows what you like more than yourself and everything is on the internet. However, the agent should assist by giving you additional information on the community, the home, negotiations, writing a contract, following the contract, etc. They will protect your interests far better than you ever could.

Spend a couple hours reading up on how to find a good agent. Here's a start: REALTOR article

@Ricardo Diaz in today’s market it is less and less likely the agent will find you a deal. You have access to just about all of the available inventory online. However, a good agent can help you analyze deals, connect you with lenders/contractors/inspectors/ect... and help you get the best deal and avoid problems in the transaction. A good agent still pays for themselves several times over but not all are good agents. Find someone who owns and knows investment properties and that communicates with you well.
Finally, working with the listing agent usually just means they make double the commission and you don’t get representation so most of the time it makes sense to have your own agent.

thank you Derek, Nathan and Matt for your imput. Derek what you said is exactly what I have been doing. doing all the legwork because noone is doing it for me. I will do the title company advice too. so the step for me is to cancel that contract immediately. thanks guys. shows from noone showing me I have been going the right way .

@Ricardo Diaz

Even though I heard it a bunch of times that I should work with an agent that is an investor also I have now come to the realization that (at least in my short rei career) that this is very true. She has found me the best deals out there (I have yet to buy one) as opposed to the other agents. Just like you stated the other agents have me doing all the legwork sorting through all kinds of properties that don't even fit my criteria. I work a full time job and it's so time consuming. I actually emailed the other agents what the other agent sent me in order for them to 'get an idea' as to what I want and need. This way I can recognize potential deals a lot faster and hopefully make money for all of us involved. 

Hope this helps. All the best to you...

Jorge

Originally posted by @Derek E.:

No. You do not need an agent. This is year 2018. Real Estate agents are the next dinosaurs. All you truly need is a good Title Company. 

Having said that, for properties that are listed through an agent (old timers set in their ways) I have an agent that I use. She is investor friendly and will go to bat for me. Here is how I handle that whole thing to avoid what you are going through.

I find the properties online myself. Same exact homes a realtor has access to. I then make a list of properties. I drive by the house to check out the street/neighborhood and to see the outside of the home in person. If I am still interested then I reach out to the listing agent to kind of feel out the situation and depending on the county I will go to the Assessor's website and see what the seller paid for the property and what year the property was bought. 

AFTER ALL OF THAT, If I am still interested and I think I can get it for a good deal, THAT is when I call my agent and have her set up a time to view the inside of the house. 

My agent knows when I call her that I have already done a lot of leg work and that I am most likely going to make some sort of offer on the property. 

If someone tries to be a jerk like @Russell Brazil who unethically tries to get you to bid against yourself then just walk away. You should know your numbers before making an offer. Don't get emotional with it. Keep it simple. If they don't want to sell it for your price then find another home. 

So the short answer is NO you do not need a realtor. Realtors probably wont even be around 20 years from now. Unfortunately there are unethical Realtors such as Russell so you should use one from time to time but don't count on them to be able to locate properties and such for you. Just do all of that yourself and use the Realtor to set up showings of inside and to negotiate for you.

 You think it is unethical to do the job I was hired to do? I get paid good money to sell houses for top dollar and that is exactly what I do. In fact, the opposite is unethical.

Taking advice from someone from “The Creek” West Virginia would be unethical

@Russell Brazil to have someone bidding against themselves is in fact unethical in my opinion. You do your thing, doesn't matter to me to be honest.

Originally posted by Account Closed:

Taking advice from someone from “The Creek” West Virginia would be unethical

I don't care what you think about West Virginia or where I live. I love it here! Have a good day.

@Ricardo Diaz - looks like you are talking about a buyer's agent and you are MLS shopping. Whether you should have a buyer's agent or not will completely depend on your experience level with buying in your state and your area. Sounds like you are new or newer to all this.

I buy solo all the time, but only after using a pro multiple times to get the process down.  Finding the property is one thing. Making a strong offer, knowing what disclosures the seller needs to be providing you at what stage, what contingencies you need to protect yourself, what timelines it's all due and how to present repair requests, interpret the title search (it's just a history), what closing costs buyers normally pay, etc.  Not to mention proper comps to make sure you're not over-paying.  

Anyway, no you don't have to have an agent on your side.  It's not the law.  I save a little with concessions when I go unrepresented most of the time on listed properties, but who knows how much better I could have done with a good agent?  I'd get a good one if this was one of my first 5 property purchases. We just don't know what we don't know at least until then.   

Totally agree with @Michael Beauchemin , part of the representation of clients is the ability to guide you through the process, put a solid offer together, how to negotiate, and advise you post inspections on how to get to the settlement table!

Full disclosure - I recently became a realtor, the above isn't that obvious if you've worked with a weak agent in the past. Sad, but true.

Steve very interesting what you said. And yes I will still have to get alot of this stuff ironed out I guess I haven't found one that I can feel comfortable with. I never looked them up to see what their background is or at least ask them point blank on their experience. Well I'm going to be going to my third agent and see how that goes. Thanks guys 

Yes you need an agent. Interview the agent before you sign a buyers agency. Call a local company and ask for expert in where you are buying and the type Of real estate you want. Or better yet ask around for a referral from someone you know. Don’t meet the agent at a property, meet them at their office for a initial consultation. Be professional and hire a professional. Good luck!

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

3. Always use an agent to purchase. It doesn't cost you a dime because their fees are paid by the seller.

This. This right here is who you don't want to work with. Any buyer's agent that tells you this, and insults your intelligence - is actually the most unethical of them all.

I'll tell you the answers you're gonna hear...and the translation.

All agents: Yes, you need an agent. (Read: My high end car lease is coming due...)

Everyone else: No, not really, but they may sometimes help sweeten the deal a little and very rarely "protect you"...if and only if they have an EQ greater than a salted peanut. (Read: Unfortunately, that's the annoying way this industry is regulated.)

I've never stepped foot in a brokerage. Why would I?

Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt :
Originally posted by @Nathan G.:

3. Always use an agent to purchase. It doesn't cost you a dime because their fees are paid by the seller.

This. This right here is who you don't want to work with. Any buyer's agent that tells you this, and insults your intelligence - is actually the most unethical of them all.

I'll tell you the answers you're gonna hear...and the translation.

All agents: Yes, you need an agent. (Read: My high end car lease is coming due...)

Everyone else: No, not really, but they may sometimes help sweeten the deal a little and very rarely "protect you"...if and only if they have an EQ greater than a salted peanut. (Read: Unfortunately, that's the annoying way this industry is regulated.)

I've never stepped foot in a brokerage. Why would I?

 The absurd part to your argument is you have it completely backwards. An unethical agent will say, no you dont need an agent, so we can get double the commission.  

@Ricardo Diaz terminate your buyer agreement with lazy agent, and find a good agent who works with investors. There is no reason to go directly to the listing agent. Might as well find someone good to help you, but you aren't obligated to stay in an agreement with someone who isn't fulfilling their end of the bargain.

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