Work directed with Seller off the MLS

7 Replies

Was wondering if any of you guys ever worked with the sellers directly when buying a property that's off the MLS?

There is a property that I'm interested that is listed on the MLS, and I have the sellers telephone number. I could call her and ask her if she's interested working directly with me and her agent since she has a contract with her agent.

Doing so, may save her some commission from having to pay the buyer's agent, thus my offer would look better.

One concern I have is that she might think that I maybe trying to scam her or something.

Thoughts?

Thanks.

@Bruce L.

I would not contact the seller. I would contact the listing agent. Your strategy would probably work better and the chance of success higher. While I personally would never recommend not working with an agent, especially as a buyer (there have been many deals that have only happened because of an agent). Your best bet would be talking to the agent. If they aren't receptive than I would get your own agent and go from there.

@Bruce L. You don't understand how the system works. The seller has a contract to pay the listing agent/firm, and then the listing firm shares that commission with the buyer's firm according to the rules of the MLS.

I do understand how the system works, I"m just trying to see if I could save myself & the seller some money.

The seller has a contract with her listing agent of say 6% of sales price. 3% of each side. And sometimes, the commission maybe lower (4%) if the listing agent finds the buyer to basically deal both ends.

As an investor, I'm always looking for way to save money. And while I agree that some realtors are useful, I also feel that some are useless.

Just because you don't have an agent does not mean you are saving the seller in commissions. The commission agreement is between the seller and the sellers agent so in order to negotiate a discounted commission you have to deal with the listing agent.

Agents are not in the business of listing the property so you can go directly to seller. They already have plan for that. It's called a listing agreement. The seller signed a listing agreement with the agent, and the agent is owed a commission, regardless of whether or not you make your offer through the agent. So, no, your seller won't save any money on commissions by working directly with you. The seller would have to be released from the listing agreement, or wait for it to expire.

@Bruce L.

Honestly your best bet is to work with the listing agent. Another method to working with the listing agent is to submit your offer. Say that you subtracted X amount because you are not using a buyers agent. If the seller refuses you are happy to get an agent to represent you!

It's up to the agent (actually their broker) whether they would lower the commission if they represented both parties, not the seller. Don't expect the agent to cut it in half, because he Will have some extra work to do, liability, probably additional brokerage fees, getting you in for inspections, submitting/communicating offers, etc. Just like agents, some investors are good, some useless time wasters, and some just a PIA. If you want to Guarantee the commission doesn't get reduced, go straight to the owner yourself.

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