Do I Need a Buyer's Agent?

14 Replies

Am shopping for my first deal - a STR in New Hampshire. I have purchased homes before but only between family without agents so I'm finding myself a little ignorant on some of the basics. I've found a home I'm interested in and contacted the seller's agent off Zillow. Am going to see it in the next 10 days. As things progress, do I need a buyer's agent? Considering this property is out of state for me (I live in MA and have already caught a few things that are different in NH) and it's my first one would a buyer's agent help me with negotiations, etc.? And if so, how do I go about finding one?

Yes. You should find a buyer's agent and have THEM show you the property. Working with the seller's agent is never wise.

Real estate sales process is slightly different in NH than in MA. I used to sell in both states.

Where in NH are you looking? I may be able to refer you to someone.

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Some thoughts: if the property is listed, some or all of the usual 3% buyer agent fee will come out of the seller's proceeds - if the listing agent is only offering 2.5% or 2% to the buyer's agent, then the other .5% to 1% would come from you at the closing, so in that case, you would take that additional amount into consideration when formulating your offer. You could also request the sellers pay that amount, too, as part of your offer, which we just did on a deal up here in Webster and the seller agreed to contribute that amount to the buyer's closing costs.

A competent buyer agent will do a thorough job with the due diligence on the property before you make your offer; tasks such as some investigation with the town, going over any hairiness on the deed (rights of way, easements, restrictive covenants, shared driveway agreements etc....), talking to the neighbors to learn more about that immediate neighborhood and anything they may know about the property/seller, doing comps for your ARV, discussion on scope of work and what's going to help it sell on the back end, the list goes on. All of this just gives you more peace of mind that you're not getting yourself into a problem property and you're leveraging your time through having a professional handle some of this work on your behalf.

My wife, who is an agent, will not agree with me, but I don't think you always need a buyers agent. The buyers agent is getting a portion of the money from the deal. Will that money end up going to the seller agent?? Probably, but it's my opinion that the seller agent would what the deal to go to you. I would only do this it's a home I really wanted and I knew there was competition.

That being said, You are going to have to do all the due diligence and  know your numbers. The seller agent is not going to look out for you. I would not recommend this until your comfortable with the process. 

I see your in Brookline, I've used Tim Morgan in Nashua for a several deals. He's an investor/agent

Good luck

Are you sure you found the listing agent? Zillow is usually supposed to keep the listing agent confidential (not that you can’t drive out to the house and get their info from the sign). If you clicked on someone shown near the listing it was probably a paid ad. Just wondering.

You don’t need a buyers agent. But it’s usually a good idea to have your own rep.

I agree with Shawn. The Seller's are likely the ones who will be paying the fee for the Buyer's agent, and the Seller's agent is just that -- representing the seller. They have no obligation (other than a moral one) to work on your behalf. I would strongly recommend using Tony's referral if Mr. Morgan is in the same area as the property you want to purchase. Also, when you are looking for an Agent, make sure you get one who has personal experience with investing. Mr. Morgan will likely be able to fill in any gaps in your knowledge about local investment properties since he is an investor himself. Most real estate agents are not also investors and they have no experience managing properties.

@Richard Dale-Mesaros Very rare that a buyer's agent would make their client "make up the difference" on a commission if its below 3% here in the DC Metro.  Is that common up by you?

When you contact an agent through Zillow...that email ia typically not going to the listing agent. Instead your email is going to the agent who purchased the rights to that zip code from Zillow

I need an advice on a house i am trying to purchase in the Lynn area Ma. Can anyone google it and tell me if is a good deal or should i drop it. I want to use it as a residency but don't know if is a good deal . The addresse is 258 maple st 01904. The purchase price and the rehab is 179000 total. Please some advise.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

When you contact an agent through Zillow...that email ia typically not going to the listing agent. Instead your email is going to the agent who purchased the rights to that zip code from Zillow

Can i have an advice form you on a property i am trying to buy. Need to know if is a good deal or not the addresse is 258 maple st 01904. The purchased price is $145000 and the rehab price is 38000. Please

Why not use a buyers agent? The seller is the one paying for it. If you think you're going to get a better price by not having an agent, you are mistaken. The only difference is the agent representing the seller is going to get double the commission.

Not having an agent is like going to a gun fight with your fists clenched. No matter how hard you can punch, you're going to lose.

Hi Dan,

Actually I've had no problems on the odd occasion when I've had buyer clients in the situation where the listing agent is only offering 2 or 2.5% - just need to make sure you have this conversation up front; same goes for making offers on FSBO's - if the sellers won't pay a commish, it has to come from your buyer, but their offer can be reduced by that amount to allow for it. Also, the offer when agents are involved could state that the seller is going to make up that difference, so it doesn't need to come from the buyer. Good luck out there! :)

Originally posted by @Claudia Temdenou :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:

When you contact an agent through Zillow...that email ia typically not going to the listing agent. Instead your email is going to the agent who purchased the rights to that zip code from Zillow

Can i have an advice form you on a property i am trying to buy. Need to know if is a good deal or not the addresse is 258 maple st 01904. The purchased price is $145000 and the rehab price is 38000. Please

 $38,000 rehab on that project? Can i get your GC's number please? That's one heck of a bargain and I'd love to keep track of the progress.

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