Do buyer's real estate agents try to get you the lowest price possible, or do they usually not bother to negotiate? What is the incentive for them to get you the lowest price on a home you are trying to buy? When you are buying a property, can you tell them what price you want to try to negotiate for? Do buyer's real estate agents always haggle for you or do most not bother? I assume it depends on the agent's ethics and whether the agent is serving your best interest.
I always work for my clients best interest. I make my recommendations based on the specific property and the current market. Hot market, House day 1, priced right. I recommend coming in strong. House on market for a long period, overpriced, I recommend we go for the jugular. The only way an agent survives in this business is by referrals from past clients. Get someone a great deal and they will send people your way. Happens all the time. Agents that are not looking to the future don't usually last that long.
As with anything, this is going to vary largely depending on who you are using. If you can get a face-to-face interview with the agent that's a great way to weed out the ones that aren't going to fight for your best interest. Have a set of directed questions that help you understand if they have your best interest in mind or not.
As Mike says agents make recommendations. As the buyer you decide what you want to pay and hope you have a agent that 1- will offer it and 2- will do a good job negotiating it.
Bottom line is, assuming your agent is fully engaged and on your team, you make all the decisions. You darn well better know what you are doing because relying on a agent that you have not fully vetted and is not 100% in line with your thinking is not doing you justice.
Agents with the right experience and mentality to work with investors are hard to come by.
@Tom Smith the buyer's agent works for the buyer. They are obligated to give their best efforts in representing your best interests - which yes could be a lower purchase price. Now, that can be taken many ways. For example, I had a situation where I wanted to counter at a low price and my agent insisted that they would not accept the offer and we would be out of discussions. While he claimed to have my best interests in mind he was not working for me here, he was catering to how he felt the seller would react to my counter.
The agent is incentivized because they want your future business! The agent can lend advice, guidance, etc. but it is your decision on how to negotiate and they will be the intermediary between you and seller/seller's agent. If you are pleased with the services you received, you're more likely to use that agent again.
This can be tough in a young REI career so I'd recommend getting an older agent, someone with a lot of experience and then you should also continue to ask questions on here to get multiple perspectives. It's all part of the experience though, you're not alone in questioning this.
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