Buying in a super hot market - use listing agent or get my own?

6 Replies

I'm torn between getting my own buyer's agent or going through a listing agent to buy.  Google searches have been primarily saying it's best to get your own agent (to represent your best interests) and my internal network is telling me to forget the buyer's agent and just go directly to the listing agent.  I am in a super competitive market so it's difficult to get a bid accepted on any house.  I can certainly see the pros/cons of going each route, but there seems to be the major pro of using the listing agent as they would be incentivized to help you so they get both commission cuts.  The argument of using a buyer's agent to represent "my best interests" seems flawed as I'm assuming they would also be hoping for a higher bid price aka higher commission.  Curious to know what the BPs community thinks.

Secondly, I'm looking at multiple cities that may not be super close to each other.  If I did end up getting my own agent, would that even work?  They likely won't specialize in all the cities I'm looking at and it would be quite a trek for them to let me into the houses to view.  I'm in Northern CA if it makes any difference.  I'm not sure if in this situation, it makes sense to just use the listing agent each time or perhaps go through the Redfin route.  Haven't explored Redfin, but you can immediately set up appointments through the app to view homes.  I'm guessing an overseeing agent will be behind the scenes once you're ready to make an offer.  

@Laura C. - I would get your own agent! I have heard of people not using their own, only using the listing agent but this comes typically with many years experience so you can look out for your best interests and know what to look out for. A buyers agent will be negotiating down for you, one that is not is not doing their job! Yes, a higher price does mean a higher commission however if they do good by you it means repeat clientele or referrals. Not all agents are cut from the same cloth, I tell this to everyone however I do see value in having your own agent. Even if they cannot get the price down they will try to get closing credits for you. I would get one and it is no cost to you as a buyer. 

@Laura C. I have my own agent I always use. He takes me to cheap properties or expensive properties and goes out of his way for me. He has just helped me negotiate a $100,000 savings on a $300,000 property due to issues that have come up. While my all-in cost will ultimately be about the same my mortgage payments will be less and my deductions and write-offs will be greater which will be better for me!

@Olivia Radziszewski Good point about the buyer's agent really working for you in hopes of getting future referrals.  Didn't think of that - figured commission was #1 priority.

@Alecia Loveless I'm guessing you've done quite a number of transactions and developed a good relationship with your agent. I feel like a buyer at the bottom of the barrel since I'm looking for the cheapest SFH in my desired areas haha.

@Tyler Williams Would be nice to have folks helping you all around, but I would commit to a buyer's agent if I had one - feel it's the right thing to do.  

@Jonnie Furmanchik The problem is it's really hard to get an offer accepted in this market.  I get looking out for best interests, but at the same time, I want to be able to actually get a house.  Multiple people have told me they probably wouldn't have gotten their offer accepted had they not gone directly to the listing agent.