Represent yoursef or using a buying agent?

6 Replies

Hey all! My question is should you represent yourself or use a buyers agent? I understand the buyers agent is free but they‘re not going to fight for you to get the best price. They somewhat pretend to have your best interests at heart but in reality want you to agree to a price as quickly as possible. Sometimes I even get the feeling that they collude with the sellers agents to strategize on the offer i’ll accept the quickest. What do you guys think?
@JR Rivas valid concerns with your question. I’d say the best way to ensure you have a buyers agent that will represent your best interest would be by getting them via referral. The key here is finding an agent that works with investors. One that understands your goals of cash flow, appreciation or anything else you may be focused on. You don’t want a realtor who’s primary client is the “home buyer” interested in a nice kitchen or great yard for the kids. You need a realtor that understands this is a business (quantitative) transaction for you with the end goal of profit. Your challenge will be convincing this type of agent that you are a serious investor and that working with you will be a good use of their time. I’ve found that solid agents who represent investors are hard to come by, because they are in such high demand. However if you close deals and do what you say you will, they’ll quickly line up to work with you. Good luck!

I'm a buy and holder, which in Atlanta are the only deals on MLS. Flippers find very few deals on MLS they need to find their deal direct from sellers... FYI

I always contact the listing agent.  You would not believe what talkitive listing agents will tell you, even about other bids, price, whether the seller is willing to take a lower offer, WHY are they selling and what is their must sell by date?   As an investor, my education, knowledge must be up to doing my own inspections, calcing my own offer price.

I've bought 40+ rentals, I've never been given secret sauce helps from a buyers agent or even deals.  I have to find my own deals on realtor.com AND zillow email alerts based on a filter.

My low ball offers are much more likely to be given a serious look because i developed a relationship with the listing agent, my best resource to take my offer to the seller and make the pitch.  You will not get that help when working through a 10' pole (via a buyers agent) and then there is the gorilla in the room, working through the listing agent gives them the full 6%.  Net of your lower offer they may make more in their pocket at 6% vs a higher offer at 3%.....

Get educated, don't be dependant on inspection periods, do your inspection yourself on first walk through, then make offers no inspection, $3k earnest close in (some very short period depending on cash vs financing).

If your buyers agent isn't working for you and your best interests, find a new agent. My agent writes my offers and fights for them, no matter what it is. He offers his opinion but never has his opinion changed what he does or fights for me.

Originally posted by @Brian Pulaski :

If your buyers agent isn't working for you and your best interests, find a new agent. My agent writes my offers and fights for them, no matter what it is. He offers his opinion but never has his opinion changed what he does or fights for me.

 @Brian Pulaski - Lol, I need a buyers agent like that here in Maryland. If they're out there I haven't come across one yet. And we have more agents then ever before. Thanks for your post, it encourages me to keep looking for a buyers agent that is willing to writing up my offers and fight for me with my low offers. These kinds of agents are worth the whole 6% and more!

With the exception of my primary residence (which was my first solo buy) I've NEVER used a buyer's agent in the traditional sense. There's nothing wrong with doing so but I prefer not to (mainly because with the exception of my primary residence no agent has ever brought me good deals).

In my last deal the seller's agent was the dual agent. He saw that 6% commission and of course wanted to make the deal happen. He did a good job and was more than fair to me (kept me in the loop, let me view the property before closing, did good with the paperwork timeline). 

I don't know what he told the sellers but I got a ridiculous deal (it eclipsed the 2% rule and then some - 2.7% including rehab - that will be tough for me to top!) because I wouldn't up my offer over the course of a few months and waited it out. 

In short, there's no one way to do a deal, representation-wise (or lack thereof as I've had occasions where no agents were used - just me and the seller - though I very much recommend having a good RE attorney in those situations).

Instead of asking if you should use an agent or not because you think they are shady...maybe you should be asking how do you find a good agent.