If you're a buyer in this market, it can be frustrating. Buyers are writing offers directly with listing agents looking for any advantage they can find to win homes. But does it work?
What happens when a buyer writes an offer with the listing agent?
The listing agent makes double the commission by representing both the buyer and seller in the deal.
The buyer wins the house.
What about the seller? Did they get the BEST offer? Or did they just get an offer that benefits the agent more than his own client?
Forget about the ethics of it for a second.
How does this affect YOU as the buyer?
Surely, the listing agent who puts his own interests before the seller to make more money wouldn't do the same exact thing a buyer, would he? This is the biggest purchase of your life. This agent is going to manage the transaction, choose a company to handle ALL the money for you, and give you hundreds of pages of contracts to sign that you don't understand.
What About Ethical Agents?
Let's say you find a good trustworthy agent to "double dip" the sale. Can they represent both parties fairly? Yes, they can. But, if everyone has a fair shot, where is your "inside deal" with the listing agent now?
Actually... In multiple offer situations, if an ethical listing agent DOES represent a buyer, he will usually remove himself from the negotiations on the seller side and bring in a third-party to represent the seller to make sure everything is 100% fair.
If you want an inside deal, hire the shyster agent and take your chances.
If you want an ethical agent, you're gonna have to play fair.
How to Be Competitive:
90% of agents out there pride themselves on their ethical and moral fortitude. Big deal. You’re SUPPOSED to be ethical! What about an agent that knows how to get his buyers NOTICED sellers? How to write really attractive offers?
All Agents Are NOT Created Equal:
Yes, every single agent in Southern California uses the same exact contract to write an offer. But think of the contract a paint brush, not the painting itself. Some agents are better than others.
Actually, there are probably a handful of agents that are better than most. The difference is staggering. Choose wisely.