Monthly Archives: March 2016

Not Using A Buyer’s Agent Is Bad Business

When buying a home, a real estate agent’s role is critical to your success. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or first time buyer, failure to use your own agent will end up hurting you.

Today, I’m going to shed some light on the important things a buyer’s agent does and why you’d be making a mistake if you didn’t use one to buy. ( and note, hiring a buyer’s agent is FREE ).

REPRESENTATION

There are rules regarding who represents whom during a real estate transaction. Here in Ohio, an agent can represent a seller, a buyer, or in theory, both, although to that I say neither.

I’m not going to get into the legalities here, but whether you are going it alone or not, it is critical that you understand state agency laws before you enter into any agreements.

I’LL DO FINE ON MY OWN

Real estate transactions can be very complicated.  No amount of on line articles or books can adequately prepare you for what you will encounter during a purchase transaction.

An experienced agent has seen it all and has the knowledge and resources to navigate a buyer through the myriad of problems that can arise.

While some transactions go smoothly, most do not. There are problems that arise during negotiations, inspections, financing, or with the tremendous amount of paperwork that can jeopardize a deal.

When you use an agent, you also get the backing of their company, which includes a seasoned manager and legal department. When problems occur, even minor ones, having a team behind you every step of the way makes a world of difference.

I WILL GET A BETTER DEAL WITHOUT AN AGENT

Anyone who thinks they will get a better deal working directly though the listing agent is kidding themselves. Are you really naïve enough to think the seller will provide you, some stranger off the street, a discount of thousands of dollars out of the kindness of their heart simply because you don’t have your own agent?  It simply doesn’t work that way and I’ll dispel that myth with the following example:

Let’s say I am selling my personal house ( and pretend for a moment that I am not a licensed agent ) and have hired an experienced listing agent to help me sell it. The real estate commission has already been agreed to in advance before the sign ever goes into the ground. That is my fixed cost of doing business.

So, you come into the picture without an agent and want to buy my home. I couldn’t think of a better scenario because my agent will take you to school. Instead of getting some perceived discount, they will likely get you to overpay, or at least pay more than a buyer who has an agent representing their best interest.

This is nothing against you, but my skilled experienced agent knows a heck of a lot more about negotiating a home than you do. Advantage me!

Remember, my agent represents me, the seller, and their job is to me the highest price possible. That is their fiduciary responsibility. Your goals and needs simply don’t matter. There is no discount.

I’LL JUST WORK WITH THE LISTING AGENT

It makes no difference, right? Wrong!

Many buyers end up doing this, and again, pay the price. I’ve heard things like “I met the agent at the open house and she was so nice and helpful…..”

Of course she was. She was probably June Cleaver on steroids because she makes twice as much money selling you the home if no other agent is involved.

Many listing agents will actually tell an unrepresented buyer that they’ll get a better deal working directly with them just so they’ll forego using an agent.

A better deal? For whom? The listing agent, yes, the seller, yes, but you, I think not.

EMOTIONS WILL GET THE BEST OF YOU

One of the best things an agent does for a buyer is to help them with the emotional aspect of the buying process. Don’t discount this skill because many of my clients have referred to me as their personal therapist.

Buying a home means packing, moving, spending a lot of money, one of the most emotional times in a person’s life.  Add to that having to deal with different personalities on the other end ( the seller ) that you cannot control and you get a recipe for an emotional cocktail that will explode if not managed properly. Even the most mild mannered people tend to get highly emotional during a purchase transaction.

Here are things that some of my clients, the nicest people in the world, have said while negotiating their home:

“These sellers are so unreasonable, I can’t stand them, what horrible people.”

“They are being ridiculous , what a bunch of a—holes. I don’t even want to buy their home now.”

“If they don’t accept our latest counter, they can take their home and shove it up their ….”

Ok, you get the point. In reality, most buyers and sellers are perfectly good people. During a transaction however, emotions will overpower logic and reasoning and get the best of everyone if you let it.

That’s why having an agent, someone who is not emotionally attached to the transaction, to guide you is invaluable.

I’M STILL NOT CONVINCED

Ok, here’s one last try. Ask yourself this question: If you had to go to court, would you hire your own attorney?

That’s an analogy we use a lot because a successful real estate transaction typically occurs with two different agents, each representing their own client.

Would you want the other person’s attorney to represent you as well, knowing their loyalty and fiduciary duty lies with the other party?

Or would you prefer to represent yourself, thinking that you can possibly out duel someone who has more experience and knowledge that you do?

How about if you could get a great attorney to represent you and the other party had to pay for it? If that sounds like the best option, then you should hire your own buyer’s agent. If not…

I get it, some folks are narrow minded and simply need to do things on their own. To those people I say “good luck”, as a fool and their money are soon parted.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in Solon luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Woodmere. We would be happy to refer you to a qualified agent if you are buying in an area that we do not service.

Not Using A Buyer’s Agent Is Bad Business is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©March, 2016