Buying a house and using the listing agent is like going into court without a lawyer to represent you. Each and every time I have a listing, I have somebody calling me asking me “what’s the price if I don’t have an agent and buys directly though me?”
I always want to say to them on the phone, you don’t care that I have a relationship with the owner first? Is a few thousand dollars worth the risk?
The thing is, I am bound by a code of ethics, and I also have my own ethics that somehow got instilled in me from childhood where I actually care about people for some stupid reason, but the thing is, not everybody cares about somebody coming to them trying to get a deal. Some agents might see this as shady and say screw them, they want a deal, I give them something to deal with once they buy the house. Maybe an attic issue, maybe a foundation problem, maybe it was a grow op?
Another great point I will let you know about since I’ve been in this business, is that I see houses everyday. I see good and bad ones. I see immaculate ones, and I see ones that are in the process and have been renovated. I know good renovation jobs and bad ones. Something that has happened that I don’t even get is that when I go into a house is that I’m looking for flaws, and looking for how much work needs to be done to bring it up to par and beyond. Its sort of like osmosis, when I walk into a place, I can tell if there is a problem, just out of habit. Its like getting into your car and noticing that there is an alignment problem. I don’t do it consciously. I would love to say I’m special, but many good agents, and agents in the business for a while will do the same thing. I see it when I do an open house, and an agent comes in with their client.
I also do it when viewing a house, I’m actually viewing the house as a buyer, and looking to see what kind of work needs to be done. I honestly have impressed myself sometimes at the things I pick up when walking through a house. I guess it must be from all the house viewing and all of the courses I take.
After saying all of that, would you walk into a house, with the possibility that the listing agent is looking out for themselves, or the owner? I would say most agents are looking to get a deal done on both ends, and looking to omit anything that might sway you as the buyer from buying the place, or asking for a discount. That includes every problem imaginable. Don’t believe me? Look on the RECO and real estate body websites for lawsuits involving multiple representations.
Let me ask you that question again, would you go into court without a lawyer?
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