If you are looking to buy a home, most likely you will contact a real estate agent. While it is possible to purchase a home that is being sold by the owner, an agent can provide you with the information on any home that is on the market. However, once you decide to use an agent, you need to decide whether you will go with the seller's agent or find one on your own. The seller's agent "lists" the property for sale and has his or her name and phone number on any signs or advertisements about it. Any agent can list and sell properties or work as the "seller's agent." In addition, any agent can also be a "buyer's agent" and help you to buy homes on the market that are listed by other agents. Here is a bit of information regarding each choice.
Your Own Agent
When you work with a real estate agent to buy a home they have not listed, this person works expressly on your behalf. This often occurs when you have contacted an agent about a property they have listed, but did not find it suited your needs. He or she will then look for properties listed by other agents for you to look at. You may also call a real estate company and ask for a buyer's agent. He or she is your agent, not the seller's. In this case, there will be two agents handling the sale, yours and the seller's. You will deal with your agent, who will go to the seller's agent, who will take the information to the seller. Anytime the seller wants to communicate with you, it will be in the reverse. When it comes to closing, there will be two separate agents who receive a commission. This means the commission stated in the selling contract will be divided between them.
Having your own agent means you have someone who is interested in selling you a home. He or she will work hard to find a property that suits your needs and is within your budget. Because the focus in on you, the agent will be more willing to offer a lower price than what is being asked. If you do not buy a home, there is no commission for the agent and it will have been a waste of his or her time.
Although the seller's agent works mainly for the seller, that does not mean you will be ripped off in any way. Yes, the agent will work hard to get the asking price of the home, and may encourage you to offer more, but he or she has a very strict set of rules and regulations to follow. The main focus of this agent is to sell this house. He or she may not care if it is to you or not. When you are not the only one interested in the place, you will find that the seller's agent will push you harder to offer more.
However, since the most important thing for this agent is the sale of this house, he or she may be willing to take a cut in commission because it will not have to be split with another agent. A change in commission rate means you can offer a bit less on the house without having it affect what the owners had planned on receiving, making it acceptable to them. This can save you some money. In addition, the seller's agent may be able to convince the seller to make a few improvements to the house to encourage the sale. These improvements mean you will not have to do them yourself once you move in, saving you money.
Legally, you are just as protected no matter which agent you decide to use. The thing you need to decide on is whether you are interested in a specific home only, or if you are looking to find the perfect home.