Every once in a while, I receive a phone call on a house where the buyer only wants to talk to the listing agent. Somewhere along the path of this buyer, he got the idea that dealing with only the listing agent is somehow better than having a buyer's agent help. Some kind of myth was established that you will get a better deal because the listing agent wants to sell that home for his sellers and is more motivated to help. What happens is, the listing agent becomes the agent for both the buyer and the seller working both sides of the transaction.  This is called a Transaction Broker.  If the listing agent is ethical, and can be truly impartial to both buyers and sellers the transaction will probably turn out fair for all involved. The listing agent receives double the commission for selling that particular property because of not having to split the commission with a buyer's agent as represented in the MLS.  With that in mind, this listing agent might only push this one property and not care if it truly meets the buyers needs and is the right fit. Also, this listing agent will not suggest looking for other homes that better fit the buyers needs if it's more advantageous for the agent to sell his listing unless, of course, this is a very ethical listing agent.  Also, the listing agent's pricing strategy becomes a little harder for these buyers because the listing agent already had a pricing strategy for the sellers, unless the property was fairly priced from the beginning. In addition, the sellers are going to expect the listing agent to get the most for their house. How does this affect the buyers in getting the best price and terms from this agent? Let's just say this agent will have to be on top of her/his game to make it fair for all parties. Why not have a buyers agent negotiate for you? A buyers agent can be much more impartial in the transaction because, in essence, the buyer's agent is working for the buyer, not the seller.  Generally in a real estate transaction, all agents are working for the transaction (as a Transaction Broker), and this is implied in Florida law; however, if you are a buyer and you have your own agent, he will be working for your benefits and will know your concerns and needs more readily than if you just hire a listing agent.  Having a buyer's agent is a relationship that grows in knowledge of each other. A buyers agent will be finding out about the particular needs, wants, desires, challenges, of their client and will be working to help them achieve their particular real estate goals.  Employing only a listing agent can sometimes work-- if the house is priced correctly, and the relationship is respectful for both the buyer and seller.  With so many benefits to having a buyers agent, why not just start on the path to homeownership with the knowledge and assurance that you have a professional on your side?  It certainly cannot hurt if you have a professional experienced agent working for you. And remember all offers, whether they are form the listing agent or the buyer's agent have to be presented to the seller. So when shopping for your next home to settle into, consider hiring a Realtor to work for you. With few exceptions, it's a free service for the buyer's side. For more information on what services you can anticipate with a Realtor/buyer's agent here is a list of 50 reasons to use a buyers agent.  

In addition to helping buyers understand home prices, buyers’ agents do a lot more.

1. Analysis of your real estate needs and determine housing criteria

  1. Research properties

3. Set up custom search that matches your needs 

4. Provide information pertaining to your move or relocation and short-term stay options

5. Educate you about home buying processes

6. Provide information on market conditions, schools, communities, employment, and more

7. Discuss your financing needs

8. Recommend qualified mortgage brokers

9. Make appointments and show properties

10. Provide timely and professional disclosure and research

11. Review: pros & cons of each property

12. Point out “Hot Buttons” while showing

13. Help with loan application questions

14. Follow up of loan application with your selected mortgage broker

15. Help cleaning up your credit if needed

16. Analyze purchasing timeline and needs once property is located

17. Free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of a property in order to make an educated offer

18. Call listing agent to get sellers disclosure

19. Draft the offer and prepare paperwork

20. Research tax records

21. Get information on utilities

22. Explain all paperwork before signing

23. Discuss planning and strategies 

24. Write offer, collect, deposit escrow and provide verification to listing agent

25. Submit contract and follow up

26. Negotiate contract until mutually agreeable

27. Review and explain final contract

28. Send the title company the executed contract

29. Schedule and attend the home inspection

30. Schedule and attend the termite inspection

31. Recommend insurance agents to you

32. Verify loan process has begun

33. Review home inspection findings with you

34. Re-negotiate repairs if needed

35. Order survey/appraisal

36. Assist to meet finance deadline

37. Monitor contingencies – financing, home inspection, etc.

38. Check on homeowner’s insurance, help with obtaining homeowners insurance

39. Verify that the title agency has all necessary documentations

40. Follow up with the lender on all aspects of closing process

41. Schedule closing: time and place

42. Review HUD (closing statement)

43. Perform a final walk-through

44. Determine the funds to be brought to closing

45. Coordinate between lenders and the title company to determine amount needed

46. Release escrow to title company

47. Explain everything needed at closing

48. Attend your closing

49. Give you the keys to your new home!

50. Follow up after closing – homestead info and insuring that everything is going fine in your new home