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Should a Home Buyer Use the Same Realtor as the Seller?

Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2017
Should you and the seller use the same real estate agent?

Buying a house? Selling a house? They are all part of the same life transition. When you are moving along, your family and another family are going through that transition at the same time. You are buying a home, and someone else is selling. Should you use the same realtor to provide you with assistance during this time of transition, or does it make more sense for the buyer and the seller to use different realtors?

Are There Benefits to Using a Seller's Agent?

When one agency represents the interests of both the seller and the buyer of a property, this is known as a single-agent or a dual agency transaction. While it is perfectly legal for a buyer and seller to use the same agent, it may not always be the best idea for you.

Real estate agents get paid when the house sells. The seller is the one who is responsible for paying that fee, and the buyer pays nothing. If you are the buyer, you might think that there is a financial advantage if the fee goes to one real estate agent instead of two. Could this lower the price of the home and give you stronger negotiating power? While that is possible, having your own real estate agent can give you the freedom to negotiate the price and terms that you want, without worrying about the agent's conflict of interest.

A home is a huge asset. Protect your negotiation by using two different agents.

Buying a House Using a Single Agent May Be a Conflict of Interest

The cons of using the seller's agent can outweigh the pros. What could you lose if you use the seller's agent as your real estate agent as well?

You could lose a second opinion. Your realtor should look at properties with an eye to what you want and what you do not want in a property. While your real estate agent does want you to find the right property, he wants you to find a property that is truly satisfactory. An agent who is working for both sides might not be able to highlight some of the downsides of the property, since that agent is also working to sell it at the same time.

Your Real Estate Representative Must Work For Your Interests

You need a representative who can make sure that you get the best possible deal. Real estate transactions involve financial negotiation, and they also involve negotiation about key factors such as whether specific actions such as home inspections must be completed before a sale. According to Bankrate, buyers using the listing agent are not represented at all.

To illustrate, consider this example. If you were in a legal battle, would you decide that since there is already a lawyer in the room, you could have that lawyer represent both parties? Of course not. That lawyer could not represent the interests of both interests at the same time.

Similarly, it would be very difficult for a real estate agent to adequately represent the interests of both parties to a real estate transaction. Trying to represent both parties can easily cause a conflict of interest. While real estate may not be as combative as the courtroom, you still need someone to represent your financial best interests.

At Open for Homes, we are here to help you build your knowledge about home purchases and home sales. Turn to the blog at Open For Homes when you have questions about real estate.

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