Ethics of using a buyer's agent in home purchases?
October 9, 2006 6:49 PM Subscribe
I have a couple of questions about buyer's agents. My wife and I are interested in selling our current home and buying a new one. We don't have an agent yet, but we swore, after buying our current home and realizing that "our" agent didn't really represent us, that we would never again buy a home without a buyer's agent on our side.
posted by jayder to home & garden (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
After seeing a home we liked while driving through a local neighborhood, my wife called the listing agent and asked him if we could tour the home. He was very nice, but when my wife told him we'd probably get an agent, he said something like, "If I show it to you when you're unrepresented by an agent, how can I be expected to give half of the commission to your agent, if that agent didn't find you the house if you end up buying it?" Maybe it was a faux-pas for us to even ask to see it while we were unrepresented, but he showed us the home (and, actually, he was very nice) and we like it.
(1) Does the fact that we discovered the home ourselves, without an agent, mean that any agent we may ultimately get would not have a claim to part of the 6% commission on houses we discovered ourselves? (I ask, not so much because we're planning to buy this particular house, but because the same agent has sent us a bunch of other listings. He does not advertise himself as a buyer's agent, and we're determined to have a buyer's agent before buying.)
(2) What provides a buyer's agent with an incentive to get you the best deal, when they presumably are paid just like any other agent -- with a percentage of the ultimate sale price? Seems like they would have a stake in you paying more, rather than less, for the property you choose.