One quick follow-up item to yesterday’s question about whether a listing agent should claim the full commission if a fully capable unrepresented buyer wants to purchase one of his listings.
1) As was pointed out during my meeting yesterday, and rightly so, there is a myth in existence that buyers can find a better deal by calling the listing agent because the commission will be reduced. There is no such guarantee.
At the end of the day, the commission rate is set between seller and listing agent. In a slower market, the seller and the listing agent may be willing to pass along the money set aside as a co-broke to the buyer in an effort to secure a contract. In a more active market, it’s just as likely seller and listing agent will tell the buyer to take a flying leap.
(And then the seller likely will try to argue for a reduction anyway, usually without success – unless, of course, the issue was addressed up front as I discussed yesterday with the wording I add to my listings.)
There’s nothing that says a buyer can’t ask for a reduced sales price or closing cost assistance. But don’t assume that it’s a fait accompli because it absolutely is not.
2) The wording I use on my listing relates to any unrepresented buyer. But it’s not always in the best interest of the buyer to be unrepresented.
In yesterday’s example we had a buyer who worked for an attorney (and attorneys are allowed to sell real estate here.) On another tack, perhaps the buyer has purchased and sold multiple homes and already has an array of specialists in tow – home inspectors, pest inspectors, title companies, lenders, appraisers, etc.
In these instances, the buyer likely will be fine going it alone on the transaction. But more often than not, that just isn’t the case. Many agents are involved in more purchases and sales in a month than most people are involved with in their lifetime.
Assuming the usual five-year itch that strikes and causes homeowners to move, is it reasonable to expect someone to remember all of the minutiae involved in something they last did five years earlier? I think not.
Buyers’ agency was created specifically because of the need for buyers to be represented independently in the real estate sale (once upon a time, we all represented the seller whether buyers realized it or not.) Many people believe there’s nothing to it. Maybe people later find out how wrong they were only after it’s too late.