Many buyers stumble on a real estate agent by calling the one listed on the For Sale sign. The broker happily shows them other houses, asking about their needs, laughing at their jokes. It’s easy to get loose-lipped and forget whom you’re dealing with: someone else’s agent. That is where you get in trouble as legally, brokers are obligated to provide their sellers with any information that can help them get the best prices for their homes that represents homebuyers….and you just gave way too much information—information that will help the seller , not you.
“If you tell the broker that you’re willing to pay $150,000 but want to offer $122,000, they’ll pass that on to the seller. They have to.”
DO NOT CALL THE REALTOR LISTED ON THE SIGN OR EVEN A REALTOR WORKING FOR THE SAME COMPANY AS LISTED ON THE SIGN!
The buyers agent is an agent who is supposed to work strictly in the buyer’s interest, helping him get a fair price on a home as well as avoid pitfalls along the way. Unfortunately, things don’t always unfold so nicely. While buyers may think they’re getting a broker who isn’t commission-hungry, many buyer agents are just that: They usually get about 3%, the same amount any broker typically earns when he gets involved with another agent’s listing. “Buyer brokers are sometimes too focused on closing the sale and getting that commission,” according to one real estate broker and attorney, so it’s often in their best interest to see you pay as high a price as possible.
Even worse, some brokers who call themselves buyer advocates are actually working for companies that also represent sellers. Brokerages offer bonuses to buyer agents if they sell an in-house listing.
Get a broker who has no such conflicts of interest: find a buyer agent near you who has no ties to sellers’ agents and who pledges to help you get the best deal possible; many even work on a fee structure rather than on commission.