Why Search for a Realtor, Anyway?

1. Are You Buying a House or a Home?
2. Buying a Home With Resale Value
3. Why Buying a Home is a Good Idea
4. Why Search for a Realtor, Anyway?
5. Pre-Approved Verses Pre-Qualified Loans
6. The Strategy of Selling First, Then Buying
7. Determining Your Offer Price
8. How Property Condition Affects Your Offer
9. How Market Conditions Affect Your Offer Price
10. Contingencies in an offer to Purchase Real Estate
11. 1031 tax-free exchange

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Finding Your Realtor by “Accident”
When someone decides it is time to sell their home, they interview several Realtors from different companies to determine which one is best for them. They want someone who will represent them and someone they feel will do an effective job at marketing their home. However, when someone decides to buy a home, they usually end up with their Realtor through sheer accident.
Why don’t home buyers search for a Realtor the same way that home sellers do?
Instead, homebuyers usually end up with a Realtor as a result of answering an advertisement. The advertisement will give a brief summary of a home available for sale along with the price, but it says nothing at all about the Realtor.

Listing Agents and Selling Agents
You see, there are two “sides” to every sale. The seller’s side is represented by the listing agent. The buyer’s side is represented by the selling agent. The selling agent can also be referred to as the buyer’s agent. Selling agents (buyer’s agents) do not usually list very many homes for sale. They deal mostly with homebuyers. Selling agents “sell” the homes that are placed in the Multiple Listing Service by the listing agents.
Most agents concentrate primarily on one side or the other. This is not a “hard and fast” rule. There are also agents who split their time equally between buyers and sellers. Often, these are the very best Realtors. The fact of the matter is, if you are buying a home who do you want on your side? A Realtor who deals primarily with sellers? Or one who deals mostly with buyers?

Should You Call the Listing Agent?
First, very few people actually buy the house they call about.
For argument’s sake, suppose that you call the Realtor who is listing the property you “might” be interested in. It turns out that the house is absolutely perfect and affordable and you want to make an offer. Do you want the same agent who represents the seller to also represent you?
When you make an offer to buy a house, you are entering a negotiation. The seller wants as high a price as possible and the buyer wants the lowest price possible. Plus, there is more to buying a house than just settling on a price. If a Realtor represents both sides, there is a potential conflict of interest, although an ethical Realtor can often equally represent both sides. In such a case, however, the agent becomes more of a transaction facilitator than an agent working actively on behalf of either the buyer or seller.
You must keep in mind that there are times when it might not work out, too. The listing agent may choose to represent only the seller and that would leave you without your own advocate.

The Crux of the Matter
Most real estate transactions go fine, but almost every one has a challenge or two. These challenges are often routine, but sometimes not. Because the agent has divided loyalties, one side or another may doubt where those loyalties truly lie. Mistrust develops. This can take a small problem and blow it way out of proportion. At that point it becomes a crisis.
Having an agent on your side as your advocate removes the mistrust and helps keep things on an even keel. If a challenge develops, you know where your agent stands.
Plus, the seller pays for it — you don’t.

Why Listing Agents Advertise – Is it What You Think?
Listing agents place ads for several reasons. First, they need to show the seller that they are doing something to sell their home. Second, by showing how much they advertise, they can also attract other individuals who are thinking of selling their homes.
They point to their ads to show their clients that they are aggressively marketing the property. When other home sellers constantly see ads from a particular Realtor, they are inclined to want to list with that Realtor, too. So even though the ads look like they are directed toward home buyers, they often have another purpose. To attract home sellers.
What sellers don’t realize is that a listing agent’s true marketing emphasis is directed toward other Realtors, not the general public. Their main goal is to convince the selling agents (buyer’s agents) to find buyers and make offers. This is a good thing because if you are selling a home, you want as many Realtors as possible bringing buyers around to take a look. Most of a listing agent’s marketing efforts toward other Realtors are invisible to the general public, but it is where an effective listing agent does a home seller the most good.
Selling agents (buyer’s agents) do advertise homes for sale in order to attract buyers. Although the ads do market a specific property, they are mostly intended to attract buyers in general — not a buyer for that specific property. The agent would be happy if you did buy the property you called on, but it happens so rarely that they do not expect it.
What happens when you call on a real estate ad is that you often schedule an appointment to go look at the advertised home. While you are out looking at that home, you will probably want to look at others — so the agent will show you a few other homes, too. Eventually, you and the Realtor will zero in on what you need and like in the proper price range and you will make an offer.
That is how most buyers find their Realtor — by “accident.”