Show Me The Comps!
Got a perfect example of why you want to have a buyers agent on your side. A couple of days ago I preview a property for a buyer who is out of the area. Went out, took some pictures, walked the land. This was an older property with some acreage and before I went I researched the history and found out it had been on the market for some time and had quite a few price reductions.
In my opinion the property did have some charm but there were some negatives I was concerned about. In particular pricing. I asked the listing agent for comps because I wanted to see the support for the pricing. Here is the thing folks, the listing agent is supposed to be the expert in the area and should have support for the pricing. Yes, I can pull comps and I do but on real estate that I thinks iffy I always ask the listing agent first!
Why? The listing agent is bound to the seller by contract. They have a fiduciary responsibility to that seller and if the comps don’t support the pricing then they can’t provide the comps. If they do provide the comps, I still pull my own to make sure everything is in line.
So what does this mean to you the buyer? It is in your best interest to use a buyers agent!
Let’s say you find a property you like and you contact the listing agent. Their job is to tell you how great and wonderful their listing is. That’s because they are bound to the seller. Ok, you go and view the property and just fall in love with it. Lord forbid it’s got some land involved too. So you want to make an offer. But what do you offer? Do you rely on what that listing agent tells you? Remember who they are bound to. There are only two ways you can work with a listing agent on their listings. As a customer, representing yourself, or in dual agency (which is worthless), again you are on your own. I can write a page on dual agency.
Agency Definition: the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his or her control and on their behalf.
So how does an agent work for the buyer and seller? DUAL AGENCY, please somebody out there tell me who came up with this.