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Don't be a fool! Work with a buyer's real estate agent.

By Glenn Shelhamer | April 18, 2019

Time and time again I hear the horror stories about homebuyers working directly with the listing agent as opposed to hiring their own agent when writing purchase offers. The reason is always the same, "we thought we had to in order to get the house". SMH. In this article, I'm going to explain why working directly with the listing agent you'll end up spending more money and worst not know what you're buying in some cases. We'll also highlight the reasons for having your own representation is 100% always the smart decision. 

When making a significant purchase or decision, people usually, look for an unbiased opinion to assist and guide them through the process. Or they look for legal consultants to help safeguard their interests in fields well beyond their experience and expertise, correct? For instance, doesn't a suspect in a court of law seek the knowledge and services of a lawyer? Would you go to court unrepresented asking the other guys attorney for advice? Of course not! So why would you think it's okay to ask the other guys real estate broker?

Before we jump in, I think it's important I tell you that I totally get it if you've fallen for the listing agent trap. Today's digital information age can fog up your glasses walking you into the trap. Especially since you don't buy and sell real estate on a daily bases. There is just so much information online and when you walk into an open house unrepresented more than likely you're going to shake hands with the listing agent. To help you get a better understanding of why working with your own Realtor is the smart decision, here are the top three reasons.

They are buyer's agent experts.     

When it comes to buying real estates, hiring a professional buyer's specialist will ensure that you are protected from drafting an offer all the way to the recording of title. The inspection period can be overwhelming with multiple systems troubleshot. This is the time to create a material facts list so you know the property condition, and you'll also have fuel to ask the seller for a price reduction or credits towards your closing fees. Then the appraisal period and loan contingencies are next. Your agent is responsible for tracking the appraisal and working with the loan underwriter. If your loan has conditions your agent is readily available to help you.

What the listing agent will do for you.

Absolutely nothing. They may be kind enough to give you an inspector referral, but it's up to you to interpret the findings and set up secondary inspections if needed. You're on your own. If you're not a general contractor or understand property systems and how to gauge their serviceable life span you're gonna be in trouble. 

Surprised man who didn't know to hire is own Realtor when buying a home.

They boast vast neighborhood knowledge.       

Real estate agents are experts when it comes to identifying the industry buzz - what's the next best spot to buy a home or invest. Besides just being able to spot comparable sales as well as provide you with these facts, buyer's agents can also direct you to where you can acquire more information on fundamental neighborhood elements such as schools, social amenities, demographics, or even crime.

For instance, while you may be informed about the selling price of a house down the street, your buyer's agent will have exclusive information about the house like whether the house has been updated or that it sold at a particular price after falling out of escrow.   

What the listing agent will do for you.

Absolutely nothing. They may give you off the cuff advice about the neighborhood, but their fiduciary duty is to the seller, so they'll talk up the neighborhood no matter what. It's their job you pay the most possible amount of money for the property. 

They offer accurate price guidance.      

The listing agent will draft you an offer. Not help you negotiate the best price. Your agent can help you understand the current fair market value on the house or condo. They may create a CMA (comparable market analysis) or a BCO (broker price opinion) to help show you with data what's up in the market. You should also take into consideration how long the property has been on the market for sale. All of this information will help guide you towards a fair offer price for the property.   

What the listing agent will do for you.

Absolutely nothing. They're contractually obligated to encourage you to spend as much money as possible, plus, it's in the listing agents best interest as their paycheck is based on how much you spend on the house.


Make no mistakes the listing agent is working for the seller, not you. As long as the seller isn't unreasonable a buyer's agent should be able to save you a lot of time, energy, and money.

Guess what? I saved the best news for last. Working with a buyer's agent is absolutely free! The seller pays a listing commission fee to the listing agent who shares his fee with an agent who brings a willing and able buyer. Working with a buyers agent saves you time, energy, and money. Plus, it doesn't cost you a dime. 

If you're still not convinced here are a few more articles which support working with a buyers agent. 

9 Shocking Facts Home Buyers Don't Know, but Agents Do - This article discusses facts that agents know about buying a home, but buyers don't and could cost them money.

Why Should I Have a Buyer’s Agent – See a detailed overview of all the things a buyer’s agent does for you in a real estate transaction. It is smart to have an exclusive buyer’s representative who will be working in your best interests.

What Can A Buyers Agent Do for You? – Find out what an experienced buyer’s agent can do to save you time, money and aggravation.

The Shelhamer Real Estate Group | Realpro Eastside
Glenn Shelhamer The Shelhamer Real Estate Group Los Angeles

About the Author:

Glenn Shelhamer is a Real Estate Advisor and team lead of The Shelhamer Real Estate Group | Realpro Eastside with offices in Los Angeles, CA. 

Glenn has a consistent, undisputed track record as a top-producing real estate agent, and as a leader in the Los Angeles real estate market, pushing him to the top of any list of outstanding agents to work with. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or seasoned real estate investor, Glenn will exceed your expectations every time. 

Glenn is a leading Los Angeles Realtor with a focus on the Eastside communities including DTLA. Glenn was one of the first successful L.A. based real estate bloggers - & This strategy gives Glenn access to the cities most motivated home buyers and sellers.
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