Should You Buy a Home Through a Seller’s Real Estate Agent?

Updated: May 25, 2023

Going with the seller's agent instead of your own has its pros and cons. It might save you hundreds of dollars and a lot of stress.

When purchasing a home, prospective buyers can work directly with the seller’s real estate agent or hire their own representative. Both options come with advantages and disadvantages, underscoring the importance of thoroughly evaluating the seller’s agent before making a final decision.

Benefits

By working with a seller’s real estate agent, you’re choosing convenience over anything else. The agent is already familiar with the property and can provide detailed information about its features, history and any potential issues. They can schedule house showings and guide buyers through the negotiation and closing processes.

The seller’s agent may also know about competing offers. This saves time, especially for buyers with limited availability, or those seeking a straightforward transaction.

A shared agent can lower costs for each party. In some cases, sellers may be willing to negotiate a lower price or offer other incentives to buyers who work directly with their agent.

Disadvantages/Dangers

The primary concern is a potential conflict of interest.

While the agent is legally obligated to treat both parties fairly, their loyalty lies with the seller, since the agent’s pay is almost always tied to a commission on the sale price of the home. They may not provide impartial advice or disclose all information that could be advantageous to the buyer. Therefore, buyers may miss out on opportunities or fail to identify potential pitfalls.

Working with the seller’s agent also limits the buyer’s options. The agent is primarily focused on selling their client’s property, which may not align perfectly with the buyer’s needs and preferences. A buyer’s agent, on the other hand, has access to a broader range of properties and can identify options that best suit the buyer’s requirements.

Signs of a Good Real Estate Agent

A top-notch real estate agent should possess excellent communication skills, actively listening to clients and responding promptly to inquiries. They’re also proactive, guiding clients through the entire process and providing valuable advice.

Hiring an agent with in-depth knowledge of the local market, including current trends and property values goes a long way toward getting a good deal. Finding one you can trust, however, isn’t always easy. Start by asking friends, family and coworkers for recommendations.

Ultimately, buyers must carefully assess their needs, preferences and the complexity of the transaction before deciding on the best approach.