This past weekend I was working at an open house and a young couple came in that is getting married who had two houses to sell and considering buying one. As they gave me their details to review I went home looked up the comps and immediatly felt bad. Why because I could see that something wasn't right. One of the houses they bought directly through the listing agent, which was overpriced based on apples to apples comps. To make matters worse the home was range priced and they bought at the high end of the range and finally if we were to sell today we would have to sell at a loss.
Yes, Kudos for the seller they were represented well by the agent. But I have to ask how was the buyer in that transaction represented? Personally I admit, I have mixed feelings about this. Dual agency is applicable here in California and I have represented both buyers and sellers, but luckily my clients were happy with the pricing and representation, but I have also referred buyers on listings to other agents so they had someone looking out for their best interest. This feels a whole lot better for all parties involved.
So buyers, I put this out to you. Remember, you are venturing into one of the important legal transactions in your life. You need representation from someone you select. Why would you want to be represented by someone who is looking out for the sellers best interest? This agent was personally selected by the seller based on the strength of how he will negotiate and represent them. Something else to consider commisions are something that is generally paid by the seller (at least here in California) and if the listing agent represents under dual agency they probably already have an agreement regarding a reduction in the commission. This is not a reflection of a price adjustment because a lesser commsion would be paid.
I like to think sellers are already giving buyers this advice by advertising come buy my house and we will pay your selected Realtor to represent Your Interest!
This is not to say there aren't any good listing agents out there who would work very hard for you but I think when you look at the legal aspects and everything you need to do to buy a home such as, inspections, loans, title etc you want the best possible representation at all times.
My commitment to you, if you walk into one of my listings in South Orange County without representation and want to buy that home, I promise to refer you to an agent that will lookout for your best interest. So you can get the home you want and both parties interest are represented without ever having to wonder who is looking out for you.
Remember, It's Possible!