Like most real estate professionals, my broker associates and I make a living representing both sellers and buyers of real estate. Occasionally I encounter a buyer who doesn’t want to have an agent of his own, preferring to deal directly with the listing agent.
The most common reason given is that the buyer thinks he can negotiate a better deal by saving the seller the 2.8% commission typically paid to a buyer’s agent. In fact, doing so usually saves the seller nothing since the buyer’s agent is paid by the listing agent, not by the seller. Al-though our policy at Golden Real Estate is to reduce the listing commission if we don’t have to share it with the buyer’s agent, that’s not the practice among the majority of listing brokerages.
Also, there’s the issue of representation. If you deal directly with the listing agent, the best you can expect is that the agent will be a neutral party, but in most cases that agent will continue to work in the seller’s best interest and treat you as a “customer.” As a buyer, you should really want someone on your side, negotiating in your best interest, not just regarding the contract price but later when it comes to inspection and other issues. In the case of buying from a builder, such representation is even more important.