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If you have been considering buying a home and are thinking you should not use a Realtor, consider the following before making a decision on what is the biggest purchase of many people's lives.
Realtor representation is already paid by the seller: The seller of a home is almost always the one that pays your realtors commission. That means all the services your realtor provides you are free to you. If you think by calling the Realtor on the sign in front of the house you want to see will save you money because the seller will only pay half commission, think again. Listing agents that work both sides of the transaction (buyer and seller representation) get the entire 6% commission, instead of having to split it with the buyers agent. If you see a for sale by owner you want to purchase, most owners are willing to pay the buyer's agent commission. So you get all the services a Realtor provides you essentially for free.
Negotiation: Realtors are skilled in negotiation. It is what they do for a living. A Realtor representing the buyer will do anything and everything to get you the best price possible when you are not in a multiple offer situation. If you are in a multiple offer situation, skilled agents know what to do to make your offer more appealing.
You have someone working for you: Realtors are also in the business of customer service. With a good agent you should get answers to all your questions, information, a walk through of the process, and a partner helping alleviate your stress during one of the most stressful times. They are working for you to get you the home you want for the best deal and make sure all along the way you are on top of important deadlines, your lender is on top of your file, the appraisal is on schedule, the seller's agent is doing their part to get all the documents signed and to the title company on time, and so much more.
Looking at what you get for free, why would you elect not to use an agent? If you have had a bad experience with an agent in the past, understand that no 2 agents work identically, and interview before making your decision. Don't allow one bad experience to taint your views on Realtors, we are not all the same..