Dear PoP – What are the Benefits of Using a Realtor?


“Dear PoP,

I’ve found a house I’m strongly considering putting an offer on. I don’t yet have an agent. If I already have found the house– and can prequalify for a loan on my own, what is the benefit of hiring an agent? By hiring an agent, don’t I give up a minimum of 3% negotiating room? If I don’t have an agent– the seller saves 3% in agent commissions– so I would think that they would be more willing to pass that 3% along to me. Am I mistaken? What are your reader’s opinions on using an agent if you’ve already found the house you want to buy?”

I’ll be interested to hear what folks think. I know when I bought my house I was so green I didn’t know anything and wouldn’t have been able to do it without a realtor. I also didn’t know DC’s neighborhoods that well at the time so the realtor was able to show me many more properties than I probably would’ve seen on my own. But if you’ve already found the house I guess the equation would change. What do you guys think are the pros or cons of using a realtor if you’ve already found a house on your own?

58 Comment

  • The buyer’s agent was extremely helpful when I bought my home near H Street. She navigated me through some tough repair and cost-related negotiations. It’s probably unwise to rely on the representative of the seller for all of your information about the transaction.

  • Does anyone know of a good mortgage broker or other options, as I need to refinance this year. Help!

  • How about redfin? Or hire a real estate attorney by the hour.

  • If you’re buying, there’s not really any advantage to doing without a realtor. The seller doesnt’ have an incentive to agree for a lower price–if you need help with the contract (and you probably do if you haven’t done this before) you aren’t likely to save any money, as it’s usually the seller who pays all the real estate fees; if you hire an attorney, you’ll pay a lot you needn’t have paid by using an agent whose services you can get for free as a buyer.

    Furthermore, I think you would put yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating a price. For example, in buying my house in Petworth I wanted to make a full price offer because I was scared of not getting the property, but my agent convinced me to offer $10K less than asking. When the seller’s agent tried to stall (hoping for other offers) my agent pushed them to respond to my offer immediately, and they accepted my low offer without even counteroffering. It turns out the it was the seller’s agent’s first sale, and the experienced agent (mine) was able to get the better deal, despite the fact that I was willing to make a full-price offer and even go over asking to get the house.

    • In many cases, agents negotiate with the seller to save them $$$ when the listing agent writes the offer for the buyer. In these cases, buyers don’t receive those savings. A buyer’s agent will work on your behalf to negotiate an offer, as well as so many other services you may not be aware of. The PetRes response is a perfect example.

  • When you have a root canal you consult a professional and its only about $700-$1500, same for insurance, or any other trade you consult a professional. You are talking about a 1-2 times life decision and if you are not an investor or had multiple transactions under you sleve it will be vise to work with a realtor. Here you are some links that might help, as 89% of transactions use an agent on each side:

    And many many other…. Best of luck..

    • It was under the advice of realtors and other professionals that many, many families bought houses and got into depts they could not afford. I would say educate yourself as much as you can. You might find that you are your best and only advocate.

  • I bought my first house several months ago, and planned to use Redfin to save some money. While touring houses, we ran into an agent we really liked, and wound up hiring her.

    I’m so glad I did. She was terrific. She was able to recommend a really good inspector for us, was able to give us good advice on what should be in the contract, and what shouldn’t, navigated us through the timeline, advising us on closing costs, etc. It was just a really good experience. The peace of mind was worth the few thousand it cost me.

    That said, I think a lot of realtors really suck. So if you hire one, you’ll definitely want to check references, and hire someone who is known to be good.

    Also, that whole business of “buyer’s agents are free because the seller pays them” is, as you’ve already noticed, complete bullshit. There’s x number of dollars in the deal, and what’s going into the buyer’s agent’s pocket could be in yours. The question is, could you actually get those dollars, and is it worth the hassle? For me, hiring a professional was the correct decision, but I’m under no pretenses that I was, in fact, hiring her with my money. I just didn’t have to write a check.

    Anyway, I would unreservedly recommend Dina Paxenos. I’ve no relation to her, other than being a (very!) satisfied customer. She lives in Petworth, too!

    • “Also, that whole business of “buyer’s agents are free because the seller pays them” is, as you’ve already noticed, complete bullshit. There’s x number of dollars in the deal, and what’s going into the buyer’s agent’s pocket could be in yours”

      BULL. That is utter nonsense which would be like saying, there are 24 hours in a day so you can work at your desk for 24 hours. If you can do as good a negotiation job as a realtor then:
      A. you hired the wrong realtor
      B. you should be a realtor

      I hired a realtor who knocked about $25k off the price of my house in additional work (new roof, floor fixed), paid $10k less and they gave us a check for $5k at signing. They paid 100% of closing costs.

      Everyone told us we got an insanely good deal. Our agent hammered on the other agent, sending as many as 10 faxes per day to wear him down. Our agent was like the Henry Rollins of real estate.

      I firmly know from everyone else I know well who bought houses that our realtor earned her money. I followed her listings and saw her sell in the 1999-2002 timeframe something like $30 million in houses. She’s not the personality she once was, but when she was hungry for a commission, wow, she went nuts.

  • I faced a similar dilemma a few months ago. The compromise position I took was to use an agent that rebated a portion of his commission. The problem with not using an agent is that the seller’s agent has all sorts of ways that she can try to claim the full 6% commission. (And I say never use the seller’s agent, since the agent always has her client’s best interest in mind…i.e., the seller.) With an agent who rebates, you’re *guaranteed* to get a portion of that commission.

    I looked at Redfin, but ended up going with I-Agent Realty ( because they rebated 2% of the commission, whereas Redfin only did 1.5% (and up to a certain amount). Also, I didn’t like the Redfin model of scheduling house viewings and using overworked agents. I did all of the preliminary research, but when the time came to take final looks at houses and put in offers, I did not feel as if I were getting the low-cost treatment from my agent (Wade). We ended up getting our #1 choice for 10% less than (the already reduced) list…a much better deal than I expected. The icing on the cake was the rebate check for several thousand dollars that I received the week after closing.

  • When we bought our house I don’t think we could have done it without the assistance of our Realtor. But it was a foreclosure and there was a done of back and forth with the selling bank. Especially, as first timers I would not have wanted to do that myself even though I had researched a ton and understand a lot about the process I just felt more comfortable having an agent.

    And I think the seller’s have to pay the 6% regardless of whether you have an agent or not. I could be wrong there but generally they split the commission and if you don’t have an agent then it becomes a matter of dual agency where the seller’s agent represents both sides. I absolutely would have not wanted to be in that situation.

    BTW, finding the house was the easy part what came after was where our Realtor really earned the fee.

  • houseintherear

    The time to not use a realtor is when you’re selling– Get a realtor before you make an offer.

  • Not only do you need a realtor for all the reason listed above, but you need a real estate attorney! I am in neither profession, but I used to have a real estate atty’s association as a client and learned so much about what they can do for you, above and beyond what realtors do (in fact, a lot of realtors don’t want to send you to attorneys, thinking they can do their job for them!). There are so many legal dimensions to purchasing real estate that you really do need a professional to handle it. They can save you a long headache in the long run, and for just a few hundred (usually $300 or less). Well worth it.

    • Yes, I went with an attorney in the late 90s and paid something like $250 for a 2 hour review of everything with some suggestions. If all he sold us was piece of mind then that’s ok.

  • i would not recommend purchasing a house without an agent. i agree with all of the reasons listed above, and i would also mention than often when a seller signs a contract with an agent, they sign it with a commission percentage already agreed on (typically 5-6%). it is then up to the seller’s agent how to divy up that commission. some agent’s use this as a way to get more traffic into their seller’s house, by offering 3.5% to the buyer agent for example.

    point being, just because you don’t use an agent on the buying side, doesn’t mean you open up 3% profit to the seller. the seller’s agent still decides how to negotiate that commission with the seller.

    also, having gone through the buying process this year, i would suggest that a strong agent with a good understanding of the market you’re looking in will save you more than that 3% in other ways (getting you the right price, setting up the right contingencies, asking for fixes after a home inspection, etc).

    if you’re looking for suggestions of realtors to interview, i was incredibly pleased and impressed with my agent, Koki Adasi-Efuya, and would gladly recommend him.

  • How to choose a realtor? We might be selling soon, and want to make sure to get the person with the best cred to list the house. Is there a Linda Low of Columbia Heights?

    Re the original question: get the realtor. They’ll do lots of piddly little things for you that you don’t want to be bothered with yourself. They know the ins and outs of the system, and it would take you considerable research to get to that point, not to mention the time of doing the tasks yourself. If you consider your time worth anything at all, you’ll be in the plus column.

  • If I were a buyer, I’d find a broker or use Redfin. Either will give you a rebate on the standard commission, figure $1,500 for every $100k of purchase price. If you have an agent you like, I would try to negotiate that rebate deal with them.

    Bear in mind, an agent is incentivized to close the deal, not minimize your price. A good agent will hammer the price a little, but won’t jeopardize the deal, because they don’t know if there will be another. This is where you and the agent may have different ideas. If you’re willing to walk away, you are in a strong position.


    Don’t get me wrong, a good negotiator is a good negotiator, but as an industry realtors are in the business of convincing you that they’re simultaneously saving everyone money and taking 6% for themselves. If you feel you’re a bad negotiator, fine, knock yourself out, but remember that a realtor has a huge incentive for the deal to close and a tiny incentive to save you another 20k or whatever. If you’re uncomfortable with the legal issues hire a lawyer, and if you can’t figure out the financing find a good bank or hire a financial adviser. But never, under any circumstances, allow someone to become involved in a real estate transaction who is getting paid on commission.

    Also, to the person who thought their realtor did a great job by sending all those faxes, do you really think that someone with that little dignity and class represented your interests in an honorable manner when you weren’t looking?

    • yes. I know that for a fact. I’ve gone to her house for parties and why would she invite me years later if she was after a quick buck? You are just a few threads shy of being delusionally paranoid. You literally have no idea what you’re talking about. Have you ever worked on commission? I have and you know what, the commission didn’t drive me because there was always another deal around the corner. When I was working with her she had about a dozen clients she was working with at the same time. If everyone during that 3 week period brought her $7500 in commission then that’s like $80k for the month.

      My realtor wanted any deal to go through, naturally, and wanted the deal to go through the quickest. However, she got us into some houses, looked around and cautioned us against those houses- Told us she could do better by us. Told us to walk away from one really nice house because the title had issues that would have dragged on and that house stayed on the market for like 4 years before it sold.

      At one point my house was worth 5 times what I paid for it. Bubble or no bubble I got my house at a bargain.

      I worked with Linda Low in the 1990s when she was hungry. I can’t comment on her now, I can’t comment on Rob, I can’t comment on her assistants. But back then, she was a real estate genius, I recommended many friends use her, and she saved all of them more money than you could imagine.

      Was some of that money given to me in the form of a check written by the seller at signing (aka, keeping the price up to keep the commission up)? Yes and please tell me how that hurt me.

  • I can’t imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars without hiring a professional to help me make the best investment possible. 3% on a property in DC is a small price to pay for a realtor’s experience. The only reason I didn’t have a nervous breakdown at closing when I handed over my down payment was because I had my excellent realtor there, who earned my trust through the taxing experience. If you’re looking for a realtor, I recommend checking out Tom Buerger. He got me through one of the most stressful experiences of my life, and I couldn’t be happier with the investment I made. Couldn’t have done it without him.

    • Again, knowing that the details have been handled and you’re not making a financial mistake are great reasons to hire an attorney and a financial advisor, respectively. They might cost you $2000 on the outside and have no personal financial interest in the transaction itself.

      Of course, you can always pay 5 or 6 times as much to put your trust in someone who is getting a 5 digit payday that day and will likely never see you again. Your call.

      • A good realtor will get repeat business when their clients sell their property and buy again. A realtor with good business sense will not rally to cheat you of a solid purchase in favor of their commission. A smart buyer will know when a deal isn’t right. Furthermore, financial advisors are not real estate experts. My financial advisor told me to find a realtor for the many questions about real estate that he simply could not answer. Realtors get paid, via commission, for their time and expertise. I don’t think amateur buyers should go through the process without an expert. The process is just too complex.

      • If you never saw your realtor again, maybe there was a personality conflict. I’m certainly sensing one here on this very board.

  • I recommend Tom Welch. He lives in Petworth, great energetic guy with lots of experience. Was very, very happy with his work when I bought my house.

  • \point being, just because you don’t use an agent on the buying side, doesn’t mean you open up 3% profit to the seller. the seller’s agent still decides how to negotiate that commission with the seller.\

    Exactly my point. This idea that the other 3% is on the table for you is just not true.

    3% of my 1990s sale would have been around $7k. The sellers gave me in cash and prizes about $25k.

  • I have bought both with and without a buyer’s agent (realtor).

    Even if you’re looking at low-end properties, I believe that not having a realtor can hurt you. I bought a foreclosure working directly with the seller’s agent. I think I would have saved $10-20 K with a lower offer. Also, more relevantly, the agent and settlement company never transferred the property into my name, so property tax bills went to the prior owner. I was quite disappointed buying from Carol Howell (RE/MAX) and would not recommend that anyone go to a settlement without their own agent until they’ve mastered the process

    • Another good example of how doing your homework and hiring a lawyer is the way to go to save money over a realtor. Keep ’em coming people!

  • We are about to hit the second dip of the recession. If you are buying and not selling, wait until late summer. There are still a whole crop of foreclosures that the banks haven’t processed. Prices will continue to fall.

    • Real estate demand in DC is going up with office space tightening right this very month. I will publicly state that the second dip in the recession is not going to affect DC prices.

      • So, you’re trying to sell your house, right?

      • Office space tightening? Are you effing kidding me? There is 100k sqft on my block alone downtown that you can have tomorrow if you want it, and that’s just what they’re admitting is open, most of us know there is more. There is what, like a million opening in the west end this year with pretty much no tenants lined up? How many people do you think are actually going to work every day in that giant Corporate Executive Board building in Rosslyn? Seriously, I know realtors trade in vapor and rainbows, but saying office space is tightening in DC right now is just ridiculous.

        You are correct that residential foreclosures in DC proper are lower than they are nationwide so our housing probably won’t double dip when the banks start releasing inventory, but backing that up with fantastical notions about the commercial market is just silly.

  • I bought a house for the first time 6 months ago. I used a realtor, but will never rely on one again. That is not to say my experience was necessarily negative. My realtor seemed competent, but I do not think that the services provided by the realtors on either side of the transaction warranted 6% of a 550k purchase.

    With all of the data that is available, any marginally capable person should be able to figure out the comparables for a home in which they are interested. The same goes for making reasoned decisions on home inspectors, contractors, and every other facet of the home buying process.

    Realtors have a vested interest in protecting an outmoded business model that is rapidly dying. While I don’t think it’s as critical an issue for a buyer, it is beyond my comprehension why a seller would, in my example, pay $33k in needless fees to a corps of quasi “professionals,” when you could get superior service from a licensed attorney for a miniscule fraction of that amount.

    The strongest argument that can be made is that you need a realtor to market your property and find a buyer. You quite simply do not need them for any other aspect of the transaction. However, in this city, with the technological and legal resources available to a seller, that’s a sucker’s deal.

  • And, just to add one further point. The process of buying and selling real estate is indeed daunting to a newcomer. However, there is actually nothing about it that is really all that complex from any perspective, legal or otherwise. Tedious, certainly. However, I’ll engage in a little yeoman’s work to save 33k any time.

  • A realtor is a negotiator and rolodex–nothing more, nothing less. If you can negotiate yourself (and not just the 3% commission savings, but money for repairs, closing costs, etc., and, most importantly, the proper “actual price” because as any GDON post on this blog will show you, there are a lot of overpriced houses out there), and you can operate google and read reviews of home inspectors, title companies, mortgage brokers or other sources of financing, etc., then there is no need for the realtor. Especially nowadays, when so much free information is available on the web.

    I’ve done both and didn’t think that the realtor brought much value to the table. YMMV, but if you’ve done your homework, are willing to put in the time it takes (could be next to nothing, could be significant, based on what comes up during the inspection, and just the vaguaries of life), and aren’t afraid to negotiate (which may mean walking away from the house if you can’t get the proper price / concessions), then you don’t need to use a realtor.

  • I agree with the prior comment and will make one more point before shutting up for a bit. If you are looking to buy or sell a property in D.C. that is in a sought after area, you are only paying a realtor to be the bulldog you don’t want to be, and you’re paying a hell of a lot for that bulldog.

    In a popular area in D.C., you can figure out what a property is worth without a realtor’s assistance, and you can find a buyer without a realtor, no problem. I would have paid 550k to the folks who sold me my place using only real estate attorneys without batting an eye, and they’d have around 30 grand extra in their pockets today.

    Might be a different story in Topeka, but you don’t need a realtor in D.C.

    • This is the best point on the thread. There is too much readily available information in major metropolitan areas to warrant using a realtor. Unless you get paid so well that spending a few hours a week for two months in order to save 5-15k is not worth it to you, you don’t need a realtor in D.C.

      Bring an atty with you to closing, and negotiate terms where the seller pays all closing costs (my rookie mistake).

      Personal sidenote: I used a well regarded realtor once and simply felt pressured to put an offer on a place I didn’t really want. Not that all realtors are like that, but in this market, you should not feel pressure, ever, to buy anything.

  • Just to emphasive one more point. We sort of go through this discussion in any Good Deal or Not post (and so I’m a little surprised at the number of whole-hearted realtor supporters that are coming out of the woodwork here). How many times do people complain of the bad pictures, crappy picture hosting services, bad and misleading descriptions, spelling errors and other simple proofreading mistakes in sales literature, and general not-of-this-world reality as to price, location, description, etc.? And that’s for realtors when they have the simple job of selling a place! (And I put all of that on the realtor–even the listing price; if they can’t get their client–the seller–to list in the correct ballpark range, then what chance do you think they’ll be able to effectively negotiate for you–rather than for the deal–and get your a better price?) Doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the profession.

  • You know what people? Because I want to sell my house I am very excited that you won’t be using a realtor because I know then that you will pay me my full asking price and all I’ll have to do is tell you “no” that I won’t pay for repairs or closing costs and you’ll have to deal with my tough as nails realtor so that they protect their full commission.

    bring on your best negotiation. Wow, did you really submit this bid to me with the grammatical inaccuracies? Oh well, I can still read it. Hey, I smell something weird, did you step in something coming in here today? check your shoes if you could. No? Well something still smells bad…

    • Needer -What makes you think that a realtor is a better negotiator than any of us? If you don’t accept an offer, a smart buyer will simply move on. there is plenty of inventory.

  • The very next sentence in my post, which you failed to quote, said exactly the same as you. \ The question is, could you actually get those dollars, and is it worth the hassle?\ So, yes, I agree, which doesn’t change the fact that the claim that the seller is paying the realtor, not the buyer, is a misleading statement. Money out of the deal is money out of the deal.

  • Neener, I’m more than willing to go against your “tough as nails realtor.” I can figure out what a property is worth, and if I come across a bad faith actor such as yourself, I will walk away from the deal. I will then publish truthful comments about my experience with you to alert the buying public. Congratulations on having a tremendous mind for business.

    • ha. And you will be called out as equal to the guy complaining about his latte in Columbia Heights. Congratulations on a mind for public relations. Don’t you know from this very site how those whiners are roasted over the coals? In fact, please, right now post that Neener is going to use every technique in the book to sell his house for the most money he can get for it with the minimum amount of buyer-requested-repairs and then see what people think of that. Please, go ahead and post it!

      You really have no idea how naive your point is and as I suggested, I will use this to my monetary advantage if this continues to be a trend.

      I am tempted to start listing my business bona fides, but that would just be obnoxious on my part so I won’t.

    • Agreed. Most realtors fold like lawn chairs. $10,000 to you is only $150 to them. Do you really think they’ll endanger their commission for $150? They will push you to take the first reasonable offer.

  • hmm. I don’t see how public relations is an issue at all, troglodyte. As a private citizen who does not run a business I don’t rely on the patronage of morons like you for my livelihood, and I sure as hell don’t give a rat’s ass if you like me. I am willing to pay fair market value for a home. If you ask for more than that, I will not buy it. You, however, with your “business bona fides,” will realize 6% less than otherwise would have been the case.

    Yep, a winnar iz you. You get the power-up and win the game!

  • Try Jim Norris with TTR Sotheby’s. He has been in the business a long time, is familiar with the hipster haunts of NW and has bought/sold a lot of properties from Adams Morgan to Petworth over the years. He helped us find a condo that has quadrupled in value and drove me all over the place to look at houses when it was time to find more space. I had a second kid on the way – so one lesson is you know what? Not everyone is going to wait until the market is exactly right to buy, some of us needed a house YESTERDAY but are still picky. Now you cannot get a house on my block, it’s full of happy newcomers and there’s no more turnover.

  • most realtors provide little value. a few provide a lot of value, especially to new homebuyers and bad negotiators. i used a realtor the first time i bought a house, but now that ive gone through the process, i would do it myself. You have access to the listing agents information online now, as well as old listings. The Realtor model was really built around the Realtors having all the privileged information. I can do the leg work with the calls and faxes, and just get outside help from an attorney for things i need it for.

  • you are so naive, RD. Neener is going to go all Donald Trump on your ass!

  • Realtors, like any professional, can both be a help or hinderance.

    The reason you should consult a realtor is not simply to help you negotiate a price, but to guide and protect your interests through the transaction. There are a nauseating number of steps between “we love the house” and “here are the keys”. There are inspections, appraisals, condo questionnaires from banks, land surveys, possible title issues, Tenant rights concerns (TOPA). Merely being aware of a risk does not alone protect you from it.

    If a realtor simply wedges themselves into a deal and a commission then they are hardly the professional you should be hiring. But if they know what they are doing and can get you a new heating system because the seller erroneously affirmed on the current system was working… or tells you what fees are negotiable from your lender… or helps you be more competitive in a multiple offer scenario by reducing redundant contingencies AND the seller pays their tab – then they are an asset.

    Oh, and I’m a realtor… Phil Di Ruggiero at your service!

    Forgive the plug, but this is what I do everyday for my clients.

  • What makes you think that a realtor is a better negotiator than any of us? If you don’t accept an offer, a smart buyer will simply move on. there is plenty of inventory.

  • And when i went through it the first time i didn’t even know what a contingency was. i wouldn’t know how or if it was reasonable to demand the sellers to fix a bad heating system. Realtor definitely provided some value and guidance. But i feel like i wouldn’t need it again. Only judging Phil by his website/comments/youtubes, but I think more realtors need to be like him and very few are. can’t believe the GDONs here where the realtors can’t spell or take a picture. They write in shorthand that Realtors understand and don’t even realize that people look up listings themselves.

  • I think real estate sales definitely needs reform. Why not flat fee for service?

    I have done several real estate transactions and appreciate the value of expertise. I have friends who are realtors and understand the need to make a living. But even if you price realtor expertise and overhead at $200.00 an hour and figure 20 hours of work per sale that is still only $4,000.00 of labor per sale. Even 50 hours of work per sale at $200.00 an hour is only $10,000.00.

    Yes, I know there are a lot of “dead ends” and uncompensated time, but when average sales prices in DC are around $500,000, it seems a realtor could actually live rather comfortably on 4 sales a year ($120,000.00). Even with overhead.

    Is there really $12,000.00 difference in labor between selling an $800,000.00 house ($48,000.00 commission) and
    a $600,000.00 house (36,000.00)

    I’m certainly open to debate – but I think it is time to rethink this model.

  • It seems that consumers have the power to change the real estate industry. If more people start to NOT use realtors, then the profession will have to change. Sites like Redfin is already a response to that change. There’s room to standardize, simplify, clarify, and be transparent, in the real estate transaction, to minimize the need for the middle man. Make it real simple, and the consumers will want it? I do hope the real estate business tones down a bit, it would divert important resources to more “productive” things…

  • I think the answer to this question has a lot to do with how savvy you feel as a buyer, how comfortable you are negotiating, how willing you are to self-educate about the process, and how disciplined you are with following through with your lender, inspector, insurer, etc.. I’ve bought two properties in the DC area without an agent, and in both cases it saved me tens of thousands on the ultimate purchase price (great deals on both, imho) and really didn’t require a whole lot of work, other than keeping on top of things between contract and closing. From these experiences, if I buy anything else, I have no intention of using an agent. Then again, I’m a lawyer, so negotiations and contracts are sort of my line of work, even though I’ve never come near working professionally on a real estate deal.

    I disagree completely, however, with the “seller is paying for it, so why not get one as the buyer?” argument. 2.5-3% of the purchase price — which amounts to $12-15k for the typical DC 500k property — is allotted to the buyer’s agent. That’s money that you pay, one way or the other. You’d have to convince the seller to give it back to you and alter his contract with the listing agent, but it can be done, and it’s in everyone’s interest to do that if you want it to happen. And the seller’s agent probably will supply you with a check-the-box standard contract if you ask. My experience is that what I did in shepherding through both my purchases came nowhere near approaching the money I saved by being agent-less. Other than if you have an extreme disstaste for negotiation, I’m hard pressed to see the 12-15k in value creation in having someone else do this for you — roughly the price of a small car or decent bathroom renovation.

    The FTC and DOJ jointly did a lengthy report on real estate agents in the last few years. It’s worth a serious read if you’re honestly contemplating this question.

  • Our real estate agent team recommended that we offer full price and that we agree to forgo inspection. Stupid idiots. Unfortunately, we were stupider and agreed to it. If I am ever to deal with an agent again, I would be 100% he/she had our backs. But I’m not sure what the incentive is… They get a bigger paycheck the less hassle you put them through and the more money you spend on a house. I don’t see how this makes for good practice.

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