All posts by CZ

Buyers agent – to use or not?

Although it seems still far away from the bottom right now, the RE bears on this site are looking for the days to transition to bulls when Vancouver RE is restored back to fundamentals. A common understanding (or the RE bear sentiment) is that after another one or two years deep dip, the market is likely to level down for a while. The bears then may start shopping around.

To prepare for that, buyer’s strategy needs to be considered. One of the main issues is whether to use a buyer’s agent or not. There are around 10K local Realtors (can someone provides the exact number?) – some of them are very experienced professionals that would help buyers a lot on one’s biggest purchase in life, while some others may just be con-men collecting commission only, or even worse, misleading/pushing the buyer for quick commission. A buyer’s agent does not necessarily have their interest aligned with the buyer’s when it comes to commission. This leads to the question on the poll “Are you going to use a buyer’s realtor?”.

I have listed some pros and cons of using a buyers agent here to start our brainstorming.

Pros:

1. Inside information. Some of sales information are only available to realtors (this may be worth talking about as another topic).
2. Expert advice. Get advice on various aspects, such as pricing, RE trend, construction quality, history, surrounding info and neighbors. Assuming you are lucky with a good realtor.
3. Safety. Feeling that the deal is “verified “/”protected” by a professional – may be purely sentimental. But most likely you do get less speculation on the decision making. Realtor does have to adhere to the Code of Ethnics, dealing with them is supposedly to be secured and you may have opportunity for recourse if you suspect their behaviors.
4. Less hassle. Free you up on most of the hunting job, paper work and other formalities/hassles/complications.

Cons:

1. Cost $$$. May be compensated by the service. Do you think the commission is too high, either percentage wise or absolute cost wise?
2. Risk of agent choice. Tough to identify the good ones, so you still have to do your own due diligence to prevent suffering from a con-man agent.
3. Less thrilling? You’ll lose part of the adventure/ excitement of the hunt (if you like to treasure hunt or pan for gold in the sand)

In addition to the generic comparison, there is a difference between purchasing a new house vs. resale. I guess for new house, especially new condo, buyer’s agent may not be as significant as in resale ones. And also for tricky regions, buyer’s agent may be more helpful in general.

[poll id=”31″]
-CZ