Most articles you read talk about the benefits of hiring a professional real estate agent to help you either buy or sell your home. But as with anything, there is a downside. It’s much harder to find these negatives, but they do exist. Let’s look at a few of the cons to using a real estate agent, particularly when buying a house.
1. Using a real estate agent does often cost more. The agent takes between a 3% and a 5% commission, and though it might be built into the sale price, a skilled private negotiator can get that removed since there will not be an agent on one side and the agent who is involved in the transaction shouldn’t get a double commission.
2. By going through a real estate agent you end up losing some flexibility on price because your agent is doing all of the price negotiation for you. This is especially true if you have gotten pre-approved for your loan. It can be quite easy to do all of your own research on houses any more thanks to the vast use of the web by real estate agents.
3. A real estate agent sale might take longer. Since you have to use the agent, you have to rely on the agent calling you back and then contacting the other party. By acting on your own, you can strike at the time you want to.
4. If you have all of the skills already, you don’t need to pay for someone to do what you already can. You might have thought about becoming an agent and never ended up finishing the process, so you have more than a passing acquaintance with real estate law. Or perhaps you are a financial person who knows how the market is behaving in your area.
5. Some real estate agents are not always looking out for their clients’ best interests, and don’t always engage in the highest ethics. They may not share all of your requests with the buyer, or if they do, it’s not in the timeliest fashion.
6. If you are a seller, you can sell the home as you wish and decorate it as you wish, not as the agent wants to. This is particularly helpful if you are a set decorator or an interior designer already. You know the best way to showcase your home in its best light, so why not let it shine? It can really play to the potential buyers’ emotions to see what your house can be for them. You might also be able to move your house quickly if a bidding war breaks out during an open house.
7. An agent can only complicate simple sales from family members. You already know everything about a house your family owns, so you can skip all of the inspections to find out what needs to be done, and you already know all about the seller, so no vetting has to be done. The transaction can also be smoother when the seller knows who the buyer is.
Depending on the circumstances and your own knowledge and comfort level, you can actually forgo using an agent all together in your real estate transaction.