After all these years in real estate, I’m still shocked at the number of relatively sophisticated people who willingly give up their right to have a professional protect them in a real estate transaction. It’s even more confounding when you consider this added level of protection is usually free and without it, the buyer usually pays more and takes on additional problems than they would if they had called an exclusive buyers agent.
Time after time, I talk to people who thought nothing of calling the listing agent to get information on the house. Next thing they know, they’ve bought a property and they did it without anyone advocating for their best interest.
Sometimes it works out fine. Most often, if works out OK, meaning they may have save more money or negotiated more repairs or upgrades if they had the help of an expert, but nothing terrible happens because they didn’t. But, sometimes it’s bad and it didn’t have to be.
I’ve seen people discover all sorts of problems after the fact. Problems ranging from environmental hazards, substantial water damage, costly financing decisions, unstable developments, to exceptionally high neighborhood fees and under-funded home owners associations that could have been spotted before they became the buyer’s responsibility.
It seems so obvious that the seller’s agent has one duty: to get the property sold at the best terms possible for the seller. Perhaps that why I’m still so surprised when buyers decide to pass on having their own expert work on their behalf and, instead, deal directly with the listing agent.