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Why as a Listing Agent I Prefer to Work With Buyers With Buyers Agents

Apr 4, 2008
More times than I can remember I had a buyer interested in a property think that I would be thrilled when I found out they didn't have a buyers agents. I'm not excited. In fact I would prefer that they had a buyers agent. Here are the reasons why:

1) Liability - There is more liability for me if the buyer doesn't have a buyers agent. While some agents prey on unrepresented buyers knowing that they don't deal with home transactions on a full time basis, I don't think that is the best way to do business. But without a buyers agent, there is still a greater chance that the buyers won't understand aspects of their new home. And unrepresented buyers are more likely to be miss important details that they will get angry about later on.

2) Workload - Dealing with another agent lowers the workload on me substantially. I am dealing with someone that knows the contract process and the expected behavior. When I have to deal with an unrepresented buyer, I have to spend a lot of time explaining the process to them. It's more difficult because unlike my seller the buyer typically doesn't trust me because I am working for the seller. And because some listing agents prey on unrepresented buyers, it makes sense they don't trust me.

So I usually end up spending much more time explaining the process to a wary buyer, especially when he / she bought a house in a different state or has not bought a property in a few years. In this case, any differences between what I am doing and what they experienced previously are met with suspicion.

3) Likelihood of the Deal working Out - In my experience, deals with unrepresented buyers are much less likely to work out. During the inspection a good buyers agent can explain the difference between serious issues that need to be fixed vs issues that are normal. Unrepresented buyers typically get a list from an inspector and become overwhelmed and back out of the contract. Or they expect the seller to fix everything on the inspectors list because they don't understand what is important. And in this case, the seller usually refuses and the deal falls apart.

So when I get two offers for the same price I usually tell my seller that the offer with the buyers agent is more likely to end up closing. The obvious question is why don't I favor the offer without a buyers agent considering I will make more money?

While this is true, my view is that I will have to do substantially more work, with more liability, and the deal is more likely to fall apart, meaning I did all this work for nothing and I am back where I started out - a house on the market with no offer. So it's generally better for me and my client to accept an offer with an experienced buyers agent working on the other side of the transaction.
About the Author
Ki is a realtor in Austin. His site has a search of the Austin MLS and provides information for buyers on the Austin Texas Real Estate market. He also provides updated real estate statistics on his blog about Austin real estate.
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