Why third-party sites can’t beat working with an experienced agent.

As a homebuyer in today’s digital world, where information is so accessible, you may be wondering if you need to work with a real estate agent at all while purchasing a home. Couldn’t you just use third-party sites? Those sites can be a great place to begin the search for your next home; however, there comes a time during every home-buying experience when buyers need some help to fill in the gaps left by these third-party sites.

Buyers often see properties and have questions about them that the third-party sites don’t answer. You might be thinking, “Can’t I just use the listing agent to answer these questions?” They certainly could answer these questions, but this is where things can get hairy. Remember, the listing agent represents the seller. You as a buyer would be speaking to that listing agent as a customer, not a client. Unless there is some blatant material defect with the home, the seller’s agent isn’t obligated to tell you anything that would deter you from buying the home. Even if you ask a specific question, unless it specifically relates to a material defect, you’re not necessarily going to get a straight answer due to the fiduciary responsibility that the seller’s agent owes their client.

Imagine having to go through that with every home that you’re interested in. Not having representation of your own as a buyer can make the whole experience feel very lonely and leave you with second thoughts wondering if you’re doing the right thing for yourself and your family. Another benefit buyers gain by working with an agent is access to more homes and the ability to learn about them before they hit third-party sites.

One of the most common misconceptions about third-party sites is that they show you all the homes that are available for sale. It can take months for people to get their homes in perfect condition and ready to sell. Many agents are going to know about upcoming listings and can share them with clients before they hit the open market. Some sellers may not want to openly market their homes to the public. These homes will not even make it into the MLS before they go pending, let alone ever be seen on third-party sites.

“One of the most common misconceptions about third-party sites is that they show you all the homes that are available for sale.”

A great agent will be sending you new active listings as well as ones that are marked “coming soon” in the MLS. This allows you to schedule a tour for one of the first days the home is available for showings so you don’t miss out on an opportunity.

So far, all this may sound great, but you might be wondering what all these benefits are going to cost. In most cases, working with an agent costs you very little. In many cases, most if not all the commissions are paid by the sellers.

If you have any questions about working with an agent, need one yourself, or have other real estate-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my team via text or email. We’d love to hear from you.