Saturday, February 24, 2007

Do you (Buyer) need an agent?

Well, if nothing else I guess the folks at BuySide Realty have been doing a nice job in their PR office because I keep see articles about them popping up in major newspapers including Sunday's Trib. Their business is serving as (limited) real estate agents for buyers and then refunding 75% of the buyers commission.

What's the view on this company and bigger picture, when is/isn't a buyer's real estate agent necessary?

My thought is that if you're going just use BuySide, why use an agent at all? Right? It sounds like all they are is an agent you can call when you're buying a home and essentially they'll put an offer in for you. If that's your only need, use a lawyer only. Most lawyers are charging $500-$750 as fees...that's going to be less than what BuySide does even with their refund. Interesting concept though getting $$ through the commission. I suppose this could be pretty profitable to you as a Buyer. There have been some stories about "real" agents refusing to pay BuySide agents their share of the commission.

It's hard to generalize about when a potential buyer SHOULD use an agent. If I'm buying a home in the community I live in or much of the Chicago area that I'm very familiar with I doubt I'd use an agent. But when we relocate to Portland, OR (might happen) and I just know a bit about the area I think the use of an agent might be wise. I think it's a lot like lawyers in real estate, you need to make sure you're adding value to every transaction to dispel some of this garbage that real estate agents are just these overpaid do-nothing people.

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