The buyer’s agent commission is paid by the seller, with rare exceptions. They either get paid directly by the seller or set up the transaction so that the seller provides a “credit” to the buyer for how much the real estate commission is — then the buyer pays the commission. A maxim in real estate is, “No matter how it’s set up, the buyer still walks away with the house and the seller still walks away with 94% of the purchase price.” MORE ACCESS TO THE REAL ESTATE MARKET A real estate agent will have better access to the market, and a special knowledge of local conditions. The agent is a full-time liaison between sellers and buyers. An agent will have ready access to other properties listed by other agents. Buyers’ and sellers’ agents know how to put a real estate deal together. A real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, contact sellers’ agents, and secure appointments for viewing the homes. On their own, buyers have a more difficult time with these things. This is even more so the case when a buyer is moving due to relocation or employment opportunity and engages a “buyer’s agent” to handle matters. NEGOTIATING IS HARDER ON YOUR OWN A real estate agent will keep the transaction “at arm’s length,” such that personalities and emotions do not become involved. Price negotiations take a special skill and understanding of the psychology of offering and counter-offering. Agents keep the transaction dispassionate and rational. For example, a buyer (you) might like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet, and lurid orange kitchen. When you work with an agent, you can express your opinions on the current owner’s decorating skills and complain about how much it will cost to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. Your agent will translate that to the seller that you very much like the property, but can see having to spend $xx in decorating costs, and thus offer that much less.
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