I’m sharing the answer to one of my most frequently asked questions – “Should I call the listing agent when I find a house I want to look at?”
Before saying yes or no, let me explain how it works. The listing agent is hired by the seller to list and sell their house which means they are working for the seller. If you see a house come on the market and you contact the listing agent to look at it and decide to write an offer, you won’t have an agent representing you in your home purchase. They can write the offer but because they work for the seller, you won’t have anyone to negotiate on your behalf, educate you on what contingencies to include, or give you advice on how much to offer.
The other thing to keep in mind is that if you do have an agent you’re working with, they won’t be able to jump in and work on your behalf if you contacted the listing agent to see the home first. The seller pays the commission for both the listing and buyer’s agents so it doesn’t cost you anything to have someone represent you. If you have a contract signed with a buyer’s agent but go straight to a listing agent to see a house, you could end up owing your buyer’s agent money out of your own pocket too.
The best way to go through the home buying process is to sit down with a real estate agent who you trust, learn about how the process works, and hire them as your buyer’s agent to represent you. They’ll arrange all of your showings, handle all the negotiations and be there to guide you through every step. Do you have real estate questions? Drop them below!