Yes, Buyers absolutely need their own Realtor!
Most people don’t realize just how important it is to hire their own Realtor when searching for a home. Many think it’s a great idea to go directly to the Listing agent and negotiate a “good deal”. Makes sense, right? Totally wrong!
When a Realtor is representing a Buyer or a Seller, they absolutely must represent the interests of their client. Use professional negotiating skills, keep all information confidential. At the cornerstone of this relationship is good faith, full disclosure, competence & loyalty to name a few.
When a Realtor is attempting to represent BOTH the buyer and the seller as a client, they run into a natural conflict. How can they represent the interests of both their buyer and their seller clients equally? How do they get the highest price possible for their sellers, but also negotiate the lowest purchase price for their buyer? Not possible! As a result, when the same agent is representing both, they are obligated to be IMPARTIAL to both parties.
What’s the workaround?
Realtors will often sign the Buyer up as a CUSTOMER, not a client. What does that mean? Their fiduciary duty is still ENTIRELY with their seller client. As a customer, they do owe an obligation to be fair an ethical, and to ensure complete and accurate information. But, they are not obligated to the same higher standard they owe their “client”. Their interests will always rest with the Seller.
My advice? Connect with a Realtor that you know, like and trust. Ask a lot of questions and get involved in the process. Finding a home is a collaborative effort and you really want someone working on your side. After all, this is likely the biggest asset you’ll ever purchase. Make sure you have someone entirely dedicated to you and your house hunt. Happy shopping!