Buy with a Listing Agent or having your own representation, why?

Why should you work with a Buyer Agent or should you go directly to the Listing Agent?With the market shift, buyers are strategically trying different tactics to ensure they find just the right home at the right price. With headlines pointing to house prices being on a downward trajectory across the GTA, buyers have started to believe what they read. The trend, specifically, has been for the buyers to want to buy with the listing agent, the agent who represents the seller instead of working with their own agent. Buyers often make appointments for properties directly with the listing agent, thinking that this will give them the upper hand and they will be able to negotiate a lower price or better terms than if they had their own agent, in essence, cutting their own agent out of the picture completely. Let me clear up some misconceptions about the roles realtors play.When a seller signs a listing agreement with an agent, they are technically not signing the agreement with the agent, but with the brokerage the agent is independent contractor with.  This agent is required to work in the best interest of a seller, negotiating on their behalf, and keeping confidential information such as the motivation of the seller or the pricepoint they will accept confidential. If there is anything the agent finds out about potential buyers, this information is shared with the seller as well.  The listing agreement and the terms, such as commission payable, has been negotiated between the agent for the brokerage and the seller.  These terms are between these two parties and not between the buyer and the listing agent. This is often where there is a misunderstanding of buyers. In Ontario, it is legal for an agent to work with both the Buyer and Seller, this is referred to a multiple representation.  Both parties do need to understand and consent to the agent representing both parties. In this case, the agent works to come to a mutual agreement between both parties, keeping confidential information shared by both parties confidential and doing what is best for both parties.Keep in mind that each and every realtor has a code of ethics they subscribe to.  If, in multiple offer scenarios, a buyer approaches a listing agent, that agent is required to keep the terms such as pricing, conditions, closing date, etc, confidential and not to share it with the buyer. The commissions that the buyer thinks they can actually negotiate, they aren’t on the table when you work directly with the listing agent. Benefits of working with a Buyer Agent to represent your best interests –1.            Your agent will keep all of your information confidential so it cannot be used against you in negotiations. If you’ve disclosed certain information to the selling agent, they may use it against you in negotiating with the seller.2.            Your agent will find you the right home, not just the one the listing agent is representing.3.            Your agent will work in your best interests, to ensure you know the recent comparables, the price range the home will most likely sell in and negotiate terms, such as price, conditions and closing that fit your needs.With the listing agent already in a relationship with the seller, they know the seller, they know their personality and what it will take to sell their home.  As a buyer, the listing agent doesn’t know you as well, your financial wherewithal, ability to close and other pertinent information.  Remember, the listing agent is only interested in selling one home – their listing.  Are you sure this is the home for you and why wouldn’t you want independent representation?  Call me to discuss further, always up to an in-depth conversation!
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