In this current age of Google, YouTube, and Pinterest, there has been a marked increase in the number of people who believe they can do everything themselves. I recently saw a cartoon depicting a man performing brain surgery on his wife, while “learning” how to do it on YouTube. This is, of course, a huge exaggeration, but the cartoon is funny, simply because it is not that far off. A clear example of this is in the real estate world. The number of clients trying to represent themselves has increased significantly in the past decade, and I am here to tell you this is a very bad idea. Here are the top five reasons (although there are many more!) you should use a Realtor to represent you as a buyer.

1. It’s free! Since the buyers’ agent’s commission is paid for by the seller, there really is no good reason not to use your own agent.

2. A buyer’s agent looks out for your best interests, whereas the listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to get the best deal possible for his sellers. To go straight to a listing agent would be like a criminal defendant choosing not to take advantage of a public defender, thinking that the prosecuting attorney can represent him just as well.

3. There is more to negotiating a transaction than just purchase price. Price is only the beginning! There are so many other factors that can make or break a deal, you really need someone on your side, every step of the way.

4. Your Realtor should be an expert in the market area. From being familiar with which neighborhoods are safe or not, to comparing prices with comparable properties, to knowing whether a golf course is about to close, you need an agent who can make sure you don’t overpay for a property, just because it has pretty flooring or nice countertops.

5. Your agent has a complete network of professionals she uses. Throughout the transaction, you will need referrals to home inspectors, mortgage lenders, title representatives, escrow agents, pest inspectors, and many other professionals. Your agent has had many years of learning which ones can be trusted, and which ones to avoid.

For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction they will make in their lives, so to trust their life savings to a Google search simply does not make sense. Use your head, and use a Realtor!


Cynthia Elizondo

CalBRE #: 01924853

Halcyon Real Estate Services