“Oh, it’s OK, the buyer’s agent will help us with everything…right?”
-Future Disappointed Seller
One common misconception when selling By Owner (FSBO) is that the buyer’s agent is there to help you. I get it…they have all the forms and probably know what they are doing. They are super nice to you. I can see why people think that, but before you shake hands with the other side, let me ask you:
Would you go into court with the other person’s attorney?
Of course not. You’d get your own attorney. You would have a bunch of conferences and put together a strategy designed to do one thing–beat the other side. So then, why would you agree to trust the agent that’s working for the buyer? You know..the agent that is legally bound to fight for the buyer and, therefore, against you?
That buyer’s agent, by law, must do anything and everything to beat you and get their buyer the best deal. No exceptions. They’re not evil. They’re just doing their job, and, in case you forgot…
You and your buyer do NOT share the same goals. In fact, you have opposite goals.
- Buyer’s goal: Get the BEST house for the LOWEST price and most FAVORABLE terms.
- Your goal: Get the MOST money you can with the BEST possible terms from the STRONGEST buyer.
One agent can’t possibly (or legally) accomplish both goals.
This is a clear conflict of interest, and yet, every day, sellers tell the buyer’s agent anything and everything they want to know. All the while, sellers are giving away 100% of their negotiating leverage. No bueno.
Don’t get me wrong–you can represent yourself. Be courteous. Ask any question you want to ask. Just never drop your guard, and never forget that the buyer’s agent is not allowed to work for you.
They’re not supposed to lie to you, but as they say on TV, anything you say can and will be used against you, so beware.
You can always ask the buyer’s agent to become a dual agent, but it’s highly unlikely they will do so. In that case, the agent works for both parties (or neither party) but must, by LAW, remain neutral. A dual agent will lose his or her license if they advocate even 1% for one party over the other.
If you choose to go it alone, just stay on your toes. Be sharp and know that you are working for yourself. If you want more information about how agency works, check out “Chapter 4: Offers” from my book “You Can Sell It.” The book also has many tips and techniques for navigating the entire journey and includes over 50 pages of forms, templates, checklists, etc.
If you want to know a little more about our Flat Fee system, check out the videos on our “HOW IT WORKS” page, or if you want more personal advice, schedule a 20-minute call with me. That way, we can go a little deeper. In the meantime, keep sending your questions. Your best bet is to send me a message at Glen@OhioMLSFlatFee.com. I read and respond to every email…eventually.
Ohio Property Group, LLC
Author: “You Can Sell It”
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