Thursday, May 15, 2014

Should I use the same agent to sell my home and be my buyer's agent for my new one?

We would like to put our home on the market and buy a new one. With only a certain amount of equity in our home I had considered trying to sell it myself to save on the commission so we will have enough for a down payment on our next home. Recently though, a Realtor told me that sometimes Realtors can list your home for a smaller commission (at 5% with 3% going to the Buyer's agent) and then act as your buyer's agent with a 1% rebate to you for closing costs (they then get 2% as the buyer's agent). This sounds like a good idea to me, but I was wondering if there is a drawback to using the same agent to sell your home as the one you use to buy your next home? Since we cannot buy our next home until we sell this one, it seems like a great motivating factor for the agent to get ours sold as quickly as possible. Any insight on this? And is this a common practice of discounting the service fees?

Amy,  Woodstock, GA

Dear Amy,

I would strongly recommend that you find an agent you like and trust to help you sell your current home and buy your next home, provided you are staying in the same area. If you are moving to a new area, I would ask your selling agent to recommend someone in the area you are relocating to.

As to the practice of discounting the commission if the same agent handles both transactions, I see nothing wrong with that. That is an individual choice each agent, along with their broker should make.

Some have said that because an agent will negotiate on their own commission, that they would not work as hard for their client as someone who would not. Speaking only for myself, I would respectfully disagree because my work ethic is not determined by my commission, it is determined by my character. If I agree to accept a lower commission because my client has agreed to work with me to buy and sell their next home, I will do my best to look out for my clients best interest regardless of that agreement. Accepting that agreement binds me to do the very best I can in all that I do! I know that if I serve my client well and they make a successful transition to their new home, I get the satisfaction of knowing I did a great job for them. I also hope they would be able to recommend me to their family, friends and neighbors as an agent who is committed to the highest quality work ethic and that I did my best for them every step of the way!
Michael Bradford