This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Why You Need a Buyer's Agent to Get a Home

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With the housing market picking up , more and more fence sitters will turn into shoppers. They face the question: Should I sign up a buyer's agent or just go with agents representing the sellers?

In the old days -- say, a decade ago -- home shopping on your own was a hassle. While newspapers carried real estate listings, the information they provided was pretty skimpy. Rarely were there photographs, and certainly not the 20, 30 or 40 pictures you often see today on an online listing.

Today, you can click on an Internet listing, find out what school district the home is in, find it on a map, get an aerial view showing how close the neighbors are and key the address into Google Maps to find the nearest supermarket and check out the drive you'd have to work.

Back in the day, buyers counted on their real estate agents to figure all this out. Now you can do it yourself, winnow the list to hot prospects and call or email the seller's agent to arrange a visit.

Yet the vast majority of buyers do use their own agents, often through a formal contract that obligates the buyer's agent to put the buyer's interests first. The seller's agent has a legal obligation to promote the seller's interests.

A key reason buyers' agents are so common: In most cases the buyer's agent is paid by the home's seller, by splitting the 5% to 7% commission the seller pays the seller's agent. If the buyer's agent is free to the buyer, why not get one?

And a good buyer's agent really can make the process easier, and perhaps save you money by carefully analyzing the pros and cons of each home. Good agents know the territory, can recommend appraisers and other professionals the buyer may need to hire and may well be more candid than the seller's agent on the wiggle room in the seller's asking price. The buyer's agent also might know about unseen factors, such as plans to develop neighboring properties.

So how to you pick a buyer's agent? Some agents work exclusively for buyers, and you'll find them in the Yellow Pages or online. But most agents will wear either hat

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs