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  • Ryan O.

Can I Get A Discount?


While running an open house, a prospective Buyer informed me that he was not working with a Realtor. As we were talking, this person said that if he goes unrepresented, he would want a "significant discount" on the house.

When a person wants to sell his or her home, they hire a Realtor. When the Seller signs the Listing Agreement, he or she will discuss what the commission rate is with his or her Realtor. In a simplified explanation, half of the commission goes to the Listing Agent and the other half of the commission goes to the Buyer Agent. That is, the Seller pays for the commission for both the Listing Agent and the Buyer Agent.

If there is any "discount" to offer to an unrepresented Buyer, it would be your offer price, less than the commission that would be paid if you had an agent. However, it is important to understand that the residential real estate sales industry is designed to use Realtors to represent a Seller and a Buyer. By going unrepresented, it could actually make the transaction more difficult since some unrepresented Buyers have no knowledge on how to transact real estate. In our current market, dealing with unnecessary hiccups and delay is something most Sellers want to avoid.

Although going unrepresented could get you a "discount," hiring a Realtor would be in your best interest. A Buyer Agent can:

- Find the right property for you. A Realtor has access to the MLS. The MLS is a robust search engine.

- Negotiate and advocate on your behalf. The Purchase Contract is 14 pages long; this does not included the Addenda to the Purchase Contract. Within the Purchase Contract, there are numerous contingencies. Although your offering price is one of most important factors, a Realtor can adjust each contingency to make your offer more attractive.

- Help you navigate the escrow process for you. The Purchase Contract is a legal, binding document when it's fully executed. Writing an offer is one thing, but transacting real estate is another skillset. In addition, your Realtor will communicate with your mortgage lender, help you breakdown your home inspection report, and assist in coordinating the appraisal.

Buyers who look for deals and ways to shortcut the process by saving money could end up with "buyer's remorse." Buying a home is generally the single largest and most important purchase you will ever make, so don't be penny wise and pound foolish. You should enlist the services of a reputable and trustworthy Realtor because having an agent can make the process much smoother.

-RO

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Ryan Oda (RB-23073) is a Real Estate Advisor with Forward Realty (RB-19423) in Honolulu, HI.