Recently I have heard people comment on this subject in conversation. The perception still seems to be that one of the key reasons people hire an agent is to help them find the right home. And with the ability to search properties online, it is understandable that people are asking the questions, “do I really need an agent to help me buy a home? Is it worth the commission paid or can I save that money by going direct to a seller?

While these are healthy questions to ask, it is my experience both personally and professionally that it is wise to find and work with the right real estate agent. Key distinction being the “right” agent.  I am required to have a real estate agent license and of course and am deeply experienced in this process, however I have and will continue to work with agents when it comes to purchasing a home. It’s my experience that a high percentage of people who try it on their own get frustrated and end up working with an agent after all.

8 Reasons to use a Realtor When Buying a Home

  • You don’t pay the realtor’s commission, the seller does: The ability to save $ on the sales price if you go direct to the seller (and successfully fend off the listing agent who will want to represent you) is overrated and often times just pads the pockets of the listing agent and the seller.
  • Saves considerable time: Just the paperwork alone can make your head spin. Unless you have a lot of free time and the desire to educate yourself on all the nuances involved, you may want to focus your time on the many other aspects involved in buying a home, such as the financial aspect.
  • Opportunity to find a property that is not yet on the market: Because there are so few properties on the market, agents are having to think outside of the box and create inventory by finding properties that are not on the market.  This takes an agent with perseverance and local knowledge.
  • Getting your offer accepted: In today’s market with inventory being tight, it is important to have an agent who is established and has relationships with other agents and is able to clearly communicate your offer in the best possible way in order to get your offer accepted. Some sellers choose to work only with agents, some choose to work only with specific Agents…and not others. As in life, relationships and reputation matter.
  • Negotiating the deal: Sales price is of course important, but other aspects like repairs needed once home inspection is complete or the contingency period (amount of time you have to cancel without losing your deposit) are key components as well.
  • Managing the transaction: Dealing with difficult sellers and listing agents can be quite stressful and take the fun out of the whole process.  Especially when it comes to  managing time frames and contractual obligations such a releasing contingency and protecting your security deposit.
  • Liability and legal protection: Having an experienced agent and their broker (and legal resources that along with it) can be valuable if there are an legal issues that arise during or after the deal. They also have access to the most up to date contracts and should be experienced in protecting your interest.
  • Support team: Working with a professional agent can bring in a great support team in as well. This may include escrow officers, title reps, handymen, transaction coordinators, and more. These will make your transaction easier, and will probably save some money and headaches along the way.


Special thanks to Jeff Grant of Sand and Sea Investments and Brent Cole of Welcome to San Diego Realty for their insight and input. 


Sand and Sea Investment
Jeff Grant • Owner & Principal Broker 
Sand & Sea Investments •
265 W Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Direct: 858.336.9836 • Fax: 858.997.2424
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Beau Hodson

Beau Hodson

About the Author Since 2003, Beau has been a mortgage professional and is a leading mortgage broker and lender in San Diego. As Founder and Senior Mortgage Advisor at Transparent Mortgage, he is truly committed to serving the needs of his clients and raising industry standards for integrity and transparency.