This part sucks. It really does. It’s worse if the person you are working with as your buyer’s agent (if your state even has such a thing as we do in PA) is a friend or relative.
Here is the dirty little secret realtors don’t want you to think about for too long – even as a buyer’s agent, their interests are never 100% in line with yours. No matter what, the more you pay for a house the more money they make. The faster you find a house and settle on it, the faster they get paid and the more time they have available to work on other deals. The fewer issues that are raised through a home inspection, the less chance there is of the deal falling through.
I’m sure you’re thinking something like this – “But wouldn’t all agents want to make sure their clients are completely satisfied and don’t have issues after the sale?”. I think that generally that statement is probably mostly true. The question really comes in as to where is that line between what is truly in the best interest of the buyer and what is in the best interest of the agent. They don’t want you to be completely dissatisfied – that is bad for business, especially in today’s age of online reviews and social media.
But, how unsatisfied can you be and not have that tip out of their favor? 5%? 10%? 25%? I’m not sure anyone can put an exact number on it, but we have been amazed how many people have shared their tales with us, of varying levels of intensity, of their dissatisfaction with their realtor. Most did not have legal action level complaints, but many talked about things they felt their agent should have been more transparent about or explained better or given better advice about the terms of a sale.
So remember, when you are dealing with a realtor – yes, they work for you, but first and foremost, they work for themselves.