I want to buy a house. I know the property and the seller has an agent. Do I need my own agent or can I negotiate a lower fee if I act as my own agent?
If you have to ask this question, you probably don't have the necessary knowledge to properly represent yourself.
The seller pays the real estate commission, not the buyer, and real estate commissions are already set in the listing contract. It doesn't cost you anything extra to have your own agent represent you because the seller is already paying for it.
If you don't have your own agent, the seller's agent will often represent both you and the seller as a "dual agent" or just represent the seller. This means the agent either has divided loyalties or is working for the seller, not you.
In this situation, since there is only one agent to be paid, sometimes you can get a reduction in price by getting the agent to accept a lower commission from the seller. However, you have to realize that you are interfering in what is essentially an agreement between the agent and the seller -- and something that has already been negotiated and agreed upon.
The seller can net the same gain on a lower price if they have to pay less commission. At the same time, the agent is not going to be willing to cut the commission totally in half because - since you don't have an agent - they are going to be doing some of the work that your agent would normally be doing (whether you realize it or not).
And you'd better know what you're doing � because the listing agent isn�t going to be on your side. If your offer causes them to reduce their commission from what the seller has already agreed to -- that agent isn't going to be real happy with you.