Just a little bit of info for all of you out there. First off, to home Buyers:
Buyers don't usually have to pay anything for Realtors services. You can work through a Realtor to find a home, and he will take care of all the paperwork and everything, and it shouldn't ever cost you a dime. If you work with me as a buyer, you won't have to pay me anything. I will work that out with the sellers and I will make sure you get a great deal!
Now as for Sellers, normally you have to pay a commission, which covers the buyers agents commission, and also your listing/sellers agent commission. The way I work with Sellers is I drop my commission to 1-2% or a flat fee that we both agree on, and then I offer a 2.5-3% commission to a buyers agent. Normally it would be a 6% commission split equally between the buyers and sellers Agents. The way I am willing to do it, you will save literally thousands of dollars depending on the value of your home. I am completely flexible in all I do, so if you have questions/concerns, we can go over them together until we are both happy.
The main reason to use a Realtor is for legal reasons. Realtors spend 120 hours in class studying the law, which cover many of the same things an Attorney studies at law school. About 20-30 of those hours are going through the contracts and the laws pertaining to the contracts used in Real Estate transactions. We are then required to pass a 180 question state test that covers both local, and federal laws. Even after we pass the state test and get our license, we have to get at least 18 hours of continueing education to renew our licenses every 2 years.
We know how to avoid lawsuits and know how to fill out the documents and contracts correctly to protect our clients. To me personally, it is not worth the risk to not go with a Realtor, especially when you have hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. People will/can sue you over just about anything, with a Realtor, it takes the focus off of you and on the Realtor and brokerage. If a lawsuit arises, it will be focused on them, and not the home buyer/seller.
Please feel free to ask me any questions you would like, and I would love to help you or any of your friends or family members with their Real Estate needs.