Buyers: Should you work through the listing agent?

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Real Estate

Sometimes buyers feel that they will "get a better deal" if they purchase a property working directly with the agent who listed that property.  Will they?  It depends.

The "better deal" might be (you think) because if the listing agent is also now the BUYER'S agent, the seller will get to pay only one agent, therefore a lower commission.  The commission is documented in the listing agreement that was signed when the home came on the market.  Unless specified on the listing agreement, the seller pays the same commission whether his agent sells it or any agent sells it.

The exception to that is called "variable commission".  That means that the seller has agreed to allow his agent an advantage in that if they sell it, the seller pays less commission. The advantage to the agent is that the seller has an incentive to accept any offer HIS agent brings instead of another offer. Why does this matter? 

If you are a seller and you have agreed to "variable commission", it means other agents may be less enthusiastic about showing and selling your home