If you want to buy or sell a house and wish to obtain the best representation available to you, I am of the opinion that you should work with an agent who represents both buyers and sellers on a regular basis.
Although there is a level of expertise that comes with an agent who just represents buyers, or a Realtor who just represents sellers, all of the top negotiators in any industry know that reaching the best agreements come from negotiations where there is empathy for the other side, and a bit of give and take. That comes from remembering how the other side thinks, and cannot truly be done effectively without ongoing experience.
There are two very good reasons for choosing an agent who represents buyers as well as sellers. They are “Marketing” and “Negotiations”.
Marketing is defined as the process that is used to determine what products or services may be of interest to consumers; what strategies to utilize to create momentum and/or sales, and let’s not forget communications and business development. Simply put for the real estate business- Marketing is understanding “who” your customer is, how to reach them, gain their confidence, and effect a timely sale.
An agent who just represents the seller should have the marketing aspect down pat, and that’s a good thing- but what about a strict buyers agent? Would they be they best choice to do a great job marketing your home? If the agent is not accustomed to marketing to sellers,quite frankly, they might not even know how to, because they don’t do that as part of their everyday business. If your dream home is not on the market, you will have to rely on another agent in the mix to get that special home on the market that you desire.
If an agent has represented one “side” of the transaction consistently, then I think it would be inherently difficult to remember what the other “side” wants and needs in order to feel satisfied and happy with the transaction, and that’s not to say that the agent can even get to that point.
Herb Cohen, author of the book titled,”You Can Negotiate Anything”, describes negotiation as this: “Negotiation is a field of knowledge and endeavor that focuses on gaining the favor of people from whom we want things.” It’s as simple as that. How better to gain favor than knowing exactly what one wants? When you only represent one side of the transaction, you WILL forget what the other side wants. It’s just human nature. In the ever-changing world of real estate, buyers and sellers needs change, and your Realtor needs to know the subtleties, in order to address and/or counter them.
Also, if you have ever heard of the Negotiation Institute, and/or Gerard Nierenberg, who is considered the foremost authority on negotiating, he says, and I quote, “To know what your opposer is thinking and striving for, you must turn detective, you must apply various methods and techniques to your primary objective of recognizing his needs”. Precisely.
The best negotiators are the agents that split their business nearly evenly between representing buyers and sellers, and never forget the ever-changing needs of each type of client in the current marketplace. The best marketing agents are also the ones that understand buyers needs through ongoing experience, and how to implement a strategic plan in order to attract buyers.