Blog Stories What Is A Buyer’s Agent, How Do They Get Paid, And Do I Really Need One?

What Is A Buyer’s Agent, How Do They Get Paid, And Do I Really Need One?

By Melissa Dorman, February 12, 2021

All great questions! Let’s take a look …


What is a buyer’s Agent?

When people think about real estate agents, they usually think of sales. While it is true that most real estate agents do sell homes, a buyer’s agent does not. The buyer’s agent doesn’t do much selling at all … in fact, the only time a buyer’s agent “sells” is when they present your offer to the people selling the house.  And in this situation, they are still not really selling, they are advocating for you and doing their best to explain to the sellers why you are such great buyers and why your offer should be accepted.

A buyer’s agent represents you, the buyer, in the transaction and keeps your best interests in mind. They will help you get an accepted offer in this competitive market, will schedule and attend inspections to make sure you know the full condition of the home, and they will regularly stay in communication with all parties so that everything stays on track and that your earnest money is protected. Additionally, they will help you gather bids from contractors as needed, will negotiate with the sellers on your behalf, and will see the transaction through close. If something big and scary comes up in one of the inspections, they will also help you navigate the unknown until a solution has been reached.

In summary, the buyer’s agent ensures you are getting the information, guidance, and protection you deserve. They are with you from the moment you start thinking about houses right down to the first turn of your new key!



Does it cost me anything to work with a buyer’s agent?

Nope! If you are looking at homes listed on the MLS, then working with a buyer’s agent will not cost you anything. You get the knowledge, guidance, and support of a trained professional and it doesn’t even cost you.

On rare occasions, there may not be a buyer’s commission built into the listing, in which case the agent and the buyers will discuss how to move forward. This is usually the case with foreclosures, for sale by owners, or other non-listed or out of the ordinary properties.


How do they get paid?

The commission that listing agents collect from their sellers typically includes the buyer’s agent’s compensation. Once you are successful in closing on your dream home, the buyer’s agent collects their compensation through escrow. A buyer’s agent is not successful until you are successful!


Do I really need one?

The decision to work with a buyer’s agent is ultimately up to you. That said, it is a particularly good idea to work with a trained industry professional when purchasing a home. Having a representative that is an advocate for you and that keeps your interest in mind is crucial, especially in such a strong seller’s market. They will be your go-to person for anything and everything real estate and when they don’t have the answer, they will do the research and find it! Oh, and did I mention it doesn’t cost you anything?


Where to begin …

Where to begin depends on where you are!

If you are just getting started and have not yet talked with an agent, then give me a call. I would be happy to tell you about myself, the market, and what to expect when buying a home!

If you are already working with a buyer’s agent then congratulations! You are on the right track and have made a great first step towards owning your own home!


Melissa Dorman

Broker | OR & WA


Ten years ago, Melissa was living in a slum in Kolkata, India, helping over 200 women escape sex trafficking by providing alternative work at a social business. It was there she discovered her passion for financial education as a means of empowering people to move out of poverty. After graduating from UCLA with a Masters, Melissa spent 5 years working as a Social Worker; assisting clients facing homelessness, in jail, or at a psychiatric facility. As much as she loved the work, imagining saving for retirement on the meager salary of a social worker was becoming grim. That's when Melissa discovered "passive income." In no time, she fell in LOVE with real estate as a vehicle for wealth. Soon after, Melissa began locating off-market multi-family properties to purchase through creative financing strategies and win-win opportunities. Two years into investing, Melissa quit her day job as a Social Worker to become a full-time broker and investor. Initially, she was drawn to people in difficult circumstances, so she developed extensive experience assisting families facing foreclosure, short sales, and probate. Melissa is well versed in helping her clients overcome complex real estate challenges. Currently, Melissa is teamed up with Super Broker, Yascha Noonberg at Living Room Realty. Together they assist clients to achieve their real estate dreams, including how to strategically buy and sell a personal residence to maximize profits. Far from the slums of Kolkata, her greatest passion now is empowering other working professionals to develop passive forms of income through buying multi-family properties in Portland.
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