Do You Need A Realtor to Help You Buy A Home?

Written By: Graeme MacPhail, REALTOR® of Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty. I’d love for the opportunity to earn your business in both buying or selling a property. Give me a call.



You’ve made the decision that its time to buy a home and you may be asking yourself: Do I need to get help from a REALTOR® for this? There is not a legal requirement to have a REALTOR® guide you through your purchase, but before choosing to go that route, it’s important to understand the risks of being an unrepresented party. Make sure to educate yourself on whether you want to buy on your own or with help before making this decision.

This blog will go over and help you understand the difference between working with a REALTOR® and choosing to not work with a REALTOR® (client relationship vs unrepresented party).

Working with a REALTOR

The vast majority of buyer choose to seek the guidance of a REALTOR® when it comes to purchasing a home, but some do wonder if they could go about the process without the help. If you’re working with a realtor this means you would have a client relationship and would be owed a fiduciary duty and loyalty from that REALTOR®. While its not a legal requirement to use a REALTOR® to help you buy or sell a home, it is important to understand what a REALTOR® does and what the difference between having a client relationship and being an unrepresented party would truly entail.

With or Without A Realtor: A look at being a Client VS Unpresented Buyer.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home without the assistance of a REALTOR®, be sure to inform yourself as thoroughly as possibly and understand what it means to be proceed as an unrepresented party. If you’re relying on the sellers agent to assist you through the transaction, know that they work with and for the SELLER and not for you. What does that mean you say?

Confidentiality: The listing agent works for the seller(s) of the home and do not owe you any duty of confidentiality. Any information that you provide to them (budget, motivations, personal info) can be shared with the seller and potentially used against you in negotiations.

No full disclosure: The real estate professional representing the seller does not have to a duty to provide you full disclosure of relevant information about the property. You may not be told the full story and they do not have an obligation to ask you questions that you may not have thought to ask.

Conflict of Interest: No Real estate professional would be acting in your interest.

No loyalty: The listing REALTOR® has a loyalty to their sellers and not to you. They must put their client (the sellers) best interest first and would have no duty to look after your best interests in the purchase of that home.

On the flip side, should you choose to work with a REALTOR® in a client relationship, confidentiality, full disclosure and loyalty are all things that you would then have with the agent you’ve chosen to work with.

Can I still buy a home with the listing agent?

In short, yes. If you’ve decided that the risks of proceeding with an UNREPRESENTED party then you would be able to have the listing agent help write you a contact. Its important to keep in mind all the above points and that the listing agent would simply be filling out the contract as per your instructions and would not be allowed to provide any sort of advice for important details such as price, dates, terms, clauses/conditions. 

Should you choose to proceed UNREPRESENTED it would be important that you familiarize yourself with a real estate contract and the conditions that you would want/need to protect yourself in the transaction.

What does a buyers agent do?

When making the decision on whether or not you need a REALTOR® to help you, it’s important to understand the value and benefits of what a REALTOR® will be able to provide. Some services they may be able to provide that you might have difficulty obtaining by yourself are:

  • Prepare a legal purchase of sale contract and make sure all documentation throughout the buying process is prepared properly.
  • Negotiate the best price with expert market knowledge of the most recent sales and market statistics and trends
  • Ensure you’re protected with the proper subject conditions as part of the buying process
  • Recommend industry experts and professionals on certain services you may need through the buying process, or once you’re home has been purchased
  • Review all documents that you may be unfamiliar with, especially in a purchase of a strata property.
    Inform you of relevant neighbourhood and market information.

It’s important to understand that a buyers sole job is to protect you in the purchase of your home from start to finish including details such as finding you the right neighbourhood, the right type of home, and writing an offer.
Does working with a buyers agent cost money?

While I cant speak for all agents, there are no fees to be incurred by the buyer when working with David Hayward or myself.

Typically any fees are paid for by the seller of the home and are split between the sellers agent and the buyers agent.

If you’re looking at purchasing a property and would like to sit down and chat about what guidance and services we may be able to provide you and see if we would be a good fit working together give me a call or text or shoot me an email! I’d definitely love to have the opportunity to earn your business.