I want to buy a home without the help of an agent, but every website I use offers agent’s phone numbers and information. How do I directly contact the owner?

Unless you’re looking at “FSBO” properties only, you will have to deal with an agent. Agents will place the seller’s property in the MLS, which directly syndicates out to all the sites you may be using, like Trulia, Zillow, HotPads, etc. One of the biggest reasons a homeowner will list their property with an agent is because they will get the property out in the real estate community, which will usually help it sell faster. Many buyers don’t understand that they aren’t paying a penny out of pocket to hire a buyer’s agent. The seller will agree to pay the listing agent a commission (typically 5-7%, based on your state), and the listing agent will split that commission with the agent who brings the buyer. If you’re looking to buy without an agent, the listing agent will just keep the entire commission. This is why agents become much more friendly once they hear you have no representation. If they represent both the buyer and seller in the transaction (as a dual agent, or a transaction broker—again, based on your state laws) then they collect the entire commission. Basically, it would behoove you to hire a buyer’s agent, since the seller is paying that commission out whether you have representation or not.

Can agents tell buyers false information about opposing bids? They seem to be very cryptic when it comes to numbers. Can I ask what the other offers are?

You may want to leave this one up to your agent. Listing agents are not obligated to divulge the details of competing offers, they can tell you or your agent as much or as little as they want. This can often lead to exaggeration and overbidding. The concept is quite simple, in Baker real estate, as in anything, a property is worth what someone is willing to pay. If your offer has been sent back and you’re being asked for your highest and best offer, talk with your agent about your choices. Many buyers say they don’t want to get into a bidding war, but the second they fall in love with a home that’s exactly where they find themselves. If you plan on paying over the fair market value, make sure you can afford the difference out of pocket, since most lenders will not loan you more than the home is worth. Take the time you’re given to really decide whether it’s your dream home, or if you should keep looking and try not to worry about anyone else’s bid.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit www.porchlightgroup.com.