BookPod Summary: Don’t Be Duped Into Thinking That You Need An Agent! by Shane Leong

Note: this is a book summary of “Don’t Be Duped Into Thinking That Yoy Need An Agent!” by Shane Leong, published by Randall House in 2010. Shane was previously a BodyPump instructor based in Subang Jaya before he was relieved of his position because of low reviews by his class students (“I guess I was a crap instructor”).

Shane became a real estate investor after he was fired as a BodyPump instructor back in 2009. To make a living, he became a property guru to teach others who to be rich from buying and selling properties. He published this book in 2010. You can get a copy of this book at MPH or Times the Bookshop (it’s not available on Amazon yet).

According to Shane, just as much as there is a growing number of home owners getting into home selling without hiring the services of a real estate agent (FSBO), so are many home buyers doing so without agents a.k.a. buyer’s agents as well. And indeed this is quite surprising, considering there is no commission or service fee to worry about; with the commission being the biggest factor in sellers deciding to forego hiring an agent. Buyer’s agents earn from splitting the commission with the seller’s agents, or get a bit of the commission from the seller if the house was sold FSBO.

“Why would anyone want to let go of the benefits of having a buyer’s agent services for free anyway?” Shane ponders in his book.

Do you Really Need a Buyer’s Agent?

Stupid stock photo provided by Shane Leong

For one, not a few people feel somehow pressured at the thought of having someone else waiting and watching your every move. Some home buyers just want to go house hunting and home shopping on their own accord, at their own pace without having to consider someone else’s supposed expert opinion. Others just feel like home buying is quite an easy task since most of the responsibility lies in the seller and feel that they don’t really have to do a lot to get a house. That, or maybe they have been there enough times to know what they are doing.

But what about you? Do you really need a buyer’s agent or can you pull off a home purchase without one? Here’s the checklist that Shane provides in his book –

Yes, you need a buyer’s agent if:

  • You don’t have time to go through tons of listings. With an agent, all you need to do is let them know your budget and what you want from a house and they can pull out their listings and give you a number of options.
  • You’re new to the place. If you’re looking to buy a house in a new city, you definitely need an agent. They know the place better, plus give you tips on which properties are closest to your workplace or your kids’ school.
  • You’re in a hurry. Quick buys almost always need an agent. They know where to find exactly what you’re looking for so you don’t have to waste time moving around the city and the suburbs in aimless circles.
  • You’re clueless about home buying. First timers are discouraged from buying a house on their own. The technical stuff, especially the paperwork can be tad overwhelming!

No, you don’t need a buyer’s agent if:

  • You know the city. IF you’re only moving two streets away, or just trying to move closer to work and you know every nook and cranny of the city, you don’t need a tour guide;
  • You know what goes on in a home purchase. Experience is a pretty good teacher and if you’ve had tons of it, you are likely knowledgeable about what happens in a home purchase.
  • You have tons of time for house hunting. If you have weekends or afternoons to spare just to drive around your preferred location, plus evenings to browse online listings and posting ‘Looking For’ ads, you also have the time to learn the more challenging parts of home buying.
  • You know who you’re buying the house from. If you’re buying the house from a friend or a relative, and you only need papers for formality’s sake, save your friend from the hassles of having to pay for commission and do the technical stuff yourselves. Just hire a good attorney and you’re set.

Some other resources attached to Shane’s book in the appendix:-

Get a copy of Shane’s book today – it’s a good read! THREE STARS OUT OF FOUR!

Additional review notes from Stephanie Large, Thomas Loh and Derrick Kong T.L