As a buyer with a budget of $1.5mm, which option would you go with?

Pretend you’re looking to buy a property in Florida (or wherever the market works similarly enough for this question to make sense) and your budget is $1.5mm. Would you:

Option 1. - Not use a buyer’s agent at all, just shop around yourself & let the listing agent keep the full commission.

Option 2. Use a regular buyers’ agent, who will get paid out of the listing agent’s commission (typically 2.5% - 3.0% here in Florida) if he gets you to the closing table.

Option 3. - Use a “flat-fee” agent who charges a flat $5,000 and credits you the commission he’s entitled you at closing (effectively saving you up to $40k on the purchase, but costing you $5k out of pocket even if you end up not buying)

If I had to choose, I would go with Option 2: hire a regular buyer’s agent who is paid out of the listing agent’s commission. This option gives me the expertise and guidance of a professional real estate agent.