Monday, July 14, 2008

Buying through the listing agent

Did you go to Open Houses this weekend? If you're looking to buy a house, you very well may have.

Here's a familiar scenario:

A nice couple stops in at an open house. The person there is the listing agent. The listing agent shows them around and the couple thank him/her and leave. They like the house. In fact, they want to buy it.

They call the agent. Maybe go for a second look. Hopefully by now the agent has disclosed to these "buyers" that he/she represents the seller. What the buyers need to understand is that the agent owes complete loyalty to the seller. The agent must negotiate and counsel with the seller's best interest in mind. Who is going to negotiate and counsel the buyers?

As a buyer, you obviously want to have someone "on your side". Someone who will research and use their knowledge and expertise to help you make a sound decision to buy or not to buy... and if the decision is to buy, get you the best price and terms possible.

That all being said.... I have been in the business since 1982. The majority of my transactions have involved another broker or agent. Fact is, when I list a property for sale, I fully expect that will be the case. BUT. I have had occasions where a buyer has said they do not have an agent. I explain agency to them. They have still wanted to proceed using me, despite the fact that I have told them I work for the seller. I actually offer to refer them to another agent, if they would like. Still, "no". These people bought their house. They were happy to buy the house and felt like they got a good deal. I disagree with them, because I honestly feel the purest condition is each side having reprersentation.

Should you do this? Buy through the listing agent? In a word, no. But this may require you going out to find an agent that you trust on short notice.

I will expound on this more, if my schedule allows it....

Got questions? email me at

I'd love to help!

Have a great day... why not? It's summer!

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