But, often, we are having a discussion at an open house, or maybe just a casual chat at a bar or a on a park bench and we will hear someone say, "Yeah, I've been looking for a house for quite a while, and when I see one I like I call on it." Our agent will offer, "Would you like me to help you with your search?"... ""No... I just call the listing agent. I'd rather work with the listing agent."
Depending on the circumstances this is where a "buyer" could use a little educating and help in the Common Sense Department. Quite often we find that the buyer doesn't really fully understand the fiduciary relationships and how working "only with the listing agent" can be a recipe for financial loss.
Simply.... Keep this in mind. When a real estate agent lists a house for sale, who are they working for? You should already know this, but the answer is THE SELLER. So when you are chatting and inquiring and musing about buying that house what do you suppose the LISTING agent is doing? Working for the seller! Not you. the seller! They are gathering information.. they are plotting ways to SELL you the house. They are scheming as to how they can get you to pay the highest amount of money and the best terms for their client... the SELLER. they are working against you.
OK... I know what you are thinking. The listing agent says to you, "I know these guys (the sellers) pretty well, and they'll listen to me. I think I can get them to cooperate with you... work with me and we'll get this done." And that all sounds good. But think about this. Is that the kind of agent tat you want to work with? The kind that told you when they listed their property that they would be loyal to your best interests and get you as much money as possible with the best possible terms.... and then they turn around and say this sort of thing to someone they just met??? I don't think so.
So here is my suggestion. Find a Realtor who you connect with. Insist on them representing you. Actually you won't have to insist on it... they will already be geared up to do just that if they are worth their salt. They won't sell you you a house. they won't SELL you a house.
They'll help you BUY a house. With good counsel and no other person's best interest even close to yours!
Happy house hunting! I hope you are in your new home in 2011!!!