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Old 07-22-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,324 posts, read 14,133,244 times
Reputation: 2699

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I have a friend who's mom was coming to town to look at houses and buy something. This is a fairly new friend but still someone I hang out with. She never asked for my help as a buyers agent but I asked her if her mom had a Realtor, she said no so I said I could help her. I brought it up a few times, sent her a bunch of listings in several neighborhoods she was looking but never heard anything. She did mention her mom was very interested in a house that's in her sub-division that had just been reduced. I said, I can still help with it even though they had an agent on duty for that neighborhood. In the meantime I looked up the house and it was listed for a lot higher than the price she was told when she spoke to the agent on duty. I called him a few weeks ago and he said, "oh my office must have not changed it yet". Honestly, I felt he was full of crap and something was up but I thought since I put him on the spot he would do what's right and change it on the MLS.

So yesterday I email my friend and asked was her mom still looking or what's going on? She wrote today and said she bought that house and the agent told her in order to get the price she wanted he would have to take a (lower) flat fee to make the deal work. Now whether or not he said he couldn't pay a buyers agent or the price would be higher with a buyers agent, I don't know but he must have said something. I looked at the listing, it's pending and it stills says 3% buyers broker fee. I understand this is her fault for not using me properly but I also feel he made it seem she would only get that price if she didn't have someone represent her mom. It's not the first time I've hear of "agents on duty" telling buyers one price and then another if they use a buyers agent. The real killer is, she emailed me asking for a home inspector.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 12,875,101 times
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I assume by "agent on duty", you mean the listing agent? Never heard the term "agent on duty" for a listing, let alone an entire neighborhood. Is that a local thing?

Listing agents can have variable listings where the seller pays a lower fee if the listing agent brings the buyer, and a higher fee if a buyer's agent is involved. An unrepresented buyer may get a lower price if it is a variable listing. Entirely legal and ethical. Here, the listing agent must disclose if it is variable in the MLS.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,364 posts, read 20,158,928 times
Reputation: 9302
Oh that stinks. I hate to hear it. But...

First, you never had a buyer agency so it's not illegal. Also, I don't think you can assume the agent was trying to steal a buyer from you. It's likely the buyer never told the listing agent that she had talked to you.

Also, if the agent she talked to is the listing agent, and I'd assume it is since they lowered commission to make the deal work, then that is their decision. I don't think you can say she got tricked there either. Obviously, she came down, called the listing agent, went and looked, and bought the home. She's a big girl, made her own choices. You can't suggest a home inspector. You're not representing her so you cannot interfere with another agents contract as it would be unethical/illegal. You may want to tell her using those words.

If you want to prevent it from happening again use this as a learning experience. What could you have done differently to prevent losing a potential buyer? What could you have said/ not said to get a live meeting with her when she came down? Did you ever ask when she was coming down?
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,606 posts, read 32,098,637 times
Reputation: 8393
Your first job is to get the buyer to make a small commitment to you. Some Realtors will tell you you need an appointment. Most buyers are not ready to buy. They are ready to look. It might be a year or two before they are ready to buy.

I use Home Buyers Marketing - I tell then I will set them up with their own shopping mall - it's theirs and it's password protected. It is co-branded with a lender. The lender, in my case, I have worked with for 16 years.

DM me and I will try to make a connection for you.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,238 posts, read 20,159,231 times
Reputation: 9974
As stated above, as long as the MLS states that there is a variable rate, I don't see anything illegal or unethical about what happened.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
38,775 posts, read 43,659,128 times
Reputation: 48637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
If you want to prevent it from happening again use this as a learning experience. What could you have done differently to prevent losing a potential buyer? What could you have said/ not said to get a live meeting with her when she came down? Did you ever ask when she was coming down?
I've lost a few this year where the Buyers have gone out and done something without me which hurts but many times there's not much you can do. Even with a signed Buyers Rep Agreement, if a buyer goes maverick you are just SOL. What you gonna do, sue them for performance or damages ? No

Goes with the territory and hopefully you'll get enough good deals that fall in your lap that make up for the bad ones. You just want to minimize how often this occurs if you can. I do believe we are seeing more of these things occur today due to desperation of some sellers doing things outside the norm to attract a buyer.

There is not a lot of loyalty when it comes to business & getting a deal.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:19 AM
 
28,461 posts, read 79,236,097 times
Reputation: 18605
It is not the buyer that I would be angry with, but the other agent. Saying / doing ANYTHING to suggest that using only agent is in the buyers best interest ought to result a very heavy bus being dropped on such scum ASAP...
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
948 posts, read 2,611,643 times
Reputation: 855
I think VR rate commissions should be totally illegal, disclosed or not, a buyer should never be required to pay more by using an agent of there choice and in a multiple offer situation it becomes even a bigger load of bull-horky. I see them on the MLS regularly and I have sellers also request it but man it drives me nuts.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:19 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,324 posts, read 14,133,244 times
Reputation: 2699
Thanks for all the replies. Of course there is more to the story but I gave the short version.

Agent on duty is the agent that sits at the sub-division and is usually the listing agent or works for the company that listed it. This is very common here. In this case, he actually had his office in the house that she purchased.

My friend lives down the street so out of convienence she had gone in the house several times before her mom even got here to look. The agent told her a much lower price than what was on the MLS, then she told me. This was a few weeks ago, so I called him and that's when he said his office never changed it but would make sure they did. They never did because I kept checking. In the meantime her mom came to town, again it was easy for them to just go there down the street on their own and see the listing agent. I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble and I already know she made her choice not to use a buyers agent so of course I don't expect anything. It just seems something was done wrong by the listing agent to ensure they didn't have to pay another agent.

The listings states they were paying a buyers broker fee and it says "no" next to variable commission. I have never seen a listing here that said yes to variable commission. It's done and I'm just venting here, not trying to do anything about it.

This reminded me of a buyer I represented a few years ago. She told me that her and her husband had gone into a sub-division, spoke with the agent on duty and that agent told them a price. When she mentioned she had a Realtor (me) the agent said oh, then the price would be higher. When she told me, I called my BIC and he said they aren't allowed to do that.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 12,875,101 times
Reputation: 2199
Thanks for explaining in a bit more detail. Sounds like this is a new subdivision and the agent represents the builder. It's not uncommon here to have prices change for new builds and not be in sync with the MLS, assuming the homes are even listed in the MLS. Some builders don't list all their homes for sale. The builder's selling agents may not even be Realtors.
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