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Thread summary:

Home buyer seeking advice on what questions to ask real estate agent, working with listing agent, advantages of buyer’s agent

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Old 02-04-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Hello,
We recently met with a local realtor. He showed us about 10 homes in one day, several were his own listings. Is there anything that I need to ask / be concerned about if we decide to pursue one of the homes where he represented the seller. What normally happens in a situation like this? No paperwork as far as buyers agent etc has been signed, so I assume he was acting as the sellers agent up until we do - I am concerned that perhaps that means he wasn't necessarily telling any negatives about the property.

Any advice would help. Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:29 PM
 
27,026 posts, read 43,627,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theyare View Post
Hello,
We recently met with a local realtor. He showed us about 10 homes in one day, several were his own listings. Is there anything that I need to ask / be concerned about if we decide to pursue one of the homes where he represented the seller. What normally happens in a situation like this? No paperwork as far as buyers agent etc has been signed, so I assume he was acting as the sellers agent up until we do - I am concerned that perhaps that means he wasn't necessarily telling any negatives about the property.

Any advice would help. Thank you.
It means if you buy his listing he doesn't have to split his commision and will keep the whole amount. If you don't trust it you can bring an agent yourself, but at the end you have to feel confortable to buy the home. Include a home inspection, and get a lawyer if you don't trust the contract. A buyers agent isn't a lawyer and will always "might, etc."
Good Luck
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
1,155 posts, read 3,179,258 times
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Any honest agent , will represent both sides and be fair and should be concerned about their reputation for future dealings. One time sales, even when working for both, is not worth it, should their image and reputation be tarnished. The listing agent is responsible to disclose any and all findings of the house, and will represent both fairly, and once the inspection is done, your protected in case of any unseen problems. So Make sure, your dealing with an honest agent, and check references.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 13,994,050 times
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In AZ, both the buyer and the seller have to agree on dual agency before an agent can be a dual agent.

If you did not sign any agreement with the agent, then you are a customer, not a client so he has no obligation to you. Once you sign a disclosure of agency form then he would be representing you.

If he takes you to his listing, then he is representing the seller because at this point you have not agreed to a dual agency, and the seller may have not agreed.

If you are uncomfortable with dual agency, you can tell the agent that you do want to make an offer on the property but you are not comfortable and wish to have an agent represent you as your agent; not a dual agent.

He can recommend someone in his office, in which case there is still a dual agency relationship of sorts because the listing is owned by the broker and the agents work under the broker. But it is not the same as the agent representing both. Or you can choose an agent from another company. It's up to you. Make sure you're comfortable.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 13,994,050 times
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Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
It means if you buy his listing he doesn't have to split his commision and will keep the whole amount...
This is not necessarily correct. The listing agent may have made another arrangement with the seller in the event of a dual agency situation.

On the agents copy of the mls that will show as a "variable commission", which means the commission is different in the case of dual agency, but it does not have to disclose what that commission is.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Palm Coast, Fl
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Did he explain the different types of agency representation to you and what type of agency he had with you while showing you the homes? In Florida many of the Realtors® are transaction brokers and it's not out of the ordinary at all to be working with both the seller and buyer. What state are you in?
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:38 AM
 
10 posts, read 38,753 times
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Originally Posted by palmcoasting View Post
Did he explain the different types of agency representation to you and what type of agency he had with you while showing you the homes? In Florida many of the Realtors® are transaction brokers and it's not out of the ordinary at all to be working with both the seller and buyer. What state are you in?

Thanks for everyone's replies. Located in NJ. I do feel that we are working with an honest agent. We did not even get into discussing the different types of agency relationships with this as it was our first time out looking - he seemed to be intent on not pressuring us to do anything hastily. We are looking in a particular neighborhood where almost half of the open listing are his, so I would tend to think it is in his best interest to keep his reputation in high regard.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:30 AM
 
270 posts, read 1,279,624 times
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We bought our first house in dual agency in NJ several years back, at the height of the housing boom. We were hoping that going the dual route we could get a price break from the agent and broker since we were stretching our finances to the max and were hoping the agent would drop maybe a percentage point of his commission (foolish first time buyers we were). There were no other offers at the time. We ended up paying more than we wanted to and the agency got full commission of course. The whole time we had the feeling that we were not presented equally and I would not go that route again. When inspection issues came up for instance the agent did not negotiate on our behalf at all. One could say that things are different in an upward market but I am of the opinion that these agent have to act in a professional and un-biased way no matter what. One sign that this agent was only interested in his cut was that at closing he came for exactly 10 minutes and only to pick up his commission check. He could not get out of the lawyers office fast enough ;-)
The next house we bought in MA we had our own agent and things were a little easier although not much. And if you read through all your contracts, disclosures and agency statements you will see that there all kinds of disclaimers saying that the Realtor is not a real estate expert like a lawyer, inspector or appraiser and can not be held responsible. Ha, you ask yourself what are they good for then...sorry could not help it. (Just had too many bad experiences)
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 13,994,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haberstroh View Post
We bought our first house in dual agency in NJ several years back, at the height of the housing boom. We were hoping that going the dual route we could get a price break from the agent and broker since we were stretching our finances to the max and were hoping the agent would drop maybe a percentage point of his commission (foolish first time buyers we were). There were no other offers at the time. We ended up paying more than we wanted to and the agency got full commission of course. The whole time we had the feeling that we were not presented equally and I would not go that route again. When inspection issues came up for instance the agent did not negotiate on our behalf at all. One could say that things are different in an upward market but I am of the opinion that these agent have to act in a professional and un-biased way no matter what. One sign that this agent was only interested in his cut was that at closing he came for exactly 10 minutes and only to pick up his commission check. He could not get out of the lawyers office fast enough ;-)
The next house we bought in MA we had our own agent and things were a little easier although not much. And if you read through all your contracts, disclosures and agency statements you will see that there all kinds of disclaimers saying that the Realtor is not a real estate expert like a lawyer, inspector or appraiser and can not be held responsible. Ha, you ask yourself what are they good for then...sorry could not help it. (Just had too many bad experiences)
The commission is between the listing agent and the seller. It is not with the buyer. So there was nothing for you to negotiate.

In a dual agency, the agent has the same fiduciary duties to each party, and consequently, s/he effectively becomes a mediator, and must walk a very tight rope. The dual agency duties should have been explained to you, and it is written in the disclosures. The agent, because of the fiduciary duties cannot favor one party over the other. So there is a built in conflict of sorts, and each party should understand that in the beginning.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:03 AM
 
27,026 posts, read 43,627,014 times
Reputation: 15327
Quote:
Originally Posted by haberstroh View Post
We bought our first house in dual agency in NJ several years back, at the height of the housing boom. We were hoping that going the dual route we could get a price break from the agent and broker since we were stretching our finances to the max and were hoping the agent would drop maybe a percentage point of his commission (foolish first time buyers we were). There were no other offers at the time. We ended up paying more than we wanted to and the agency got full commission of course. The whole time we had the feeling that we were not presented equally and I would not go that route again. When inspection issues came up for instance the agent did not negotiate on our behalf at all. One could say that things are different in an upward market but I am of the opinion that these agent have to act in a professional and un-biased way no matter what. One sign that this agent was only interested in his cut was that at closing he came for exactly 10 minutes and only to pick up his commission check. He could not get out of the lawyers office fast enough ;-)
The next house we bought in MA we had our own agent and things were a little easier although not much. And if you read through all your contracts, disclosures and agency statements you will see that there all kinds of disclaimers saying that the Realtor is not a real estate expert like a lawyer, inspector or appraiser and can not be held responsible. Ha, you ask yourself what are they good for then...sorry could not help it. (Just had too many bad experiences)
Exactly that is the point that I try to make all the time. realtors are always saying "might, perhaps, etc." You need a laywer to get good advise and there are realtors who at the same time are lawyers.
I have heard that builders are not hiring people with a real estate license, simply because the builder will be more liable. Without a real estate license they can always deny things easier.
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