Do You Really Want to Work With the Owner's Agent?

Posted by on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 10:26am.    1816 Views

Looking to Buy a Home?

I work with a lot of first time buyer's as well as move up buyer's and part of my job and passion is to educate them on the do's and don'ts of the home buying process. I am a brutally honest person and I let people know that right up front. You will either like my candor and honesty or move on and seek someone that will tell you what you "want to hear."

With that being said, one of the things that I'd like to point out right up front is this. If you decide that you would like more information about a particular home and call the phone number on the yard sign or attend an open house, you will be speaking with the same Realtor that promised their seller they would sell that home for the most amount of money possible. If you proceed to view the home with the same Realtor, you would become involved in a "dual agency" position.


What is the difference in agency relationships?

Representing the Sellers
Most sellers of real estate choose to list their home for sale with a real estate brokerage. When they do so, they sign a listing agreement that authorizes the brokerage and the listing agent to represent their interests. As the seller’s agent, the brokerage and listing agent must: follow the seller’s lawful instructions, be loyal to the seller, promote the seller’s best interests, disclose material facts to the seller maintain confidential information, act with reasonable skill and care and, account for any money they handle in the transaction. In rare circumstances a listing broker may offer “sub-agency” to other brokerages which would also represent the seller’s interests and owe the seller these same duties.

Representing Buyers
When purchasing real estate, buyers usually choose to work with a real estate agent as well. Often the buyers want to be represented in the transaction. This is referred to as buyer’s agency. A brokerage and agent that agree to represent a buyer’s interest in a transaction must: follow the buyer’s lawful instructions, be loyal to the buyer, promote the buyer’s best interests, disclose material facts to the buyer, maintain confidential information and, account for any money they handle in the transaction.

Dual Agency
Occasionally the same agent and brokerage who represents the seller also represents the buyer. This is referred to as dual agency. When a brokerage and its agents become “dual agents,” they must maintain a neutral position in the transaction. They may not advocate the position of one client over the best interests of the other client, or disclose any confidential information to the other party without written consent.

I would be pleased to represent and protect your best interests in a transaction. Give me a call today!

5 Responses to "Do You Really Want to Work With the Owner's Agent?"

Tim Parker wrote: Thank you Marty! One of the biggest myths out there is that the agent on the sign is looking to "sell" the property and will be open minded when it comes to working with buyers. This couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the time, when you contact the agent on the sign they will try to get you interested in another property. This happens because they are bound to the Sellers' best interests for that particular property, but are able to work more intensely for a buyer on another property without the mess of Dual Agency.
Call your local Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty agent with your questions about ANY property to ensure that YOUR best interests are at heart!

Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 11:58am.

Marty Snyder wrote: Thank you, Tim. Often I hear something like, "I want to work with the listing agent so that I can get a better deal." Nothing could be further from the truth. The listing agent is employed by the seller first and foremost and is representing the seller's best interests. A lot of listing agents refuse to work with a buyer as it puts them into a dual agency position and they are simply not comfortable with it.

It is always best to be represented by your own Realtor. The seller is responsible for all agent's fees, so why not have your own agent? Ask yourself this, "would I go into a courtroom and ask the plaintiff or defendant's attorney to represent me in a lawsuit"? I would think not! (I am not an attorney, but used this example to make a worthy point)

Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 12:08pm.

Lorna Howell wrote: I have "never" had an issue with Dual Agency. In fact,I find that Representing My Sellers and Buyers to be very gratifying. There should not be a problem with Dual Agency if The Realtor does his or her job as he or she should.
If Everyone is honest,it all works out great. The interests of all parties involved are always my Top Priority! No One gets the short end of the stick when I represent both parties. I am a Very Blessed Realtor to have represented so many Wonderful Clients! Love It!!!

Posted on Sunday, January 19th, 2014 at 8:35pm.

Marty Snyder wrote: Thank you for your comment and perspective, Lorna. My blog post is merely an educational piece about the pros and cons of working with a listing agent in a home purchase transaction. I know there are many Realtors that can do an excellent job of representing both parties in a dual agency transaction without bias. I too have done so myself and have never had any complaints.

A seller is responsible for paying all of the Realtors fees. So, if a listing agent represents both parties in a transaction, the listing agency is compensated twice. (and cannot show bias to either party in the transaction)

If a buyer's agent, like myself, represents only the buyer, my brokerage typically receives 50% of what the seller's agency would received and the buyer gets 100% of my loyalty and protection in the transaction.

I have talked to so many people that have stated, "the listing agent did not fully explain agency to me" (until they got much deeper into the process) hence the reason for my article to help explain agency right up front like it is supposed to be.

I have represented buyer's in about 98% of all of my real estate transactions and have never had one person complain that they didn't receive 100% of my service.

Why would someone that is about to enter the most expensive financial transaction of their life want to work with an agent that can only give them 50% when they can have their own agent representing them at 100% at no additional cost?

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 at 7:34am.

Greg Hancock wrote: I'm with Marty and Tim, but also understand not every agent likes to be a dual agent. Many agents refuse to function in a dual agency situation because they like to go to bat for their client while in a dual agent situation, everything is neutral and arm's length. A dual agent becomes just a facilitator. (doesn't mean they can't be a good one though.) It's a personal preference when it comes to agents choosing whether or not to represent both sides.

Buyer's should also be educated about the representation that best serves their own best interests. For most buyers, that's working with a buyers' agent. In some cases, the Realtor is competent enough to represent both sides professionally. Per Lorna's comment... "If everyone is honest, it all works out great", well, that's fantastic, except not every buyer or seller is honest all the time. Again, I think it's the agents' choice whether to choose dual agency and whether or not their comfortable with it, and buyers should take the time to understand the different forms of agency.

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 at 6:01pm.

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