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LoCo Whispers

A "LoCo" REALTOR shares her thoughts.....

By Vicky Chrisner | Agent in Leesburg, VA

Can I Have More Than One Agent?

A Consumer Asked: Can I have more than one agent?

Hmm... The short answer: Maybe, but not if you're *my* client.

But let's back up a bit.  When you begin working with an agent, there's an important discussion that should be had - right up front.  It's about the difference between being a client and a customer.  (Yes, there is a legal difference.)

If it's determined that you will hire that agent to be your agent, then you will likely be asked to hire them exclusively.  This means you will be asked to pledge your loyalty (in writing via a contract called a listing agreement or buyer/tenant agency agreement) to work with that agent, and only that agent, to help you with your real estate need (be it buying, selling or renting).

I admit I always laugh a little when we talk about loyalty in a brokerage agreement... it feels a little like asking a guy to go steady; except it's one sided:  "I don't want you to see other girls.  But, I will be seeing other guys."

Doesn't sound fair, but let me finish:

You see, REALTORs do not get paid by the hour, for their effort, for their gas, or the many tools that are required to do the job sufficiently.  Together, these things cost thousands of dollars every year.  We only get paid if we are successful in helping someone buy, sell, or rent a property.  As a result, it seems unfair for you to work with more than one REALTOR, since - unless you're planning to rent, buy, or sell more than one place - only one REALTOR can get paid for the job.

On the other hand, when you ask us to help you buy, sell, or rent a property, you're not guaranteeing us payment... You're just representing that you are ready, willing and able.  So, we can't only spend time with you... If we want to pay our own mortgages next month, we will have to have more than one client.

It is for that reason, that the REALTOR community has established rules that prohibit us from "stealing" another agent's client.  If you have a written agreement with another agent/brokerage, there are legal and ethical issues that prohibit me from being able to work with you while that agreement is in place.

It is also for that reason that I only work with people who are working exclusively with me and no other agent. I'll post more about agency later.  But since I got this question twice today, I thought it was an important post. Now I hope the next time an agent tries to explain exclusivity to you it makes just a bit more sense. 

Until then... If you've got real estate questions; I've got real estate answers.  Email me, sent me a tweet, post on my wall, text or call me.

Remember, with me, you've got a friend in the business.

Vicky Chrisner, REALTOR


Twitter: REWhisperer

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By GTOptions,  Fri Jun 1 2012, 23:28
Yeah one can have more than one agents but if you are starting going with the agents then you should give a try or wait for some time before contacting other agent. (http://www.gtoptions.com/)
By Vicky Chrisner,  Sat Jun 2 2012, 06:49
A big difference... if I customer, who does not want to hire me exclusively, wants me to provide them with service - showing homes, providing information, etc. - I may do it, based on my assessment of the chances that they WILL hire me as their agent, and based on my work load. If I am busy, the customers are the first ones to suffer. That is because I have a contractual obligation to be available to my clients to show properties, market their listings, discuss market conditions, their concerns, negotiate an offer, etc. etc. So I do everything in my power to be available to my clients based on their needs. For a client, I might miss my kid's Tball game - like today. For a customer - never. We all make choices, and it is based on the obligation level of our relationship. Any customer who thinks they are getting the same service as a client is, at least with me, wrong.

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