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Rekha Shah, Real Estate Pro in Long Beach, CA

How do you deal with people when they are working with multiple agents? why they do that?

Asked by Rekha Shah, Long Beach, CA Wed May 23, 2012

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Some buyers think that each agent has his/her own secret exclusive listings, and they think they'll be exposed to more listings if they contact multiple agents.

It is not their fault that they don't know that the MLS is the source for all listings, (except the few pocket listings). It's our job to educate them about how things work.

I explain that those other agents belong to the same MLS board as I do, and as long as they give all the agents the same search criteria, they'll be emailed the SAME listings.

I point out that then they'd have to decide WHO they'll ask to submit offers and negotiate price & terms for them, and that working with multiple agents does not benefit them at all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Thanks a lot for your feed back
Flag Sun May 27, 2012
because they think they are going to get a deal working direct with a listing agent. Might be time to use a buyer broker agreement.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
I don't deal with them. I will have one or two appointments to earn their trust, then I ask for the business. If they continue to work with other agents, then I drop them. Why let them waste any more of your time?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Why do they do that? Well, you have to ask them.

As a practical matter, the only people you should have in your contact list who are working with multiple agents are investors, developers, people that are open to a good deal from any source when the opportunity arises.

But you must never spend time digging for them. If you come across an unlisted property that might suit their needs, then, sure - call them up. But to consider them a "client"? - they're not.

My advice to residential real estate agents whose practice is in finding homes for buyers and buyers for homes is - only work with people who are committed to working with you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
In a word..................................DON'T!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
The answer is subjective. You can decide to either pass or play
As to why, I gave up a long time ago questioning why.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
They MUST sign a BRE each time I take them out for the properties I show them! I give them and I retain the same list of properties. If they are unwilling to sign, I assume I am being used and tell them if they don't sign I don't show. I ask, how would they like to work all week and then here the employer say, thanks for your time, but I'm paying Joe for your work. Then ask, you'd be angry wouldn't you. Save your time, energy and resources for the client that will be loyal to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
It's all about service and knowledge, clients will typically work with different agents because they feel as though they have to do all the work. Many agents will attempt to cherry pick prospects and unfortunately per-judge clients before they ever meet them. They want to know everything about the client and their intentions before they have even meet them or even introduced themselves properly. Simply put if the client trust you and sees the effort you are putting into helping them achieve their goals they wont work with anyone else.

Remember clients are never lost over a few dollars they are always lost over a few words. If you have any questions or simply want some friendly advise with no obligation please feel free to contact me.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
People working with multiple agents is a very common event and probably best justified when the buyer is covering a broad area that may not include locations that an agent is familiar with.

However, when buyers are playing games and don't have the integrity to be up front and share this information with an explanation.....well, they simply lose my attention. If your time is too valuable to serve as a back up agent a parting of the ways may be in order.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013
People are afraid to commit. Like when we shop for cable, phone...We don't commit to one until the last minute we have to sign the contract. I invite them to office and find out what's their reason and educate them why it is benefiting them so much more by working with one buyers agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 3, 2013
Every buyer is free to work with as many agents as they wish. We do not own buyers.

I am a professional Realtor.
I can only provide my time and experience to buyers. Because of this, I request that buyers sign a Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship. I will then spend about 2 hours showing them homes. If they wish to see more homes with me, I then request a signed Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement, which can be for up to X days, months, or MLS listings.

Douglas Lagos
Realtor, Certified HAFA Specialist
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Because they probably feel they are not getting good service and having to do all the work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
Have them sign your Buyer's Broker Agreement or tell the not to call you anymore.

Best of Luck,

Josh Barnett, Realtor
Metro First Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
Hi Rekha

You should value your time and not work with such buyers.

Your time, efforts and money will be better spent else where.

They want a deal, and a home while under cutting you.
They do not regard any value for your services, or in their mind it is worth less.

In Silicon Valley, we had buyers buying FSBO and from the listing agents and in the end they foreclosed as permit issues and the fact that the listing agent abused their confidence.

Move on.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
In my opinion it makes it much difficult to deal with more than one agent! for a simple reason that you have to communicate with all of them and explain things to multiple people rather than one. Personally, it get confusing and people who choose to work with multiple agents are not serious buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
Buyer have become less and less loyal as they loose respect for your profession and time, because of that lack of respect they not only work with multiple agents many of them will also blatantly ask for a large portion of your commissions to credit towards the closing cost or even to reduce the sales price.

As a reputable Broker I will make sure to identify these individuals early and first educate them in the process and if they continue to work with multiple agents and even hint at asking for any monies that I may be earning I terminate the relationship immediately and let any agent that I worked with showing the client properties that the lack of loyalty and respect could be a problem.

In short respect your self and never sell from a position of being desperate and you will have no issues with just ending a relationship with certain clients
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
Simplify it by statiing if you were looking for a new car would you work with different agents for a blue or red car? What about a compact or van? Explain your inventory and demostrate your knowledge of the market. If you don't win them in the first 10 minutes you lost. Expertise and friendliness make for fast points. I expect my clients to interview me as I will be interviewing them too. That is one advantage of being an Exclusive Buyer's Agent; they hire me!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012

Buyers can sometimes just not be loyal.

The only thing an agent can do is be very focused on them and keep in constant conatct with them.

If the buyer sees that the agent is working diligently on their behave, they are more likely to be loyal.

It also pays to develpo a relationship with a potencial buyer, if you have a good relationship with them they are also more likely to be loyal.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
It's very simple, I don't and you shouldn't. I don't mind giving some time to a buyer who is unrepresented and I'm personally not interested in signing up every potetnial buyer I meet. I want to see if we're going to be a good fit for one another and will typically give them a few days time before asking for a 2 week buyer broker agreement. I never look for long term commitments, either I earn the confidence or I don't deserve the business. I typically work with 30plus buyers a year and can have only had 2 that I can think of not be faithful.

We're in business for ourselves, we earn our living based on closed transaction only. We control our time, and decide how to use it. Buyers working with multiple agents are a poor investment of time and after explainging to them how things work and why they should consider working with me, if they still prefer to do thier own thing I wish them well and say goodbye.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
Hi, I don't work with customers that have multiple agents. I invest all of my time and energy with my clients and look for the same loyalty from them. My concern is making that investment and them buying or selling with someone else.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
First, ask why they are working with multiple agents. Ask if they have had any positive results from doing this and if they will continue calling other agents.

Then if they say they are not committed, then let them know you can't commit time and resources to them either.

And move on to the next.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Thumbs up to Felix. That's exactly what you should do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
This is a most unfortunate scenario that all too many agents discover when it's too late. From my perspective and knowing that a buyer is working with another agent(s) it may be time to minimize the effort until one understands their "pecking order."

In the event they are using different agents as solid resources for these locations, it is undrstandable. However, if they are using multiple agents for merely the purpose of using people, it might be time to cut the cord and let them land where ever......because you have probably lost them all ready.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Atta boy Mack! Good answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Personally, I make it very clear from the beginning (especially if I get a hint that they are likely to do this) that we only work with people exclusively. When I explain why, they usually get it. For the few who try the (whoever brings me the property" approach, I explain that the skill of an excellent agent/broker is not finding the property but getting the offer accepted and handling the negotiations throughout.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
They aren’t “working with” they are using. Don’t ask here, ask them why in a manner that might cause introspection. You do that by making a list of why it may not benefit them, choose the most dramatic on the list and then monetize the possible outcome. Frame your question around the money, all of the strange things buyers and sellers do is rooted somewhere in the money side of the transaction.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
You sign them under a Buyer Broker Agreement. Whatever you do, do not spend time with people like that without a contract.

My experience is that they do not trust real estate agents. So they spend time with multiple real estate agents to see properties and pick the real estate agent brain. Chances are, these are the same people who will end up with the listing agent when they find a place as they think working with the listing agent will allow them to secure the home and negotiate a better deal for themselves.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
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