As noted by my colleagues, this REALTOR could be legit, but if you're uncomfortable, pick another. If you use him, you'll always be second guessing yourself. You already don't agree with his financial advice, so why go further? If you're buying a builder home, you would have some concern of a potential conflict of interest. But again, I think you already answered your question for yourself. Find someone else you're 100% comfortable who will get you to your housing goals and your payment goals.
That situation sounds a bit odd to me as well. If the agent is listing the home for the builder, then that agent is the Listing Agent, and if a buyer comes through an open house or calls without an agent and decides to put in an offer on the home, that agent would represent both the buyer and seller, thus becoming a Dual Agent, not solely representing you as a Buyer's Agent. If he is a Dual Agent, then he shouldn't be giving you advice as to what to offer per se since he is also working with the seller. Plus, you need an agent who is not going to show you properties that are out of your comfort price range because you are ultimately the one who will pay in the end if you aren't able to afford your payments later on and lose your home to a foreclosure.
If you don't want to have a realtor represent you solely as a Buyer's Agent, which is at no risk or cost to you unless you buy a home (and the commission comes out of the purchase proceeds anyway and split between the realtors), then I would suggest asking this agent to show you his Listing Agreement with the builder and see what it specifically says is his relationship to the builder. That is why we have contracts with both buyers and sellers, to make sure there are legal representations stated clearly as to who is representing who in a transaction.
Good luck with your home search and if you'd like assistance in viewing homes, I'd recommend finding an agent who can represent your sole interests and needs in buying a home. Feel free to contact me with any other questions in regards to this matter.
Prudential Prime Properties
Licensed in RI and MA
There are so many great agents/REALTORS right here on Trulia that work Rhode Island for a living. Why not find one or two, contact them, speak with the on the phone, and see which one you feel comfortable enough with to hire and represent you?
As far as the situation you described above, even if you turned a blind eye to all of the dual agency problems involved with the builder, it's unforgivable to give a buyer BAD ADVICE about taking a huge mortgage to get a 'better write-off' on your tax return. What a bunch of B.S.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
p.s.. make sure your real estate attorney reviews your purchase contract BEFORE you sign anything.
Do not feel pressured, but do be mindful to procuring cause, if you see a home with an agent, she can argue the case for commission. For new construction, it is especially tricky - usually, unless you bring your agent with you on the first visit and "register" together, the relationship may not, likely will not, be honored.
Trust your instincts - it is the best 'trust" barameter you've got.... and best of luck to you!
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Just wanted to clarify one thing that in my opinion may have been misstated in at least one of the posts below. If this agent showing the home is the listing agent for this property and he/she does not represent you currently, he/she cannot represent both the seller and the buyer in this transaction as a neutral dual facilitator("Dual Agent" ). The best he/she can currently do for you in the State of RI is act as your Neutral Transaction Faciliator if they are already under contract as the listing agent. They can act as your Designated Buyer Representative on other properties, but not this one if they are already the listing agent.
No matter what happens, you will never feel right about it.
You need someone representing only you!
There may be many good reasons why your scenario is legit, as well as not legit!!! Why stress yourself out. Most Buyer Agents will get their payment from the Listing Agent.
There is no reason not to get one! Good Luck
All Realtors are required by law at first meeting to disclose in writing on who they represent and their is a form you would have been presented with if this was not done then beware.
Call me if i can help you further.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Dan Liese RE/MAX Professionals 401-742-3216 cell email@example.com