Home Buying in 60441>Question Details

Christa Stew…, Home Seller in Clayton, OH

Am I breaking a law by asking a listing agent to show their listing when I intend to use a real estate lawyer to make the purchase?

Asked by Christa Stewart, Clayton, OH Fri Jan 25, 2013

Do I need to disclose this info before requesting to see the home? I have no desire to have a real estate agent represent me in the buying process. It's impossible for them to truly represent me when their income is based on a percentage of what I pay, whether a dual agent or not.

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

34
Katherine (Kate) Shindle’s answer
Here's the thing. A real estate agent/broker (not the same as a Realtor, incidentally) does not have a career that is made or broken on a single transaction. It's not just about chasing the commission. In fact, we know that you, the buyer, can do a lot of research on your own....and that, to an extent, we are not competing with each other, but with the customer and his or her ability to acquire information independent of us.

That said, there is value in knowledge--no matter how much research you do or how much you may like it (and I personally got into this field because I find it fascinating and fun; there are plenty of easier ways to make a quick buck than selling NYC co-ops), it's hard to replace real boots-on-the-ground knowledge and experience. Last night, an acquaintance listed his apartment on Facebook. I sent him a message offering a little respectful free advice--not because I'm chasing the listing; he clearly wants to avoid a commission--but because he has it priced way too high based on the comps in his building. I am actually recommending that he hang onto it if he can, renting it out until that particular sector of the market gets stronger. I hate to see anyone put their place on the market without having a shot in hell that it will sell--or that anyone will even show up for the open house. I've sat through enough empty open houses at "optimistically"-priced apartments!

Go ahead and see the place, and have your attorney negotiate it. The problem with your logic, as others here have pointed out, is that the 6% commission will go entirely to the seller's agent anyway, and you won't have someone on your side of the transaction, working for you FOR FREE. Unlike most professionals, we do a large hunk of our work for free--not in service of our own commissions, but in service of the deal. I can't count the number of times I've sent someone a listing search, or sat on floor duty or at an open house for no pay...just the prospect of meeting someone who may be looking for an apartment. If the buyer feels like they're paying too much (and here's where your own knowledge comes into play), they can simply decide not to put down the deposit and walk away. So in fact, it is in your agent's direct interest to make sure you are satisfied with what you are paying....that goes double for the informed, educated buyer, because I for one would assume they may be running the comps themselves.

If your attorney claims half of the commission, you're in the exact situation you wanted to avoid. And if not, the whole commission will go to the seller's agent...which will make them awfully happy that you showed up without your own agent. Remember that a seller's agent is expected to act in good faith with all parties, but is contractually bound to the seller, not the buyer.

One more thing: any agent/broker who wants to do more than a few deals is aiming to provide you with good customer service, so that you pass along referrals. It's not quite as black-and-white (or cynical and cutthroat) as you may anticipate. You give good service, people send their friends to you . If you don't, they don't.

Oh, and the one real d-bag move you should avoid: if you're going to have your lawyer negotiate regardless, don't set up the showing through a third-party broker. Just look up the property and contact the listing agent. Asking someone to show you a place when you plan on cutting them out of the deal is just bad, bad, uncool, and bad.

My advice: talk to a couple of agents/brokers who have had good results with your friends. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Unless you sign an exclusive buyer's agreement, you will have plenty of freedom--but seriously, like any professional, there are simply things we learn through experience that a layperson doesn't know.

Good luck!

-Kate-
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
NY NY 10023
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
I just want to chime in here and say Kate answered this perfectly. If you want to see a home without using an agent, call the listing agent and sign a no agency form. They are still going to get their commission and won't have to share it with someone who will be representing you.
Flag Thu Jan 23, 2014
And you think an attorney would be a better choice?? Am I missing something?
Do you go to a podiatrist if you have a tooth ache?

Seriously, there is something wrong with fixating on some excuse like they can’t look out for me, you are an adult, look out for yourself.

I work with a ton of Realtors, one of the most the most important things they do is hold your hand AFTER the deal is in escrow. Good luck having an attorney that doesn’t sell real estate do that.
Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
JSimms@cmcloans.com
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
Just found this gem in this thread -

"In buying a home, the need for an agent is about convenience these days."

Totally not true if you work with a good agent. All the research you want to do does not get you the deal.

Buying and selling a property is a team effort. To be successful, the buyer isn't able to just sit back and enjoy being driven around town looking at houses. The research is part of the experience and informed buyers need to do it themselves. A good agent will direct and guide at the proper times, but this is your journey, not the real estate agent's. I look at myself as the trail guide that knows the paths to get my clients to where they want to go the quickest and most effective and efficient way. They still have to walk the trail - but with me, at least they won't get lost and wander aimlessly.

The listing agent works for the seller....period. Their job is to get the highest price possible for the property. A good buyer's agent cuts through their razzle dazzle and gets to the bottom line. As an unrepresented buyer, you will be hard pressed to accomplish the same. You don't know the trails and you will go down the wrong path several times.

If you really feel that a buyer's agent is about convenience, then you have been hanging around the wrong buyer's agents. Again, change the mindset, attract the right people, get the home you are looking for at a fair price. Go down Debbie's partial list of things that need to be done in a purchase...she didn't even get into explaining disclosures, which is a whole other consideration... There is a lot there to be done.

And lastly, I take serious issue with this statement in your question...

It's impossible for them to truly represent me when their income is based on a percentage of what I pay, whether a dual agent or not.

Impossible is like the words never or can't.... they are the offspring of a closed mind.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
I have already responded to your question below, so I am not going to try and tell you of the perils of going it alone - attempting to buy without an agent is your choice and prerogative. You are intelligent and articulate, and can make up your own mind.
I'd just like to add some advice.

I think you are looking at the attorney as the "contract-writer", and that's it....however, you may need to call on him or her for a lot more. You bettter have this discussion with your attorney in advance , to learn just what he or she will and won't do on your behalf.

Sure, he or she can write up your offer in contract form, and perhaps negotiate, if he or she is willing to do so.....but....what about all the other parts of the process? You need to make sure you can count on the attorney.or someone.... for the following:

1.Will he or she accompany you during the home inspection, because that (in my area) is usually done by the buyer's agent not the listing agent - and no, an unaccompanied buyer & inspector would not be allowed in the home alone during the inspection?

2. will he or she remind you when deposits are due....and other time frames are getting closer?

3. will he or she arrange to meet the appraiser and let him into the house, because (in my area) the buyer's agent does that

4. will he or she negotiate the home inspection items with the seller's agent - line by line, item by item if needed.... and arrange to meet any contractors in order to get estimates for repairs? If you want to know what a new roof or mold removal will cost - you would certainly want to get your own person in to investigate...the listing agent is not responsible for that

5. will the attorney follow up with the mortgage person to make sure you're on track for the date stipulated in the contract?

6. will the attorney agree to meet you for the walk through prior to the closing? The buyer's agent (in my area) always takes on that responsibility

Anyway......not trying to be an alarmist, or use this list as a scare tactic - but these are really part of the home buying process - I may even have left off a few things - and you will need to find a way to navigate through this if your attorney's job ends once he or she writes up the contract.

Best wishes.........
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
"I am trying to stay away from a situation where the person suggesting how much my offer should be has a stake in that number."

Then don't ask for their recommendation...period - your concern is resolved. Give them the number, the RE agent writes it up. Negotiate the fee you will pay and make it a fixed fee.

If I am a listing agent and I get multiple offers - which is not unusual these days, unless your lawyer offer is somehow way better than the others, which it will not be, I am going with a buyer who is represented by a reputable agent. The last thing I want to deal with is a lawyer if I don't have to. That is the practical reality of the business - like it or not. And there is way more to a property transaction than coming up with a number and writing an offer.

You are putting yourself at a disadvantage worrying over peanuts. While I don't know what kind of house you are looking at, per Trulia, the average list price for a house in Ludlow Falls is for the week ending 1/16/13 is just shy of $90k. http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Ludlow_Falls-Ohio/market-trends. Remember, unless you are paying cash, there will be an appraisal involved which is another professional opinion of value.

So what is overpaying in Ludlow Falls? $93k? And you really think an agent is going to be creating a conflict by pushing a couple thousand extra dollars so you get the property to make an extra $90??? (3% of $3k). That makes very little sense and I have to believe that there are agents in your area that are better than that. Even if you overpay by $10k, that is $300 commission increase based on 3% - I see your concern as more theoretical than anything else. You would seem to know values, so in reality, you won't over pay - so what are you really afraid of? Or do you just have a chip on your shoulder and want to complain about the system as it is set up?

To answer your question, ask your attorney offer writer because technically, you are asking a legal question that we aren't supposed to address. However, as stated below, being upfront and transparent about your intentions is the best practice to build a positive rapport with the listing agent. In a way, they are a gatekeeper to you being successful - mess with them in the wrong way and you are certain to fail in this market. That is why retaining an agent who either has rapport or can build it quickly opens doors for you that otherwise remain closed.

If you are really truly concerned, then get your own RE license like Phyllis and write your own offers. Otherwise, understand that in the end, consumers with the mindset of not wanting to get screwed, typically attract just that and pay more one way or another. Lawyers are typically the most proficient at screwing people (ie. their clients)....and you want to hire one!!

Change your mindset to that of looking for a good deal, attract a solid professional that you can work with, and go get it done. What the agent is paid is irrelevant and well worth it if you are happy with the property and the price you paid.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Hippgeekgirl,
Here's what you do, look for a sale by owner (FSBO) that way no agents are involved and you can do it on your own with your attorney. You probably will be then be writing to us on Trulia because apparently we're good enough to give advice but not trust worthy to sell you a home. Good luck.

Janet Nation, CBR
Sailing Home Realty
Direct: 646-321-9649
Office: 516-377-4760
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
http://www.jnationproperties.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
There are no laws that protect us in those circumstances, so you are not breaking any laws.

Ethically, and morally, however, it would be nice if you were honest and simply asked for a showing - clearly stating you are not looking for representation, and plan to use an atotrney if you proceed with an offer.

Since the agent will not be representing you, don't ask for, or expect, any advice or market information -hopefully your attorney will be able to guide you through the process and give you all the important information you will need.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Yes you are!
You are violating the laws that really count.(have you heard of the Golden Rule?)
You know the answer already.
Rarely does anyone ask a question to which they do not already have the answer.
So, the question becomes, "What kind of person are you?"
-
In regards to making this real estate purchase. go full speed ahead.
The listing agent WILL do the 'happy dance."
It is buyers just like you that agents dream about at night. Those who believe circumventing the protections that are in place for the buyers benefit is somehow going to work to their advantage. You should go and make a listing agent very happy.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
The listing agent doesn't care, they want you to see their listing.

As BeachBrokerBill points out, sellers are often asking our opinion on how to handle offers, and I think that most of us would rather do business with a buyer's agent with a good reputation and strong relationship to a lender than with someone we don't know, or an attorney that doesn't really know the business.

Then, again, the type of agent that you seem to be wary of would love to see you come in unrepresented and not having an agent to share the commission with.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
Wish I could bill on 15 min increments!

Which reminds me.....I hired an attorney many years ago to handle something for me - back then she billed at $450 an hour

In the beginining I used to start my conversations by trying to be polite and saying:" Hi, how are you? Did you have a nice weekend? Sure is beautiful weather out today, isn't it"??

Then I realized those opening few sentences were costing me $7.50 a minute! Their clocks and timers start ticking the minute you say HELLO!

So next time, I said "Hi" ................and then cut to the chase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Gee Debbie - @ $400 an hour for a inexpensive attorney, that gets kind of expensive for a $100k purchase! Suddenly 3% is looking pretty good!!

And how many phone calls does a transaction usually take? Do you bill on 15 minute minimum increments like attorneys do? At the attorney rate, each call costs a client $100!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
My response is not rude, it's the truth and sometimes people don't like to hear the truth and you are one of them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Phyllis, I appreciate your candor. I have contemplated doing the same once the kids are grown. I enjoy the research quite a lot.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Janet, your answers have been, from the beginning, condescending and rude. Once you get off your high horse, re-read my question and replies and see that every other person's answer fit with my actual question. They understood my intention and answered honestly and respectfully.
I have a high respect for your profession (though not you, at this point) however, I simply don't think I need the services of an agent in order to buy a house.
I asked my initial question because I was told by a realtor that if I used a listing agent to see a house then I was bound to them. Since this isn't true I have now been mislead by another agent. Does this indict you all? Of course not. And when I try to sell my home I will certainly utilize an agent's skills.
In buying a home, the need for an agent is about convenience these days. With the internet I can access every MLS, tax records, sales history, market value, recent area sales, condition reports, etc. I enjoy that aspect of searching for a home and have found that I know more about each home and area than the agents I've seen. And all without the potential of being swayed or mislead by someone who might get a few extra hundred out of it. Yes, those guys are out there. They sold me this house. I won't make that mistake again.
So, unless you have something helpful to share, please remove yourself from this conversation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
I actually understand why you are doing this, In the 90's I was looking a properties and the agent that was "helping" me was not so good. It was a horrible experience. I and spouse felt she misrepresented material facts. Sooo I got my own RE License and the rest is history. The best thing a realtor can do for you is investigate the history and defects of the home. You would be shocked at reasons why i've had to pull the plug on a transaction.

Go 49ers!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
yeaaaaa........... go 49er's,too!
My son, who is 34, has been a 49ers fan since he was a little boy, no idea why he attached himself to them, as we are in NJ! Needless to say, he is going crazy having them in the Super Bowl.
Flag Sat Jan 26, 2013
I'm not trying to keep an agent from getting the commission. I am trying to stay away from a situation where the person suggesting how much my offer should be has a stake in that number. A real estate lawyer can submit my offer to the listing agent who can take whatever they want per their agreement with the seller. However, a lawyer represents me based on a fee, not a percentage of what I offer.
A realtor, whether a buyer's agent or seller's, makes a percentage of whatever I offer. They should never have a recommendation of what that amount is. By even suggesting a number they are creating a conflict of interest. Even the most honest agents do this. And there is no way to know if they are honestly guiding you or hoping for a big payoff. Aside from doing the research yourself. But then why do you need them?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Hippygeekgirl,
You really need a lesson on agency representation which is too lengthy for me to go into in great detail. Get an agent, a buyer's agent, that is going to represent your best interest during your real estate experience and he or she will explain how the process works. You typically should not experience any out of pocket expense for the service. Your attorney can and will represent you for all legal matters. If an agent shows you a home and your offer is accepted, that agent will be the procuring cause of the transaction and will expect to be compensated. Do not create a mess by not following typical protocol and being dishonest. You could even lose the house if the listing team is distrustful of you.

Janet Nation, CBR
Sailing Home Realty
Direct: 646-321-9649
Office: 516-377-4760
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
http://www.jnationproperties.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
No, you are not breaking the law, but you are wasting the agent's time if they are not the listing agent. Realtors are paid on commission only and unless the attorney is a also a Realtor, they can not submit the offer for you directly to the seller, they must go through the listing agent who has a signed contract with the seller to pay the Realtor on BOTH sides of the transaction. Although the money is technically be paid by you because you are purchasing the house, the agreement for commission is already signed and payable through the seller.

We do have a rule of procuring cause in the state of Illinois that would allow the agent that showed you the property to still receive the commission, whether you wrote the offer through them or not, because they introduced you to the home.

Does the attorney know the value of properties in the area? Can they tell you if you are paying a fair price for the property? The attorney has a 5 day period to review any contracts you sign and you could always have them review our standard contract before you sign anything.

If you work with a Buyer's agent and not the Listing agent, it is their duty to provide you with the best information on recent sales in the area so you can make the best offer for you.

Please keep in mind that it is you that sets the price for the offer, not the agent.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
I would say honesty is the best policy. Tell the listing agent your intention. He/she is paid by the seller at closing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Christa Steward....you will be breaking every law that matters. For the real estate professional it will matter not a whit. Dishonest people have a way of reaping the harvest of the seeds they sow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
I would just make sure the listing agent knows that you don't want representation and you merely want to see the home. I'm sure the agent would be more than happy to show you the property. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
- All this means in that the seller and the selling agent work into the price of the house the buying agent's fee.

Yes, and they work in the transfer tax as well.

What you're not getting is . . . what do I care? Never mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
The first thing to remember is that all realtors can work as either a seller's agent or a buyer's agent. That means they can sell houses or help you buy one.

When they work for buyers, realtors are responsible for helping you find the right home, acting on your behalf during price negotiations, and helping you with all of the necessary paperwork.

Best of all, working a buyer's agent won't cost you anything! That's right -- their services are usually free to you because the seller will pay the commission for your agen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
All this means in that the seller and the selling agent work into the price of the house the buying agent's fee.
Flag Mon Jan 28, 2013
Like many home buyers, you are under the impression that you will get a lower price if you do not come with your own agent? Not true. You will probably pay more. Especially if you end up having the listing agent "represent" you--which is what happens most times when you do not have your own agent (regardless of whether you use an attorney). I am both a lawyer and an exclusive buyer's agent. There are skills of each that can help you, regardless of how the compensation is structured. For example, a lawyer gets paid by the hour. Do you think all lawyers try to make up issues so they can charge you more? Most do not. Similarly, most buyer's agents do not try to make you pay too much for the house so they can get a slightly higher commission. Some of us take pride in getting the best possible deal for our clients. The skills that I can bring to the transaction as an agent are knowing the market, knowing the type of negotiation points that will work in any given situation, helping you do a thorough inspection of the home, getting you through the difficult loan process, etc. You are wrong in your assumption, I am sorry to say, in most cases. Please re-think it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
If you disclose your intentions up front I don't think there would be a problem. My question would be, does the lawyer expect a buyer's agent share of the commission? If so, I think you would be much better off using a buyer's agent who has seen many homes in the area and can also give you good advice as to pricing etc when comparing apples to apples. You can't get this by doing research on the internet. Only first hand experience will do. If your lawyer is getting a share of the commission as allowable in many states, is he giving you better representation then a buyer's agent could? I don't think so. If he is getting a share of the commission then he should also be there for the entire time of the home inspection and be willing to meet the appraiser at the house as well. Most lawyers do not want to do this. The other side of the coin is if your lawyer is NOT getting part of the commission the listing agent should be dancing in the street and bending over backwards to accomodate you as they will receive both sides of the commission.

There is no law against what you want to do. I think if everyone is upfront and honest from the beginning there will be no problems and you could have a smooth transaction. You might like to see the Realtor Code of Ethics to see a Realtors responsibilities. http://www.realtor.org/governance/governing-documents/the-co…

Good luck.

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

http://www.nyhomeseller.com
http://www.elliman.com/real-estate-agent/don-mituzas/6752
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
The listing agent represents the seller, they will not be bothered you are going touse a lawyer to make an offer but maybe you should be. the lawyer will be an expert on paperwork and legal matters but will not be able to answer your questions on the home or on your mortgage, or your home inspection or on your appraisal or final walk through. A buyer broker should not only introduce you to homes but guide you throough the process. If they are not doing that you have a point that a lwyer may be a better choice if you are comfortable with buying a home without any guidance. The listing agent will prefer to work direct with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
Additionally - I would also question why you chose to ask a "legal" question on a site frequented by real estate professionals - when you are working with a lawyer. That may be a better question to ask them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
Hi Hippygeekgirl,

You wrote: "With the internet I can access every MLS, tax records, sales history, market value, recent area sales, condition reports, etc. I enjoy that aspect of searching for a home and have found that I know more about each home and area than the agents I've seen. And all without the potential of being swayed or mislead by someone who might get a few extra hundred out of it."

Since you essentially have done all the research yourself, and as a result, should know EXACTLY what the property is worth and what you should be offering/paying for it - how could an agent possibly sway or mislead you to pay more? In a sense you are correct - using an agent IS about convenience. I could do my own taxes, change my own oil, represent myself in court, and buy professional dental equpiment and clean my own teeth if I wanted to as well.....but my time is better spent doing what I am the expert in. The vast majority of people simply don't have the time to spend researching the internet, setting appointments, gathering all the paperwork, crafting an offer, etc. etc. Most spend their time doing what it is they do to make themselves money, and leave their insurance, taxes, real estate, etc. to the people who do it on a daily basis, over and over again each year.

There are agents who will rebate you the entire commission minus a small flat fee. That would eliminate the fear of an agent "trying to jack up the cost to make more money". Additionally, you'd get a substantial portion of money back - that you would never get going at it alone. The decision is ultimately yours - but you could save yourself thousands of dollars. The level of service you'll receive in return for their commission, is arguable - however it doesn't seem like you want much support in your transaction so it might be a great idea for you to at least consider.

Hope this helps - and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2013
I have already responded to your question below, so I am not going to try and tell you of the perils of going it alone - attempting to buy without an agent is your choice and prerogative. You are intelligent and articualte, and can make up your own mind.
I'd just like to add some advice.

I think you are looking at the attorney as the contract-writer, and that's it....however, you may need to call on him or her for a lot more. You bettter have this discussion with your attorney in advance , to learn just what he or she will and won't do on your behalf.

Sure, he or she can write up your offer in contract form, but....what about all the other parts of the process? You need to make sure you can count on the attorney.or someone.... for the following:

1.Will he or she accompany you during the home inspection, because that (in my area) is usually done by the buyer's agent not the listing agent - and no, an unaccompanied buyer & inspector would not be allowed in the home alone during the inspection?

2. will he or she remind you when deposits are due.and other timeframes are getting closer?

3. will he or she arrange to meet the appraiser and let him into the house, because (in my area) the buyer's agent does that

4. will he or she negotiate the home inspection items with the seller's agent - line by line, item by item.... and arrange to meet any contractors in order to get estimates for repairs? If you want to know what a new roof or mold removal will cost - you would certainly want to get your own person in to investigate...the listing agent is not responsible for that

5. will the attorney follow up with the mortgage person to make sure you're on track for the date stipulated in the contract?

6. will the attorney agree to meet you for the walk through prior to the closing? The buyer's agent (in my area) always takes on that responsibility

Anyway......not trying to be an alarmist, or use this list as a scare tactic - but these are really part of the home buying process - I may even have left off a few things - and you will need to find a way to navigate through this if your attorney's job ends once he or she writes up the contract.

Best wishes.........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
"I am trying to stay away from a situation where the person suggesting how much my offer should be has a stake in that number."

Then don't ask for their recommendation...period - your concern is resolved. Give them the number, the RE agent writes it up. Negotiate your fee you will pay and make it a fixed fee.

If I am a listing agent and I get multiple offers - which is not unusual these days, unless your lawyer offer is somehow way better than the others, which it will not be, I am going with a buyer who is represented by a reputable agent. The last thing I want to deal with is a lawyer if I don't have to. And there is way more to a property transaction than coming up with a number and making an offer.

You are putting yourself at a disadvantage worrying over peanuts. While I don't know what kind of house you are looking at, per Trulia, the average list price for a house in Ludlow Falls is for the week ending 1/16/13 is just shy of $90k. http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Ludlow_Falls-Ohio/market-trends. Remember, unless you are paying cash, there will be an appraisal involved which is another professional opinion of value. So what is overpaying? $93k? And you really think an agent is going to be creating a conflict by pushing a couple thousand extra dollars so you get the property to make an extra $90??? (3% of $3k). That makes very little sense and I have to believe that there are agents in your area that are better than that.

To answer your question, ask your attorney because technically, you are asking a legal question that we aren't supposed to address. However, as stated below, being upfront and transparent about your intentions is the best practice to build a positive rapport with the listing agent. In a way, they are a gatekeeper to you being successful - mess with them in the wrong way and you are certain to fail in this market.

If you are really truly concerned, then get your own RE license like Phyllis and write your own offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
There are a lot of realtors who say a $10,000 difference wouldn't be reason to recommend that a buyer offer a certain amount yet it regularly happens. The entire system needs to be overhauled, in my opinion. Since I don't have that power, I can at least protect myself from the uncomfortable, and possibly regrettable, position of being swayed by someone who has a stake in the transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Hippygeekgirl -

Many of us were just pointing out that if you ask an agent that is not already the listing agent to show the house, they can get paid whether you use them or not, you have no control over that. If they can prove they were the procuring cause, they will get a commission for showing you the house.

As I said earlier, it i you that determines the offering price, not your agent.

Please keep in mind that a $10,000 difference in price would not result in a huge increase in the Realtor's commission. If you do the math, you will see where I am coming from.

I wish you well and hope you can find an agent to represent you that is honest and can prove to you that we work hard for the money we make and the majority of us do it with integrity and our client's best interests in mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
To answer a few other questions...
I am well aware of how to find any information regarding a listing, the market and the area I'm buying. Everything a realtor can offer me, I can do on my own, except open that house for me to look around.
I don't mean to sound harsh. I do think there is great value in a Realtor's work. I just don't need those services and don't want to feel that I might be mislead. As I said before, there's no way to be certain and having been burned before, why take that chance again?
Interestingly, I was asked to (and did) sign an agreement recently that asked that I pay a small fee for being shown a house that was not the agent's listing, should I make an offer. That seemed fair to me. I have no problem with compensating you for your time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Maybe you've had a bad experience with a realtor in the past, but honestly I treat all of my clients fairly and try to get them the best deal, whether they're buying a 50k or 500k property. Honestly our commission may swing a few hundred one way or the other depending on how the negotiations go, but I'm not in this business to sell my clients up the river for a lousy few hundred bucks. Instead I'm working my butt off for my clients to establish trust and hopefully build life-long relationships. There are lousy & dishonest people in every field, but please don't assume that we're all the same as that is assuredly not the case. There aren't many fields where professionals perform hours of work with the "hopes" that a client will decide to buy or that an offer comes in on a listing... How well does your attorney know the local real estate market? Is he/she experienced enough to research and complete an accurate market analysis for any property you're interested in to make sure you're not overpaying? best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer