You are indeed risking dual agency by having the listing agent show you the home. This is not in your best interest at all. You should use your own buyer's agent to show you the home. The listing agent's goal is to get the highest possible price for the home with the best possible terms for the seller. The listing agent will conceal any weaknesses in the seller's personal circumstances that might lead you to make a lower offer.
This is exactly what you don't want. You want an agent who will aggressively seek out defects in the property and/or the seller that would lead you to a lower offering price.
If you don't have a good buyer's agent, contact me through my website or profile. I am very aggressive in looking for problems with the home, location, seller, or all three. You should not settle for less, as it could cost you money and or aggravation if defects are not uncovered now, before you decide on a fair offering price.
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
OK, let me try to make this answer as simple as I can!
I am tempted to address some of the other comments on this blog by other agents, but I will try to stay on topic, and respond to YOUR question.
First of all, you are not locked into using the listing agent - for that home, or for viewing any other homes. You can, however, work with that agent as a "disclosed dual agent" for that particular home, and continue working with him or her as a "buyer's" agent for other properties down the road. That designation will change depending on whether you are viewing company properites or homes listed with other companies. Selecting an agent is kind of like a blind date ( !! ) - if you know that agent is qualified and experienced, and you feel comfortable with him or her, then by all means work with them, develop a relationship, and the outcome will be a positive one for you. If you meet the agent you made an appointment with, AND feel that comfort level, by all means allow him or her to be your agent. In NJ, we have very clear descriptions of what our fiduciary responsibilities are - as a "disclosed dual agent", we cannot put the rights of one party over the rights of the other party. Keep in mind that a "disclosed dual agent " is not just the agent who listed the home, but ANY agent who works for that company. I would certainly NEVER ascribe to the earlier comment posted here to NEVER use a listing (dual) agent..............nor would I ascribe to the statement that I have heard from some buyers who say they ONLY want to work with a listing agent (they think they get a "better deal" that way). By the way, in NJ, any agent you work with SHOULD be giving you a "Consumer Information Statement", put out by the State of NJ, which explains all of the above terms and rights you have as a consumer!
To sum it up - you are not locked in to using that agent, but as a courtesy, moving forward, if you are interested in that particular home, by all means continue to use that agent for that home. She (or he) will be spending time with you, hopefully giving you useful information, so it would be a nice gesture to follow through on that home. As far as whether there is "procuring cause", that would be determined if the agent took it to arbitration in the future should you buy the home through another agent. Don't concern yourself with that aspect..............just find an agent who you feel comfortable with, and develop a sound working relationship. Do not, however, be afraid to work with the listing agent.
Let me address one more thing. My company, along with most of the other companies in my area offer full, written seller's disclosures on all homes. This means you will get to see just what the owner knows about their home - age of appliances, furnace, air conditioning, age of home, any prior termite infestation, water issues etc. I disagree with the gentleman that started you might not get true information from a listing agent..............hogwash!! Today we disclose whatever we know about a home, and ask the owner to do the same! My real estate license would be in jeopardy if I didn't do that, and NO commission is worth that!!
Good luck in your home search - and if you don't already live here - WELCOME to NEW JERSEY !!
I hope to hear from you.
There is no reason not to continue with the listing agent. Dual agency is not an issue in NJ, agents are educated and professional. Some agents wil try and make it as though a dual agent will try to hurt you in some way, not the case. There is nothing a buyers agent can do for you that will change anything in the sale.
If you like the house you see with the listing agent.. then make an offer with that person.
Buying a house is not a bad thing, 90% of people just want to sell their homes and there is not a bunch of lying and cheating going on as the agent below would lead you to believe. Problems / issues with the house (if there are any) will be addressed during attorney review and negotiated with the same results wether you have a buyers agent or the dual agent . A buyers agent will not have any more say in your behalf then anyone else. period.
So are you locked into that agent? It is a not a concern for you, but the agent can take the other agent to arbitration after the closing to get paid for the sale that they were entitiled to.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
This message, then, is for all those agents who posted incorrect answers to your question and incorrect comments. While I originally protested out of state answers as being usually uninformed about things real estate in NJ, I find that NJ agents also aren't well informed or have adopted points of view that are at best debatable. One NJ guy even posted an incorrect appellation for his industry connection. No one is a licensed Realtor. The state licenses agents and brokers, not Realtors. Realtors belong to a professional organization. Real estate people may join this organization but membership is neither licensed nor required to sell real estate in any state.
Commission rights and agency are two different issues. You can be an agent for someone and not earn a commission. If a dispute arises, just who earned a commission, when talking of the buyer's agent side of a transaction, is a matter for arbitration, not of the courts, in the NJ Realtor community. A review specific to the individual case and circumstances is conducted, if a formal complaint is entered to the Realtor Association.
Some movement has been made toward buyer agency only brokerages. Members of these firms sometimes insist loudly that they offer the only legitimate service for buyers, often in terms that cast a great deal of doubt on the veracity and effectiveness of dual agents. Some go so far as to indicate that they will be aggressive in pursuing the buyer-client's interest. Back when I took "Contracts" when I was in college, I was told that a contract was a meeting of the minds of the parties. How well do you suppose that may be accomplished if your agent is "at war" against the other party, even if in your interest?
Since dual agency is legal in NJ and the vast majority of brokerages use this form of client service, I'm going to have to say that it seems to be the best all around business model at this time. After all, just how good is a business model that depends on the "adversary," to pay their commission; the very one whom the buyerâ€™s only agent is bound to beat into major concessions, at least according to some of the advocates of this structure? Perhaps when buyer's only agents insist that their clients pay all of their commissions, we might see that only the two forms of agency will exist, those of seller's agents and those of buyer's agents. Until that happens, I believe that any ethical agent can be used and that the factors of local knowledge, familiarity with good negotiating skills and a grasp of all the details that can throw a deal of the tracks are more important then than attitude that the buyer needs a â€œbulldogâ€ in his corner.
I've been through tens of thousands of homes over my career and I can spot many things that the typical buyer will totally miss. Things that the listing agent will be happy to ignore.
The correct procedure is to NEVER call the listing agent to view a home. Always have your own representation and take advantage of the expertise that is freely available to you in the form of an aggressive buyers agent. It costs nothing extra!
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
My best regards to all hard working agents!
The suit that was in the realtor magazine last year was this. A consumer went to an open house. He had an agent but was out driving around. Upon entry to the house he was greated by the hosting agent who represents the Seller. The person expressed some interest but then left. A day later he called his agent. The agent was in the house a few weeks before and knew the house well. They drove by together and wrote, and had it accepted, and offer. The LA stated that they were procurring cause. It went to court and the courts decided that they were not procurring cause. They were there as a duty to the seller. The consumer had every legal right to use who ever he choose to then move forward. The agent received his commission.
I also attached a good article from realtytimes.
In every state that I know of, showing the property would be a duty of the listing agent, and creates no agency relationship whatsoever. Please understand I am not disputing your expertise; I just find it difficult to imagine you having an agency relationship with everyone who enters an open house on Sunday, simply because you showed them the property.
The "Listing Agent" is the agent that represents the person SELLING the property, also known as the Seller's Agent.
I would suggest you find an agent that can represent you and guide you through the process and explain things like this along the way.
Simply put, agents make their TOTAL income by getting a commission. We do not get a base salary or benefits. As a matter of fact, we PAY for all these things: our license, our Realtor dues, our MLS membership, our printing and advertising and contribute toward the agency's errors and omissions insurance, without any reference to so much as a single sale. Unfortunately, this makes many of us grubby about sharing commissions.
The procedure in this state (NJ) is that the agent that starts an unbroken process leading to a sale is entitled to a commission. The unbroken aspect of an individual history is open to interpretation and, when a dispute arises, we have an arbitration procedure to determine who is entitled to the commission.
A shadow is cast over the whole thing because NJ has provision for a dual agency situation and the agent must disclose that they are in the position where they must use this technique. If they do disclose and you accept their help, you can be giving them the right to a commission, even if you later decide you want to use a different agent. If that happens, the agent you bring in later may have to get his/her compensation from you and not the seller. In most cases in NJ, the seller agrees to allow his agent to share the commission that the seller pays but you can bet that no seller's agent is going to give a Johnny-come-lately a share that Johnny didn't earn, as far as the seller's agent is concerned. If this kind of thing were allowed, people could show up at closing with "Uncle Herbie" from 100 miles away and award their dear old "Unk" with a large monetary award that "Unk" did nothing to earn and of which the agent that did all the work up to the day of closing was deprived.
I hope you will find exactly what you want in a home and work fairly with an agent who does the best job ever seen. Good Luck.
As a couple of people have already mentioned, maybe it would be best to find a buyers agent to help you with your purchase before you look at homes and then you avoid any potential issues all together.
Best of luck!
However unless you sign a specific agreement with an agent then you are free to work with any or all agents that you choose but again, if you are shown a house by an agent then you must stick with that agent should you decide to buy it.
You should find an agent that you want to work with, then have them show you that house, and any others that fit your needs.
I work in the Norwood area and would be very happy to show you the listing you are interested in.
Please contact me through my website.
I look forward to hearing from you.