Agents are compensated as a result of bringing buyers and sellers together. The agent who showed you the home may, or may not, be entitled to collect a commission. Itâ€™s not as simple as showing you a property guarantees the agent payment. However, it does raise the question of who is entitled to payment.
You, as buyer, have the right to representation from an agent who will put your interests first.
I recommend that you find a buyer agent who you believe will put your interest first, and be completely candid with that agent about seeing this property with the other agent. This will allow your new buyer agent to amicably work out the fee arrangement with the first agent, if appropriate, and proceed in representing you in the purchase. In cases like this, it might be that the first agent really is not entitled to any compensation. Or the new buyer agent may work out an arrangement to pay a referral fee or share the commission.
If you donâ€™t mention this to a new agent, it will most likely surface later and possibly become a challenging situation for all if the first agent attempts to claim the commission. Commission payments earned are determined by a set of rules enforced by the local association. Payment is not determined by a buyerâ€™s preference of who they want to receive the payment. You wouldnâ€™t want to mislead a new buyer agent into a situation where their compensation could be removed from them. Simply discuss it upfront with a new agent, and it will be out of the way.
Your options at this time are:
1) Use the buyer agent who originally showed you the property. Not recommended if you do not believe this person is properly representing you.
2) Buy from the sellers agent and not be represented. Not recommended. You wonâ€™t save any money and will be working with a representative who has the sellers best interest.
3) Buy from the sellers agent who is acting as a dual agent. Not recommended. How does one serve two masters?
4) Hire a new buyer agent. Recommended. Also, it is recommended to be disclose the past history.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
You can definitely buy w/o a buyer's agent, however, we recommend you avoid it....there are just too many things that could happen that would find you in harms way.......
By using an agent you are essentially creating a check and balance system for your transaction. A buyer's agent should look at the transaction activity from your perspective.....
But, you can go solo.....collect as much information as you can about the process and then....make your decision. It looks like you are on your way all ready.
The "Eckler Team"
If you put an offer in without a buyer agent (which doesnâ€™t have to be your current one, unless you are in a contract) than you are putting your offer in to the listing agent, who represents the seller. This will place you at a huge disadvantage and you will be out numbered. You will be up against the listing agent and the seller on your own. I would explain to your current agent what your concerns are and start interviewing other buyer agents. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
In California, when one submits an offer, we include an Agency Relationship Disclosure and Buyer Broker Agreement to indicate who the buyer's agent is. That constitutes the agreement with the agent.
If you have this sort of agreement, and if he has shown you the property that you are interested in, he has the right to represent himself as the procuring cause of the purchase should you decide to write an offer on that other property.
If you are unhappy with your agent, you should fire him....but since you're still in contract/escrow, you should cancel that escrow first, and fire your agent before you start using another. At least give your agent feedback on why you want to terminate his service. It's the right thing to do.
Bottom line, if you aren''t happy with your agent you have every right to move on. If you don't have a contract with this agent the only way he/she could try and keep the commission on this new deal is if they can prove what is called procuring cause via the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. Procuring cause is essentially a chain of events that leads to the sale of the property. If you have only seen this property with that agent, have no binding agency contract in place, and have not discussed pricing of the property/submitting an offer, your chances are pretty solid for not having to pay that agent after closing. Obviously there is always a small chance he/she (agent) could win an arbitration through the GBREB after you close on the property, but again if you break the chain of events early (now) and you have no binding agency contract in place those chances are VERY slim.
I don't suggest you make an offer on a property with out RE representation. That is simply because you should have someone who is protecting your interests in the deal by: helping you price the property (you don't want to over pay), being a great negotiator and helping you identify property faults, etc. This is a huge financial investment and having a professional that is making sure you are buying the right property for the right price is crucial.
Now that I have warned you, the answer is, yes, you can make an offer on your own. You can get a contract from the GBREB, fill it out and submit it to the sellers agent, or you could hire an attorney (warning: they are not real estate professionals). If you were to do any of the above, the sellers agent would keep the full 6% commission as the commission is a separate pre-negotiated contractual agreement between the seller and their agent and is essentially buried into your purchase price.
So, your options are: 1) Find a new buyers agent; 2) Find a new buyers agent who is salaried and gets paid a flat fee to avoid any chance of ill-motivations; Or 3) make an offer on your own or with the help of an attorney.
I hope that helps. Best of luck!