Home Buying in New Paltz>Question Details

Eric Murray, Home Buyer in Miami Beach, FL

Every listing I see on trulia has a different agent. How does this work if I want to visit 4 houses in the same area.?

Asked by Eric Murray, Miami Beach, FL Wed Sep 8, 2010

Do I deal with one agent or deal with all 4 agents that are accosted with that listing. Some realtors try to get you sign an exclusivity agreement that you will only deal with them. How does this work and when should or should not sign this. This is my first time viewing houses and I don't want to deal with signing anything until I'm happy with a house or a good person to deal with. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Jeanne Feenick’s answer
Hi Eric, great question and I'm glad you asked it before you go any further. You capture well the disjointed process of trying to work with individual listing agents - it is cumbersome and awkward. So no, I do not recommend you do that. Rather find yourself a great agent - full time, knows the market and inventory well, is responsive, works as you do, has the analytic skills to tap and put the substantial data to work to benefit you. Trulia is a great place to begin your search for agents - go to the "find a pro" section and put in your town/zip and you'll see a list of active agents to consider - review their profiles, read their contributionsa and testimonials and don't hesitate to ask to speak directly with references.

I find that the home search comes into focus over time - and the agent can be of great value as your advisor but only if she is guiding your search overall. You do not achieve this is you work with many agents. Another disadvantage of working with many agents is that it diminishes the effort any one agent will put in to the relationship. Find yourslef a great agent and reward her with your loyalty.

Incidentally, I rarely ask a buyer to sign an exclusive buyer agreement until I have earned their trust and loyalty - and when I have, there hardly seems a reason to ask. I look at those agreements as a tangible sign of the "gentleman's agreement" we have in place.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Please understand that if you are dealing with the listing agent, that agent is representing the SELLER....NOT YOU!

Interview with a few agents...you have to like the person you are working with and have to trust they are looking out for your best interests.

If you wait until you see a house, problems occur as to who is due a commission should you buy...it is not a good thing to see a house with one agent and put an offer in with another.

If you are looking for a recommendation, I would be happy to suggest an agent in your area to represent your interests. gail@gailgladstone.com
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
Hi Eric,
I never ask a buyer to sign any exclusive agreement. I work with any buyer purely on the basis of trust. If a buyer likes what I do, then he's happy and I'm happy. If we don't get along, or I'm not meeting his needs, then it's just as well we don't work together. Why work together if it's unpleasant or not accomplishing what needs to be done?
It does not make sense to see 4 hourses with 4 different agents. Ideally you need a buyer's agent who will work in your best interest to get you the best deal possible in the least stressful way. Someone who is patient and who is well-seasoned and will have all the answers you might ask.
Larry O'Toole
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
Agents can represent the seller or the buyer or both. When I first started in this business in 1976 buyers were not represented, only the sellers of property. We have grown from then. As far as Exclusive right to represent, for us as agents time is money and that is one reason we ask for exclusive right to represent. It is a commitment on both the purchaser and agent. With an exclusive right to represent an agent can search for proerties that are not on the market and inquire for sale by owners on your behalf. That is especially good if you are not from the area as you would miis out on a potencial good home otherwise. I, myself do not give my exclusive right to represent until my client and I see if we are a good match to each other. If we are I work by contract as I work extremely hard and smart for my clients and I feel I am worth that commitment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
People are different and that's what makes the world go round. Some people you are going to connect with and some you're just not. Some real estate agents have spent many days and nights with customers and then because they didn't have a piece of paper did not get paid. Me I believe in karma.

Sometimes it's the agents fault for not explaining the process and sometimes the customers think that they are going to get a better deal by going to another agent. None of us can predict what's going to happen tomorrow, or at least I can't.

If this kept happening to anyone with half a brain you'd question why and would need to find a better way of not letting it happen over and over again. Yes I'd be bitter about it also and I am taking a leap here, you would be too.

Short and sweet trust does not come overnight and we're trying to get you to trust us in a short amount of time. .I've known married couples who don't or won't trust each other after 40 years.

You're buying experience should be a happy one and it's the real estate agent's job to alleviate you from the stressful side.All my clients have become family and my business is based on the referrals I receive from them. Problem is I don't get as much time to see them because I'm out helping other people achieve their dream.

Find your dream and don't let anything stand in your way. There are just bumps in the road on the way to your goal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Keep in mind the listing agent works for the seller, therefore consider an agent of your own--interview a few agents from different realty companies and choose the one you like best--ask about scheduling around your needs, who will choose the properties to be seen, can you expect updates on new listings and recently sold properties, and how often will communication occur, etc. Ask about current sales in your areas of interest, negotiating strategies, etc., the answers to such questions should determine whether you should enter into a business relationship with an individual broker/agent. As a buyer, one should be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Thanks to all for your response and insight. The question was brought up about putting myself in a realtors shoes, well this is partly why I asked the question. I don't want to step on anyones shoes I just want to understand how it all works up front so I don't have to deal with any of these stupid headaches. The other reason was the first realtors blog I read on here was about how the realtor was ranting and raving about customers and how they didn't get the sale in the end. This really turned me off, so a word to you realtors, buyers are human too and not all of us are out to shaft you. I'm glad I posted this and the responses have been very helpful.

Thanks to you all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Your best bet is to deal with one agent. It will make your life so much easier. Ask friends or family is they know someone in the area they liked. Feel free to talk to several until you find one you are comfortable with.

If you find an agent who you like, don't be afraid to sign an exclusive agreement. You might want to sign a short term agreement to make sure you like the agent. Keep in mind if you buy a house using a different agent then you signed with you may end up paying the first agents commission even though you didn't actually use them to help you purchase a house. You can also sign an agency disclosure agreement with any agent. This way you know who they are representing, yet you can still use other agents.

Realtors are human beings. There are some good ones and some not so good. They also work on commission and don't make a dime unless you use them to buy a home. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Think about how you would feel if an agent took you around looking at many homes and then one day you were driving down the road, saw an open house sign and went in and bought that house...with a different agent. The first agent would have invested a lot of time and effort not to mention the gas used without getting paid a cent. If you find an agent you like, be loyal to them. If you see a house somewhere your agent may have missed, call your agent and tell them you want to see it. It's quite possible your agent may know things about a particular house and it may not be what you want or have other problems. If you have signed with an agent you know they are always working in your best interest.

Good luck!
Don Mituzas
Web Reference: http://www.nyhomeseller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Any licensed agent within the Multiple Listing System can show you ANY property within the system. So, if you need to see 4 houses, a single agent can do that. You do not have to sign an exclusive, but your agent should ideally work for you as a buyer's agent: that is, in your best interest to get you the best deal on the house you choose. You should also choose an agent who will listen to you and what your specific needs and desires are. And, as you know, the commission paid to the agent is paid by the seller, NOT by you. I would be happy to work for you. We have an office in New Paltz as well as other areas in Ulster County.
Best Regards,
Larry O'Toole
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
The best way to find an agent is to ask friends and associates if they have an agent to recommend. When someone you know and respect refers you to an agent that they have worked with, you stand a very good chance of having a good outcome too.

It is improtant that the agent know the market that you are looking in and that you feel comfortable with that person.

Working with the agent who listed the house is not a bad idea, but you need to understand that if you try to have each listing agent take you to only their listings, you are limiting what you will see and potentially wasting your time.

Look for an agent who will give you a full over view of the market that you are looking in and who will bring you to all available properties that fit your needs. When you work with one agent, they will see what you like and don't like and help you filter through all the listings until you find the right one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
This has to be the easiest questions ever asked. When you pick an attorney how do you choose him or her? You’re usually doing so because you trust them to help you make the right decision for you. You'll also want an agent to represent YOU in one of the most expensive transactions you'll ever make so you'll need to give similar criteria to an agent you'll choose.

Usually you'll have a friend or relative who has had some experience with an agent so ask them for a recommendation. Although you do not need a buyer's agent wouldn't you want someone to watch out for your interests? Find someone who specializes in buyer agency and look at the number of designations he or she has. That means that they are truly committed to knowing as much as they can which in turn serves you better. The letters after their name don't mean much to you till you see them in action.

As a buyer's agent I expect that any house I show must be to a client and becomes one by signing the buyer’s agency agreement. I now owe them special fiduciary responsibilities, even if it is for one day, and I have a guarantee that I will get paid if they decide to make an offer on of the house I have shown them. Unlike any other industry we work for nothing and expend money till a deal is finalized so we expect this type of loyalty in writing or otherwise we are wasting energy.

Now I did say for one day because by the end of the day I don't want to be locked into someone who I can't work with and neither do you. If after showing several homes to you with this one day agreement we find we can work together I would expect that you sign a contract for a longer period of time so I can put forth the effort to finding the right place and bringing it to a happy conclusion.

If you are looking in Florida I can suggest some realtors to work with that have the same ethic I do so you can either email MAILTO: bkorabel@earthlink.net or contact me through my website: http://www.exittogreenrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Eric, I agree with the answers above. You should have an agent who represents your interests rather than those of the seller. I happen to live in New Paltz and am an experienced full-time agent. Call me and I'll be happy to help you.

Nancy Brenner
Coldwell Banker Village Green
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Eric your best bet is to interview and hire a buyer broker, you can usually do so at no cost to you, they get paid their commission from the fee advertsised in MLS by the listing agent and paid at closing. This way they can get the information and set up showings on the houses you want to see. When it comes time to making an offer, you will have someone assisting you through each step of the buying process.

Good luck with your search

Please see my blog "Should i use 1 agent or more to find a house?" for mor einfo, tips and advice
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Just deal with 1 agent, you dont have to sign an exclusive with them, but just be considerate where they dont drag you all over town, then you pick someone else for the sale. We all work on commissions, and you really want to have a good relationship with the agent you select.

Do most of your research online, go see the house on your own, the areas, then narrow your homes selection down. Then after, you can contact an agent and have them open the homes for you with the lock box key.

Good Luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
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