Home Buying in Brooklyn>Question Details

Marius Mathe…, Home Buyer in Brooklyn, NY

Hiring ex listing agent to represent me as a buying agent.

Asked by Marius Mathesan, Brooklyn, NY Thu Jul 26, 2012

I went to an open house,without representation, listed by agent A. Waited a while to decide to put in an offer but found out that it is now expired and listed with another agent/broker B. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to hiring A to represent me as the buying agent. Are there conflicts of interest or ethical problems for agent A to divulge information he learned in confidence from the owner?

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Dear Marius:

The agent that is due a commission is the one(s) that created the meeting of the minds between the two principles (buyer and seller). Just because an agent walked you through an open house does not in and of itself entitle them to be due a commission.

Most real estate transactions in Brooklyn involve two real estate agents, one being the listing broker (working with seller) and one being the selling broker (working with buyer). Just because an agent is working with someone does not mean they are working FOR that person. Many times the agent that brings in the buyer is in fact working for the seller and many buyers in Brooklyn do not have representation by an agent. In the end the buyer is going to have an attorney to protect their best interests in a legal fashion.

Whatever the case may be, you want to have an agent that knows what they are doing and knows how to make deals regardless of who they represent. Agents want to make deals because if they do not make the deal they do not make money. Sometimes it seems like a gray area as to who an agent represents. Good agents are 100% honest with everyone they deal with regardless of who they represent and do not compromise their ethics or integrity just to make a buck.

Anything told to agent A in confidence should be held in confidence even after the fact from an ethical standpoint. I would suggest you simply think about what you feel the property is worth and give your highest and best offer. That will give you the best shot at getting the property.

If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
you are so wrong on this.......SO WRONG!!
Flag Mon Aug 6, 2012
Knowledge A has can be fully disclosed to you provided:

1. It is not confidential to the seller under ethical rules, or

2. The sellers permit A to disclose all to you.

If you think A can't be open with you get a different broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2012
I would recommend getting your own buyer's agent. Make sure they will accept whatever is offered in the listing to buyer's agents so that you don't have to pay them. A buyer's agent can help you negotiate, and can be trusted with your financial and strategic information because they are working for you, broker and seller agents aren't working for you. Even though the listing expired; agent A may be owed compensation from the seller (depending on how the listing contract is written) if he can prove he was the procuring source, and it's within the time frame stipulated in the listing contract.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
Please understand that if you are NOT making a check out to A, you are not hiring A. The agency relationship is always such that the Agent (B) or Sub-Agent (A) are working on behalf or the Seller, because the seller is the one who pays the commission!! If you choose to hire A, in other words, for him/her to represent you in the Real Estate transaction, then you MUST be prepared to pay him/her. However, it would be unethical on your part if Agent A showed you the property and then you decide to see it again with B. Hence B gets the sale. As i said prior, this is not illegal, but unethical! However, you may have some advantage to deal directly with the listing agent since he/she has the final say on what deal moves forward. Also, he has a big financial incentive to collect on both sided of the transaction! Good Luck!! Hope this was helpful!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
Forget Agent A, any insights he may have regarding the Sellers should not be passed on to you, but that's not the real issue, the real issue is the Sellers probably aren't happy with Agent A and having them bring you to the table is likely to be a negative in the Sellers eyes.

Go find an experienced Buyer Broker. I've attached a link below on how to find yourself a great Realtor regardless of where you're living.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
In a ethical standpoint, no... No advantage. Both buying and selling agents have a fiduciary responsibility to the home owner, contracted or not. If the owner or agent does not disclose any latent defects that are known, they are BOTH liable.

As relationships go, ex means ex. Move foward and find a good, new Realtor who will help you.

Luke Constantino
Commercial | Residential
Direct: (212) 300-3919
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
There are a few things to consider. You may gain some insight into the seller's motivation and needs, but you would be choosing the one agent who has been proven to be unsuccessful at persuading them. They would see who was representing you and would know what they have told that agent and may actually hold that agent against you.
My advice is always to work with the best agent available. Homes cost too much to take a chance with a theory, a relative or friend if they are not well established and at the top of their game. If the former listing agent is the best agent available, consider it. Otherwise keep looking.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 26, 2012
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