Home Buying in 33486>Question Details

Julia, Both Buyer and Seller in Boca Raton, FL

Is it ok to see a house with the listing agent if you are working with another realtor? Yesterday I called

Asked by Julia, Boca Raton, FL Thu Aug 7, 2008

the listing agent to see a property since it was faster that arranging the same thing with the realtor that has my property listed for sale. When I called my realtor and told her about it she got all mad, explaining that now she can not represent me if I am to make an offer on that property. Is that so? Am I now forced to work with the listing agent?

Help the community by answering this question:


There are some "unwritten rules of etiquette" in the real estate world and it would be beneficial for your agent to share those with you. It is common practice for your Realtor to make appointments for you and show you properties. If you make appointments with other agents and see properties without your Realtor, there's an assumption that you are not working with anyone, and at the time of submitting an offer, it would not be right to then involve your Realtor.

I personally solve that problem by asking anyone that calls us if they are working with an agent, but not everyone does that.

Technically, if you don't have an agreement signed, you don't owe anything to the first agent, but you will be burning bridges and at the time of negotiating, it may become uncomfortable.

The best option is for you to choose an agent and stay loyal to them and ask them to do all the due diligence, including setting up appointments and showing you properties.
Web Reference: http://www.miamism.com
8 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Hi Julia, thanks for the great question. I agree with Rick & Ines.

It is natural for your agent to feel uncomfortable with the situation you've described, as if you were to want to buy that property, it could lead to a commission dispute between your realtor and the listing agent.

But, in order to avoid any future disputes, you might just call your agent before making any appointments.
Web Reference: http://www.karinaleal.com
5 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Hello Juila,

There is nothing wrong with looking at a property with the Listing Agent as long you let them know
that you already have a Realtor. On the other hand if there is no agreement written and signed between you and your Realtor than she should not be upset, unless you have an agreement in writing and signed nobody can force anything on you. At least you were honest enough to tell your Realtor, there are people who go around looking at properties with several agents and none of them know.

All the best,
Maria Ahmad.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Well, Julia, lets look at this from another angle. We do open houses in our area all the time! If someone comes to see my listing when I have an open house, and they are working with another agent, they don't have to bring their agent with them. This happens all the time. It is MY responsibility to ask them if they are working with another agent. It is not YOUR responsibility to bring up the subject. We as realtors should not involve you in this other than to ask the questions--we KNOW the questions to ask. If the listing realtor didn't ask you that question, you have no responsibility to tell them, and you have no allegiance to work with that listing agent. You can work with your realtor and look at as many homes as you want on your own or accompanied by her (him)! You get to choose your representative realtor. Everyone should take a deep breath, and you should enjoy your house hunting experience. That listing agent does not get you as a client just because they showed you their listing. One more thing, you as a buyer have more representation if you work with your own realtor rather than that listing realtor anyway, because the listing realtor is probably looking out for the seller. Had you made an offer directly to that listing agent, the situation would be different--work WITH your realtor and communicate what you are doing with her so she can guide you. In this case, as you have described it, she is incorrect, however. You are still her client if you choose to be! Good luck, and happy shopping!!
Web Reference: http://www.MykeTriebold.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
If you don't have a written agreement with your agent that gives her the exclusive right to represent you on any homes you're buying for a specified period of time -- then you don't HAVE to be represented by your agent.

On the other hand, if you want to be -- then by all means, you are free to do so.

Best of luck,
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
I too, like the way Ines answered this. Unfortunately, even after all these years of real estate being constantly discussed in the media, most buyer and sellers, still don't understand the process. But that too is understandable. There are just so many intricacies, and the industry is constantly changing. But yes, you should pick one Realtor whom you trust, and work with only that agent. We all work on commission only. If we don't sell real estate, we don't make any money. When we know our client is being loyal to us, we will give that client our best service because we know they're not going to let us spend hours of our time, trying to help them, only to have them end up working with another agent.

It would be too lengthy of a response to explain "Procuring Cause" here. Just seeing the house with another agent does not necessarily make that agent the procuring cause (and receiver of the commission) but it is a part of it. These are the things that as professionals, we don't want the customers to know. We try to work these issues out behind the scenes, so we don't look unprofessional. But at the same time, as your question indicates, when the client doesn't fully understand the process, it just causes a lot of confusion.

I'm sorry you had to get caught in the middle of this, but I'm happy to see some education come, that hopefully other consumers will learn as they read this question and these comments.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Julia, realtors make a living by earned commissions on property sales or rentals. We don't get a salary or a draw against commission. Good agents work extremely hard to help their customers find a home they love and/or help them sell their home. The answer to your question, Julia, is yes you can work with another realtor. However, is it nice? Is it the right thing to do? Those are different questions. I'm sure you know that saying "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you". If your family was dependent upon your commission income and your customer went to someone else you'd be a little ticked off as well.
Web Reference: http://www.buysellboca.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 14, 2009
You can look at the property with the listing agent; however, as a "good" buyer it is nice to tell the listing agent you have your own broker (prior to looking at the house if possible) and that you would like to use your own broker (if you would) to write a contract. Also notify your broker before you go to see the home if possible.
You are not forced to use the listing agent to write the contract you can have whoever you want write the contract and it's up to the brokers (and possibly and arbitration committee) to work out what's right on the commission.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2008
Do you have any signed agreements with the listing agent or other realtor? You are not forced to work with anyone unless you signed an agreement stating the aforementioned. If she was upset, maybe it is best to find another agent (assuming you have not signed an agreement with anyone yet). You need someone with thick skin who stays cool under pressure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Hi Julia,

I see this was a question you asked a year ago. Did it all work out in the end?

Regards, Mark
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 23, 2009
As I understand your situation, you have a contract with an agent to sell your property. That's it. You have no obligation requiring you to have to purchase a separate property through that same agent. Your current agent is getting a commission on the sale of your property. It appears to me that she also wants the commission on the purchase of your next property and bacame indignant that she might not get it. I see no reason for that behavior. Drop her, if you want, and do business with whom you want and who will treat you respectfully.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 23, 2009
You are free to work with any agent you want to buy this property unless you have a signed agreement with a buyer's agent. Your agent should speak to her broker to confirm this. She can also call the FAR (Florida Association of Realtors) legal hotline and ask them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
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