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Sdtrendy,  in New York, NY

NEED TO KNOW! Can I introduce a buyer's agent into the equation once I have made an offer to the seller, via his agent?

Asked by Sdtrendy, New York, NY Tue May 24, 2011

Can I introduce a buyer's agent into the equation once I have made an offer to the seller, via his agent? I have made an offer on an apt. and belatedly realize that I may need a buyer's broker to help me out. Am I obligated to use the seller's broker because he showed me the apt.?

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If this is in Manhattan, and I see from the zip cond you are using it is, according to the Real Estate Board of New York, you can bring a buyer's agent in at any point before there is a signed contract. The seller's agent should have had you sign an agency agreement form which says he is the seller's agent. You are entitled to a buyer's agent. The seller's agent will not like this, but it is your right. Do not let them tell you that it is dual agency if they represent you too; it is not. The seller's agent always represents the seller. Dual agency is when you are working with a buyer's agent who brings you to their own listing.
Make sure you use a skilled, experienced agent, as some finesse will be needed to deal with the other agent in this delicate situation. You also need someone who clearly understands the nuances of the agency disclosure laws, as this will come into play, and many agents are confused by it.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Yes you can. Let the agent know you are not comfortable with a dual agency situation in this transaction and let the agent know the name of your new agent. You can also have your new agent contact the listing agent and notify him / her of your situation.

All the best,
Gary Geer

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 4, 2011
The disclosure is not a commitment. And again, you have the right to bring in a buyer's broker at anytime, although again, at the stage that you are in will create a great deal of ill will. I think the suggestion below of asking the broker (not the seller's agent) to assign another agent as the buyer's broker for the deal would be a way to possibly negate any ill will that the seller's agent may feel at this stage.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Although listing agents and owners would prefer not to get another buyer's agent involved, in the end it is about the commissions payable. However Agency Law in New York allows for you to have a buyers broker represent you at anytime of the process. I recommend two things: 1, Speak to a buyer's broker that has experience and isn't intimidated to get acknowledgement of representation and/or 2, Speak to the attorney that will be assisting you with the closing to explain to you your rights regarding agency law and representation.

Good Luck!
Mukul Lalchandani
Platinum Properties
Web Reference: http://themodernagent.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Agency relation and procuring cause are two different issues. You can google procuring cause and learn how an agent gets paid. You can check State laws. Do you want to pay the buyer's agent the fees or do you expect the listing agent to pay it ? Talk to the agent and ask if the agent will cooperate with the buyer's agent. You should use an attorney to help you with the transaction.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
You would have to have the buyer and seller sign an agency disclosure form consenting to this change.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 13, 2011
From what I understand the seller's agent had you sign disclosures and then you submitted an offer on your own, correct? Or, did he write the offer for you? If he did and you were aware (via the disclosures) that he was also the seller's agent he may be entitled to a commission on your behalf, as well as one as the listing agent. This may pose an issue with how your new buyer's agent is going to be paid.

However, you are also entitled to work with whomever you choose. You may want to contact the agent's broker and tell them you would like separate representation and do not feel comfortable working with the listing agent, as his first priority is to the seller.

Best of luck,

Rachel LaMar, J.D.
LaMar Real Estate, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
Your are not obligated to use the listing agent and right now you have the ball in your court. Honestly it looks bad if that agent showed you the property and drew up the first offer. If you feel that agent isnt representing you best interst, then it is a no brainer. Go get your buyers agent, but if you have formed a relationship with this other agent, then it could make the deal go sower. I think just be honest with the agent and do what is best for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
Yes, you can hire a buyers agent to take you through the process. Just be sure to emphasize that you do not want the listing agent to be representing the seller as a client and you as a customer. You need your own negotiator and advocate!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
You can do whatever you feel is necessary. The question will be about who is going to pay that agent. The agent you hire should be able to handle that for you. Some agent's won't help you at this point, because they may not get paid. But choose your buyer's agent and let them find out for you.

There is no animosity involved as to being represented...its' about the money and the Listing Agent may not be obligated to pay your agent if you didn't introduce them into the picture before you saw the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 4, 2011
Yes, you can and I suggest you do. My reasoning is simply because the seller's agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller and not to you. Where as, your agent has the fiduciary duty to you and not the seller. However, this does not mean that this will not cause "bad blood" regarding the commission split between brokers because most agents want it all if they can get it all...sad but true in many cases.

Brian Moore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 2, 2011
Yes you can, just make it know that you are being represented by so and so!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 25, 2011
Hi, you are absolutely entitled to your own representation because the sellers agent represents the sellers best interest, always.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 25, 2011
Absolutely you are entitled to have agency representation to help you negotiate a deal on an aprtment to buy. You use the term "help me out" I assume this means that your offer was not accepted and you want help in the negotiation. Do not confuse Agency Representation to help you out with who pays the commission and whether the seller's broker or lisitng agent is required to share any of his commission with your Buyer Agent. This is a completely different issue. Your Buyer Agent can review with you how he/she gets paid and whether the Seller's Agent will split the commission.
Web Reference: http://www.viplerrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Yes Sdt you can. You are entitled to your own representation and let your Broker handle the rest as well as follow up with the counter-offer. The Disclosure is NOT a Contract and all it does is make it transparent to you that the Listing Agent is representing the Seller and has the Sellers authority to work directly with an unrepresented party. Hopefully your Broker can explain to the Listing agent the Disclosure laws and why he is in the picture now: for your protection and to safeguard your interests. For all you know the Seller probably will be relieved that there will be 2 separate agents representing each party. Yes, a Buyers broker does get paid from the whole commission the Seller pays. Good Luck and I hope it works out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Sdtrendy, who do you expect will pay the buyer's agent?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Oh - so the disclosure is a commitment? I thought it was just what kind of a broker they could be, not to indicate I was signing with him ... I have to say that is not clear. The brokers don't say -- "you are signing with me for this apartment and no other broker can negotiate for you."

hmmm - that is pretty hinky
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
You can bring a broker in at any time. It also makes it more difficult (more ill will) if you have already signed the disclosure recognizing the seller's agent as a dual agent representing both you, and the seller. The seller will have signed this as well. Also, I would ask the question if there is a commission difference if the seller's agent does a direct deal (no buyer's broker involved) or if there is not. It may change the amount that the offer will need to be....

Kelly Killian
Bond New York
cel 954-675-9915
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
p.s. for me the issue is not so much the negotiating as dealing with the mechanics of how an offer and an accepted offer, the forms and such, work. I am not going to change my original offering price or anything like that. I feel bad because I believe a buyer's broker gets to share the seller's broker's commission. That is what concerns me vis-a-vis creating ill will.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Thanks all of you who answered this question -- I have signed no contract with any agent to represent me. I have worked with a buyer's broker on another search and foolishly decided to handle negotiations myself. I jumped into this offer and then now realize that is probably less than wise, so I would like to have my broker handle the rest of it. I do have a lawyer to handle the sale, but I don't know that I can seek his advice in the offering phase.

I think the seller's broker can also be the buyer's broker, but I have no idea what this guy is. I only signed that piece of paper saying I know that he is the seller's broker. I signed nothing indicating that he represented me. The only thing I have done is make an offer. I have not even heard a counter-offer yet.

If I call him and just tell him the truth about all of this, because of course that is what I would want to do -- operating in good faith and all -- do you think I will still have put myself in too much of a weakened position?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
This is about YOU. You are entitled to representation.

Let your Realtor know the story, but move forward.
Web Reference: http://Gailgladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
You have the right to use any agent of choice, however depending on the stage of the transaction the seller's agent may have procuring cause...if you do choose another agent, be upfront and tell that agent the entire story.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
This can be a tricky situation because an offer has already been submitted. This will cause ill-will and annimosity between the seller's broker, seller's broker company, the company where you will get your new buyer representation from; plus both agents.

One option to avoid stepping on a multitude of toes is to tell him/ her that you would like a buyer's agent from their same company since you feel that you need representation.

Jennifer Chiongbian
SVP/ Associate Broker
Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
If the seller's broker is not exclusively representing the seller, he/she can help you both. If the seller's broker is representing the seller exclusively, that disclosure needed to be made before your offer was submitted, in which case you would be well served to get your own broker.

Unless you signed an agreement agreeing to have the seller's broker represent you, chances are you are under no obligation to use the seller's broker, however introducing another broker into the transaction after the fact, may prove to be complicated.
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Actually, you can hire or fire an agent / broker at any time of the deal.
We as brokers like to work with someone who is loyal to us, and the business of the purchase is a harrowing trade, so I would have to advise that you should do what is most comfortable for you.

Have you finished your negotiations?
Do you want your other broker to complete the negotiations?

Were you not comfortable working with the first broker and representing yourself?

Did the broker explain to you the roles of agency and representation so that it was clear?

I would imagine you have more negotiations to do and that perhaps you just started on your own but now you want to have someone else in control.

I'm very curious!! It happens frequently, your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
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