Home Buying in 78746>Question Details

Gary, Home Buyer in Paradise Valley, AZ

Property for sale exclusively via one agency.

Asked by Gary, Paradise Valley, AZ Fri Apr 29, 2011

A property is being offered by only one particular agency and is not in the MLS by request of the current home owner. Must I work with that agency or may I still use an agency of my choosing regarding this property?

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Gary, you got a lot of good answers already, and I agree with most of them. The most important point for you to remember is that you can work with whatever Agency/Realtor you want, and you should for many reasons! That Agency/Realtor would be working solely on YOUR behalf, to get you not only the best price, but also the best terms and conditions favorable to you as well. Your position is held in confidence and the agent you choose could do a lot of research and 'due diligence' along the way to protect you. Helping you with financing, inspections, re-negotiation of repairs, title work, etc., etc. Unless you are a practicing Realtor, it would be very difficult for you to do it all yourself. There is quite a lot involved and we Realtors are constantly taking Continuing Education just to keep up with all the changes to contracts(3/1/11, for example), rules, regulations, the market, etc. We also have many tools available to us that the public doesn't have access to. As far as compensation, usually that agent is paid out of the Sellers proceeds as you've heard as well. However, if I were working for you, for example, and the seller of a particular property you liked was not interested in paying me a commission, I would NOT charge you, as has been mentioned. That varies from agent to agent and is 100% negotiable, but I do not charge my Buyers a penny, EVEN if they end up buying a property that is not offering a Buyer's Agent commission.
If you are not yet working with an agent, I would be glad to speak to you and discuss what me and my Agency, Keller Williams Realty can offer you. Keller Williams is the #1 Agency in Austin, and has been ranked #1 by Buyers like you 3 years in a row by J.D. Power & Associates!!. I have over 20 years negotiation and contract experience, am one of the top rated Realtors in the Austin area and within Keller Williams, and I have a very strong team of lenders, inspectors, title people, legal staff, and the like to help you get THE best deal you possibly can, with as little difficulty and stress as possible!! Feel free to click on my name to the right, review my Credentials, Client testimonials, etc. and see if we might be a good fit. Even if you don't go with me , do yourself a favor and get a good Realtor to help you. (And if we talk, I will explain how Buyers do not really pay the commissions, title policy, and other typical Seller related fees. Don't want ruffle any feathers here, but you simply do NOT pay the Sellers fees. The price of the house is just that, not the market price plus all the sellers fees rolled in, simply put. Yes the commission, etc. comes out of the sale of the house, but it is a Seller expense, not yours!) Joe Jarusinsky, REALTOR/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty (512) 497-0105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
Hi Gary,

1. How a home is listed for sale does NOT determine whether or not you use an agency of your own choosing to represent you. You decide if you should have someone representing you in all situations, irrespective of how the seller decides to sell/market their home.
2. Regardless of how a home is listed for sale, in my opinion, you should always have someone representing you, unless you feel you have access to everything you need to negotiate your best deal, and you have the negotiating experience to do so, and you know everything there is to know about the neighborhood you're buying into, and how it compares to your other options.
3. Regardless of what anyone tells you, the buyer ALWAYS pays for everything in the end, regardless of how the home is listed for sale. That is, you, the buyer, are the only one who brought money to the closing table, so where did the money come from to pay the seller's agent to sell the home? Where did the money come from to pay your broker/agent to represent you? The fact that the seller may have written a check from the proceeds to pay their agent, or that their agent compensated your broker/agent to represent you, all the money was yours originally.
4. Because it was always your money that paid everybody, regardless of whether or not the seller's agreement with their agent includes compensation for the agent representing you, you should still have representation. Simply contact the seller’s agent and ask “Will you pay a buyer agent’s commission if I submit an offer through my broker?” If they say yes, you’re good to go. If they say no, then expect to pay that commission yourself, directly to your buyer agent, at closing. But remember, in both cases, you were paying it anyway.
5. Regardless of whether you pay the buyer agent fee or the seller does, you should still be able to finance that fee as part of the purchase price. You’ll just need to explain the situation to your lender, most will realize what is going on and include that as a cost of sales in determining down payment, etc.
6. Finally, regardless of what anyone says about off-MLS marketing, a home not marketed in the MLS is essentially invisible to the vast majority of buyers, especially those represented through agents. Nearly all of the search tools are syndicated through the MLS from the beginning. So, you’re actually in a better position to have your buyer agent negotiate a deal because you should have less competition for the home.

In the end, determine your best method to achieve your result, which should, but may not, include a buyer agent representing you. Don’t worry about where the actual commission comes check is cut from, you’re paying it regardless.

If I can be of more help, please call me!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
Afternoon Gary,

The short of it, you have the right to have your own representation in the transaction. If the listing broker/agent is a *REALTOR, they are by a code of ethics, to cooperate with other agents and to treat all parities fairly. The only question will be how your agent/broker will get paid for representing your interest.

Usually the listing broker has an agreement with the seller regarding how broker fees will be paid. Your agent/broker should be able to contact the listing agent/broker or homeowner in the case of a FSBO find out the details and to see what/if they are agreeable to paying all or a protion of the fee to the broker representing you. Dependig on the response it will be between you and your broker/agent representative to come to an agreement..

For any legal concerns it might be wise to verify the pros and cons of the situation with an attorney

Kevin Roy
ERA Bettineger Realtors, Inc

Note: *REALTORS, not all agents and brokers are REALTORS subscribing to the NAR Code of Ethics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
Dear Gary,
You did not mention if the property is in Austin or Paradise Valley. If its in AZ the rules may be different. In Austin there is nothing to prevent you from having a Buyers Agent represent you. You should get a Buyers Agent to contact the listing agent on your behalf if your serious about this property. I always tell potential Buyers to get representation as the Listing Agent is working for the Seller. I wish you the best on a successful transaction. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
You can definitely be represented and should be. The agency offering the property is, most likely, representing the property owner, and you would be wise to have representation if you want to inquire and possibly purchase that property. Typically, the property owners pay the commissions for the listing and buyers agents. I live and work in Westlake and know the area intimately. I'd be happy to get more information on that property for you and help you out. Please feel free to give me a call or email! Lizz Grimes 659-2111, lizzgrimes@kw.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
Have your buyers agent contact listing agent. Therefore they can move forward on behalf of your interest

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
Gary -

You are not required to have anyone from the seller's agency represent you. The seller has signed a contract with that broker/agent to represent the seller and his/her best interests. I STRONGLY advise you to hire your own agent to represent YOU. Your agent will place your best interest in mind and is paid (almost always) by the listing broker, costing you nothing out of pocket.

My wife (Twila) and I would be more than happy to discuss your options with you privately and at your convenience.

Peace in your home,

Doug Vogelsass
REALTOR :: Agents for Change

cell :: (512) 739-0457
email :: doug@myagentsforchange.com

15% of our net agent fees at the closing of our client's property will be donated to a charitable organization of their choice. We do this with ALL clients. This is our way of expressing our appreciation to both our clients and the worthy causes dedicated to the betterment of our communities.

9600 Escarpment Blvd :: Suite 745-75 :: Austin, TX :: 78749
Sponsoring broker :: David Komie, Attorney-at-Law (License# 584762).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
Hello Gary,

I have such a listing myself. In this case my buyer prefers not to have it listed for his own personal reasons and has me marketing it on Zillow, Trulia and using other methods. If a potential buyer is interested in the property the seller wants me to show the property but anybody wanting to purchase or view the property can and should have their own representation.

You can never be forced to use an agent or a company and the choice is always yours. Make sure you are represented by somebody with whom you trust. After all, the listing company's goals are to get as much as possible for any given property. Although it is legal in Texas to represent both parties it is not possible in my opinion to represent both parties best interests in that manner.

Good luck with the purchase of your home.

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker | Consultant
Buy - Sell - Lease - Invest
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011

If your not happy with your current agent, you can always cancel the agreement and select another. Agents are not allowed to work with you if they know (or don't know) that you have a signed listing agreement with another agent/broker. This is the law of the land according to the Texas Real Estate Commission

There are PLENTY of great agents in Austin you can work with if your not happy with your current one. I can suggest some if you like.

Hope this helps.

Scott Butcher
Mortgage Banker
Maker Capital Group, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011

You can have an agency relationship with anyone of your choosing, and I would recommend it.(this other agency has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller.) Now, your agent's compensation appears to be in question with regard to who is going to pay for it. However, I would suspect the seller's agent will share in the total commission negotiated with the seller.

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
You will either hire what's called a Buyer's Representative to represent your best interests during the transaction, or you will purchase through that particular selling Agent whom only represents the seller's best interest.
Don't walk, but run out and get you a buyer's Agent to help you buy real estate! Don't be fooled by any other way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
You should be able to have a buyer's agent represent you. You will probably need to look at your state's law regarding this and a quick call to a lawyer familiar with real estate law in your state may answer this question very quickly. Good Luck. If you could not have your own representation (agent) I would be vary weary.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
You can always use your own agent. However, this Listing Agent/Broker has chosen not to offer a co-operating Broker a commission, nor will they provide the co-operating broker information beyond what they are legally required to provide. It is likely they are not providing a lock box and are likely not providing unrestricted access to the home (you will likely have to set an appointment with them for viewings)..

This may make it difficult for your Agent to gather the appropriate information. Ask your agent to contact the listing agent and see if they can work out an agreement, sometimes the Listing Agent will change their mind IF they feel they have a serious, well qualified Buyer.

Also be aware you may have to compensate your agent for any lack of commission paid by the LA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 29, 2011
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