This is not an uncommon situation . Buyers attend Open Houses hosted by the listing agent, or perhaps another agent, just want to see the property, not looking to hire the agent. But by contacting the agent that second time, you moved from visitor to client. The agent could - and likely would argue - that she was the procuring cause of the contract if you decide to make the offer and thereby is due the commission.
In the future, let Open House agents know that you are already working with an agent. I suggest to my buyers that they carry a supply of my cards. Open Houses are public events and you should be welcomed. Then follow up with your agent - do not call an agent unless you want to work with them, this will avoid future confusion.
But try that referral idea, it may give your agent what she needs to assist you with this home.
Another tidbit, the rules are quite strict around new construction -if you happen to consider new construction, be sure to have your agent with you when you register at the site, otherwise she will likely be cut out.
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If the agent doesnot want to represnt you, give me a call. I would be happy to present your offer to the selling agent.
Don't walk away from something you like because the agent wont submit an offer.
This was an issue a few years back before the new agency laws in Massachusetts. If you decide that you need to be represented by a buyers agent then you certainly can proceed with one . The listing agent would have very little leverage in questioning the procuring cause on the transaction under the new guidelines for determining procuring cause.
In my mind here, there is a bigger issue here called customer service. Your buyer agent should show you the home under any circumstances and work out any issues between her and the listing agent privately.
Laurie, I didn't think you did... you and I have had enough of these procuring cause conversations online, so I know that you're all over it... my comment wasn't so much directed AT you, as to clarify... (even though I did address it to you... mea culpa).
As many have responded, providing an open house does not procuring cause make, in the presence of buyers seeking their own representation.
The break, generally has to be from the Realtor's side. A lack of attention... no calls, no follow-up, no additional showings... something like that.
If a fair amount of time has passed, and there's been no contact (automated MLS e-mails don't really count), then a mediation board would most likely conclude the chain has been broken.
In general, clients get to work with, whomever they please. It's "who gets the commission, or what portion thereof" that's resolved behind the scenes based on procuring cause. Chopping at the chain in writing, by sending a letter to the Realtor stating that their services are no longer required, and that you've found another agent to represent you is a good step. But doesn't totally break the chain, in and of itself.
"Procuring Cause" is a complicated beast, that very few of us understand completely... myself included.
If the chain of events has been broken, via your own contact with another agent, and request to revisit the property, you should be able to use whomever you want.
Break the chain by putting in writing to the listing company that you have an interest in viewing the property, wish to use an agent representing YOU, not the agent representing the seller, and alert the agent that you use that this is occurring, so that they are prepared to move forward on your behalf after you have made clear to the listing company that the chain is broken.
Not legal advice- but assuming that procuring cause involves opening a door is incorrect.
Your agent can absolutely show you and sell this house to you, but what she meant is that she may not get paid for her efforts. Now, I sell about 30 homes a year and I understand that when a seller hires me my job is to sell the house. Now, it is awesome when I sell it myself because I make more money, but ultimately I want both parties to be comfortable so if the buyer comes back with a broker then I personally will pay that broker.
I will be upfront with you that part of the problem is that you saw the property on your own with the sellers agent so you have created a procurring cause situation, but there are solutions. I recommend the following:
1. Call the sellers agent and tell them that you really appreciate them taking you through the home, but as first time buyers your parents, friends, and/or lawyer said that you need a buyers broker.
2. Ask them if they will pay your buyer's broker and/or if they will not then that will be reflected in the way you can make your offer because you will need monies to pay your agent.
You must understand this agent has a fiduciary responsibility to get the seller the highest amount of money and if you have to make an offer for less to pay their full fee and a buyer broker fee then they are violating the contract with the seller.
Possibly your agent feels it is in your best interest is to work with the listing agent - as this may get you the best deal on this property.
I would suggest having another conversation with your agent.
Would you mind if I used your question and situation in my weekly Real Estate Column?
I've been in situations on both sides of the procuring cause issue and would encourage you that the agents might be able to work out some sort of referral arrangement so that you are able to be represented by the agent you liked (while avoiding a dual agency situation) still allow the listing agent to be compensated for their time and effort thus far.
Best of luck with it! If there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to call/email.
With Your Success in Mind,
Best of luck to you with your purchase.
ERA Tom Grizzard