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Arash Vakil, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY

Seller's agent says that I cannot bring a Buyer's Agent into the deal to negotiate on my behalf because he was the one that showed me the

Asked by Arash Vakil, New York, NY Mon Nov 15, 2010

unit first? Is this even true? I would like to bring in a Buyer's Agent because it costs me nothing and he/she might think of things I may not during negotiations.

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Joseph Hastings’ answer
Arash, you are absolutely entitled to broker representation in any real estate deal no matter who showed what to who and when it happened, full stop. As previously stated below, there are arbitration rules if a dispute arises between brokers regarding any comission.

If you feel you can wring yet a few dollars more out of a deal by using a broker, go for it. If there is slow movement in the building, you stand to benefit. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 24, 2010
I'm glad you called the MLS to get the correct answer. If you need to speak to me to clarify anything as you progress in your transaction you can contact me at the locations below. If you continue with your current purchase you already have enough information to protect yourself. If you decide to move on and look for another property please have these conditions taken before you look: Get a pre-approval(not pre-qualification) letter from a lender before you start. This will avoid any potential or unknown financing problems which need to be resolved. It will also show the seller that you are a serious and qualified individual. It may also help in negotiating a better price if the sellers need to move quickly.
Make sure you have an attorney that specializes in real estate so that you can get advice and have someone to clear up any issues you may not understand.
Select an agent that you feel comfortable with and who you will work with exclusively under a buyer/ broker agreement. This way you will be sure that your agent is working for you and is trying to get you the best possible price and terms for your transaction(The listing/seller agent is trying to get the highest price for his client). Once again, good luck.
Allen Bauman
Century21 Yve R. E.
Licensed R. E. Agent
NYS Certified Residential Appraiser
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Mack....even with all it's faults you gotta love New York! There's no place like it 24/7......Allen
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Cancel the transaction. Find a buyer's agent to work with you and then find a completely new property. You deserve to have someone give you your own representation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Dear Arash,

You have a right to be represented by a Buyer's Agent, I agree with Gail and you should contact Libor to obtain more information about your specific situation. I have seen this happen before with many buyers.

Good luck.

Nirmala Caraballo
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Cruse Realty
Tel.: 646-479-7873
Email: nhcaraballo@yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Bring in your buyer's agent...you have the right to have your own representation.

If there is an issue with the commission splits, that is not for you to be concerned about....the agents have the right to arbitrate or grieve the issue directly with LIBOR after the deal is closed.
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Was the listing agent aware of your plans to have your own agent handle negotiations before the showing, and if your plans included having your own agent, why didn't he/she schedule the showing and attend with you--depending on how far into the deal you are, the listing agent may have procuring cause--if you are uncomfortable with dual agency, possibly discuss the issue with the broker owner of the realty office, and ask for an agent from within to be assigned to you; or consider consulting with your attorney. In the future do consider attending showings with your own agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
This is a classic example of RE agents putting their self interest above the interest of their client! The Seller's agents duty is to sell the property, not to maximize their commission. They should certainly work with the buyer's agent to complete the transaction. Does anyone think the owner of the property would be happy to learn that the seller's agent was risking a potential sale to try to avoid sharing a commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Everyone has the right to be represented by a Buyer's agent. The issue gets complicated when you want to get an agent after another agent already showed you the property. I have seen this many times...a lazy agent tells the potential buyer to go to see properties they might like and then call him or her if they like one of them. This really steams me because all the agent had to do is say, "hey Mr listing agent, I want to send my client to the property, but I am unable to attend myself". Problem solved.

Now things are not that cut and dry. Was the property in the MLS and if not, did the agent welcomed brokers in his ad? If the listing agent is not a member of LIBOR or whatever local organization then, he doesn't have to accept. Something else to look at, was the agent that showed you the property the actual listing agent? If the agent that showed you the listing is not the listing agent then he / she doesn't get paid unless he/she actually sells the property. In this case the agent that showed the property is 100% correct and he would be stupid to allow another agent to jump in on his deal.

There is a lot of questionable characters posing as professional and ethical. The truth is that there is a lot of desperate agents out there doing a lot of underhanded stuff to make ends meet. I have always welcomed agents, but If an agent comes to me saying he represents a potential buyer that already saw my property, I will give them a speech and then I will make him/ her earn his cut. I would never stop an offer to be presented, specially in this market...this would be unfair to the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Thank you Allen! I called the MLS and they mentioned that it's an arbitration case between the brokers and it has nothing to do with me. They said they could not deny me representation and the listing agent could deny the buyer's agent commission, but then I would imagine that buyer's agent would come to me if he loses arbitration.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
I strongly believe in Buyers Agency and appreciate all the support for Arash to find a Buyers Agent. The one point some of the others are missing is that our industry does not always do a great job of even letting buyers know that they CAN have their own agent! Arash most likely did not know how agents work, get paid, etc. and we need to help educate each buyer as we talk to them about how the industry works. We Realtors have an unusual system of representation and compensation and I don't think we can assume buyers are going to know about it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Unfortunately your additional information adds additional complications. I suggest you contact the MLS at
631-661-4800. Explain your situation to them entirely and you will get an accurate answer. You should also contact your attorney and explain your situation so that he may give you additional advice.......Allen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
You know, Allen, I'm grateful to practice in Seattle, but I love New York!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Since you mention below, your agent is from the same realty office as the seller's agent--speak to the broker owner and or office manager of the realty office and let him/her find a resolution for the two agents--then go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
More information: The agent I am in contact with is another agent from within the same agency that is representing the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Things are different in New York. Attorneys control the state and by terrifying anyone entering into a real estate transaction you are naturally urged to have legal representation. It's also well known that people love to sue each other here so we use as many attorney's as possible to create a protective shield. Nearly every real estate transaction in the New York City area has at least 3 attorney's involved(it could be more if you're getting divorced). The buyer has an attorney. The seller has an attorney and the bank has an attorney(the bank attorney's fee is paid by the buyer of course). Is it any wonder that closings take forever and closing costs are through the roof?
I am addicted to HGTV and it alsways amazes me to see a purchase transaction close in 2 to 4 weeks even with a mortgage involved. Here you would need to bring a suitcase full of cash to the table to close that fast and of course the attorney's would argue over who would hold the suitcase!!
Be thankful you live in the beautiful northwest where things are a little less complicated.........Allen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Was the listing agent aware of your intention to use your own representation--even though you have no signed agreement with any agent, your relationship with the listing agent may have been implied --there are many disagreements over this exact issue, therefore it may be in your best interest to either contact the broker owner of the listing agent, the Long Island Board of Realty and or your attorney--preferably one that specializes in real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Allen, I wondered how that would work in New York, and I thank you.

So, then, are these the only two qualifications to "working with a buyer's agent because it costs you nothing"?

1. The listing offers co-brokerage compensation,
2. The agent actually shows you the property.

Makes sense to me.

Here in Washington State, we don't have "procuring cause," and properties listed in the NWMLS must have a co-op commission agreement, so Arash would have been able to run out and bring his own agent in, even after the listing agent showed it to him.

Customs vary!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Hi Arash
The reason you are getting different answers to your question is because you have not provided enough information for an adequate answer. Before I offer my own opinion I would have to say that I agree with Cyndi Bell from Texas. To get a complete answer based on MLS rules I would call the Multiple Listing Service of the Long Island Board of Realtors. They will probably ask you several questions and then be able to give you the proper answer.
So let me be foolish enough to now give you my opinion. First I will make the assumption, based on your original question, that you called the listing(sellers) agent because you saw his ad for the property on the internet or some other media. Then you made an appointment with him/her to see the property. You liked the property, wanted to make an offer and told the sellers agent that you wanted to bring in a buyers agent to negotiate on your behalf. At that time the sellers agent said no since he showed you the property without you indicating that you had other representation. The reason he told you that has more to do with his commission than legal representation. As the sellers agent and working directly with you to view the property he believes that his office has earned the entire commission. This may or may not be true since you have not provided enough information in your question.
You do not have to accept the dual agency situation that the agent has implied. You can bring in your own buyer agent to represent you in negotiating a price. However you said that this will not cost you anything and that is probably not true. The buyer agent needs to get paid also. This usually comes from splitting the commission. However some listings don't provide a commission for a buyer broker. And if the listing agent is truly the procuring cause for the sale of the property his office will rightfully claim the entire commission in which case you will have to negotiate a fee with your buyer agent which can be paid directly by you or added to the contract price.
You see now that your question brings up more questions that need to be addressed before you can have a proper answer. Speak to your attorney and to someone at the MLS so that you can get the proper advice. You may have approached this transaction in a way which will cost you a little more money. Good Luck...Allen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
I never signed anything with any agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Arash V
Yes you can have a agent working for you. That would be a very smart move on your part.
We Can Help. Don't wait until it's too late. Act Now.
Web Reference: http://www.DESIRE2OWN.COM
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Hi Arash, would you like to use your valuable time and have someone else make your money??? If this listing agent has already shown you a property-the right thing to do would be to put your offer thru that agent. Your attorney will be representing you...so you shouldn't have a problem being represented. Next house - -please make sure you have your buyer's agent to set the appt, pick up keys and arrange to show you whatever it is you want to see. My opinion Terry K 718-614-3167 cell or email me Therese.Korahasi@elliman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Arash did you sign a buyers agency agreement with the selling agent? If not then you have no reason to not seek out representation for yourself. Many people do not want a dual agency because the agent cannot always work in your best interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
Not true, if you feel you need separate representation (most do) you are entitled.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
I would check with the Long Island Board of Realtors for specifc details.

In Texas the Seller's Agent (Listing Agent) can not tell the buyer they can't use a buyers agent if they've showed one of their listings to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
I would check with the Long Island Board of Realtors

In Texas, a sellers (listing agent) can not tell the buyer they can't use a buyers agent. But each state, board has their own rules.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
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