You should certainly enlist a buyer's agent to help you. Contrary to what some have said, dual agency does have dangers and you need to be aware of them. The biggest danger is that the agent cannot give undivided loyalty. As a buyer you want someone that will solely represent your interests with no ditractions. As good as the seller's agent has been, enlist the help of a buyer's agent specialist. There are many in NYC that even use an Exclusive Buyer's Agent Agreement.
Also, just because someone brings you to a listing that is not theirs, does not make them a buyer's agent. The reality of the law is that the default position of all agents in NY State is to act as the seller's agent. Whether REBNY or agents associated with REBNY agree with that fact is moot. Make sure that you are protected and properly represented. Get a buyer's agent. If you need a referral for one, eIther ask a friend or this community and I am sure you will get many suggestions.
In terms of answering the agent's questions, do what feels comfortable. If you think it best to keep your own counsel then that is probably the right choice.
Please let me know if I can be of further service.
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I think you need to decide what's more important - do you get this home at a price you can afford, or do you get the very best deal possible.
Here's the thing. You can go out and get a "hired gun" to negotiate on your behalf, but the fact is, that agent won't get paid unless you buy this listing. So it will be incredibly difficult for them to advise or even encourage you to "push it" in the negotiations.
Your "dual agent" may not get you the best deal, but she does have two masters with one similar goal - getting that deed transfered!
I don't know what the best answer is. But, maybe now, you do!
All the best,
Jessica, get your own agent, and NOT one in the same office. Find an agent, a true buyer's agent, who has NO relationship with the listing agent or the seller.
This SO simple. I feel sorry for buyers out there, especially in New York. Geez.
Somebody needs to go back to real estate school.....
Here is how the Real Estate Board of NY interprets the laws of agency (that is what we are really talking about). The seller's agent always represents the seller. If you came to an open house off the street, that agent would be representing the seller. When an agent works with a buyer, they represent the buyer (by the way Shanna, in NYC we do not have the Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement). Your buyer's agent did the right thing in telling you that on that particular house, because it was her listing, she represents the seller. However, there is such a thing as dual agency and there is nothing wrong with it at all. Dual agency exists when your buyer's agent brings you to their own listing or another listing of their company. The company is the broker, and dual agency refers to listings of the brokerage of the agent, not only her own listings. I do not agree that it is a conflict of interest to act as a dual agent. A very skilled and experienced agent simply follows the guidelines for dual agency. They must act fairly to both parties and the only thing that is different is that there is not "undivided loyalty." What that means in a very practical sense is that they do not divulge to either side things that should be kept confidential. For example, they would not tell you the seller's confidential bottom number in a negotiation, nor would they tell the seller your top number. A skilled agent handles dual agency by a very real and c lear respect for the boundaries. If there was anything wrong with this, it would not be legal. The agents who are afriad of it generally lack the skill to do so. It is simply like being a mediator who is looking for a meeting of the minds. I have acted as a dual agent a number of times, with very happy parties all around. I have even acted as a dual agent where one party was an attorney.
Now that you have the facts on dual agency, the question is if you personally are comfortable with it. I would ask you if you believe your agent is skilled, experienced and an excellent negotiator, but since she has already said she will not be acting as a dual agent with you, what is generally done is that she would go to her Director/Broker, and they would assign another agent for the negotiating process. There has been no impropriety or reason to distrust her from the things you have said.
As far as wheher you should give the agent the feedback she is looking for in rating the houses you have seen, absolutely. She has dealt fairly with you, has done a lot of legwork and research, and needs to hear your views on what you have seen. Be honest about your preferences so she can help you purchase the home that best fits your needs. Your feedback is crucial. She is on your side.
Hope this helps.
Halstead Property, LLC
My suggestion to anyone looking to buy property is that they should always have someone that will only be working for them and never the Seller. This way there will never be a conflict of interest. HOWEVER... now that you are in this situation, you have a couple of options...
1. If you have signed an Agency Agreement, ask to be released from it so that you can contact another agent to represent you in this transaction.
2. Ask the Listing Agent to step aside from the negotiation as they have a lot of information about you that you might not want the Seller to know and they would be obligated to tell them as their agent.
3. If you are comfortable negotiating on your own or only with the assistance of your real estate attorney on contract details, allow the Listing Agent to work as a dual agent (if dual agency is allowed in NY). This will tie their hands from being able to assist with negotiations for either party. They will not be able to tell the Seller that they should hold out for more money or give them any information about you that you don't want to have shared.
I would suggest to anyone that they go ahead with #3, but only if they feel comfortable with negotiating on their own. The Agent will still be able to assist with coordinating and meeting contract dates once the contract has been signed.
Best of luck to you!
Dual agency absolutely offers too many opportunities for a conflict of interest and any agent who says otherwise is simply blowing hot air. In dual agency there is only one person who is well represented and it's not the buyer or Seller, it's the agent.
As long as you are in a state where dual representation is legal, you are fine. The onus is on the agent and the brokerage to make sure both parties are represented fairly. Your first step is to find out if dual (or limited dual) representation is legal in your state. If it is, I would buy the house that you truly want.
Proper Agency disclosure with informed consent comes into play. You have some options for buyer's broker, dual agency or no broker representation. You'll need an Attorney to purchase in NY State so they'll watch your legal interests before you sign any contract. If you need a referral, let me know.
You could proceed directly if you feel "good" about the agent. Ask about the agency disclosure form. I would however, suggest another broker help and represent your interests. Good luck.
I have been a dual agent on sales and, in my opinion, both parties are treated the same because certain info should not be relayed to the other, unless agreed upon on the front end. I hope this helps and if I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact me in any regards.
Brian Moore ~Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
As to worried if you are going to be back cut by showing pros and cons. I would think of it as a time to begin negotiation on your purest points for the property. Liking the home is not an issue. If you were just an outside buyer with a buyers agent, when you put in an offer or request multiple showings, they already KNOW you like the home.
However, you need to be disciplined and maintain your honest clear goals for your purchase. This will be your best guide in negotiation time, as well as very helpful in having your buyers agent advocate for your behalf.
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The best thing you can do is research a good buyer's broker in your area and hire them. There is no cost to you to hire them and they can represent you in the best possible way to get you the home you want. Definitely tell them that you are interested in the home and would like them to represent you. You will also need a good real estate attorney.
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Jennifer made a very good point. It is best to ask someone else in her company to represent your needs, or simply find a broker that you trust. Make sure to look for someone with experience in the marketplace. Ask for references etc. I am glad that the Seller's agent was honest with you, that shows she wants to do the right thing. You should not be concerned about the pros/cons, in the end it depends how good your or your agent's knowledge of the marketplace is and their negotiations skills.
Good luck and if you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out.
If you want to put in an offer on the property she has the exclusive on, it would be smart to enlist another agent to help you negotiate a deal in your interest. She may be a nice woman but she doesn't have your interest in mind if you decide to put in an offer on her exclusive. So you may not get the best deal you could if you employed the services of another broker.
I think it's fine to continue to look at other properties with her provided she has not steered you towards purchasing her exclusive.
Let me know if I can help or give some more advice. 646-397-7516
In CA, we can do Dual Agencies (Realtor represents both buyer and seller). However, I personally don't like to do them due to the conflict of interest issue. Do you have a signed Exclusive Buyers Agency with her? If you do, you have to cancel that before you can 'hire' another Realtor. Maybe you could see if another agent in her Brokerage would be willing to act as your agent - with her agreeing, of course. I don't understand why she showed you the house if she 'couldn't' sell it to you - especially if you have a signed Exclusive Buyers Agency with her? If there is no way she is going to represent you if you want to make an offer on the property, exclude that property from the Pros/Cons list. Just let her know you really like the house and want to make an offer (if you do). If you do submit an offer with a different agent acting as your Buyers Agent, make sure you let them know the Listing Agent showed you the property and was your Buyers Agent at the time as there may be a commission issue since she was the procuring reason you saw the home in the first place.
You should tell her you are interested in the home and that you will be contacting another agent to represent you in the transaction. As for telling her what you like and don't like and what impact that wil have on the bidding process...ultimately you will bid what you are comfortable paying for the home . Just because you may LOVE certain aspects does not mean that you are going to pay more than you feel comfortable paying. Good luck with your purchase.
Halstead Property, LLC