Let me see if I understand your questionâ€¦
You have been shown a house by an agent who is not the listing agent for the seller. You have used this professionalâ€™s time and experience to gain knowledge and insight about the house you want to buy. You want to know if you have any obligation to use that agent if you want to make an offer on the house.
In addition, you want to know if you can wait until the listing agreement expires and then go directly to the owner/seller of the house and make an offer without the benefit of that sellerâ€™s agent being involved and without using an agent to represent you.
In summary, you are seeking advice on how to go around two professionals, one of whom has a contractual agreement with the seller and the other of whom has an expectation that some good will come of the time spent with you.
Words fail me!
It appears you have had a bad experience with an agent (or agents) in the past. I am sorry that you have such a distrust where agents are concerned. As a Realtor, I know we spend time, money and energy to educate both agents and the public in these matters in my market.
Being that you are from MN, I am surprised at your experience though. The MidWest is where buyer agency became popular about 20 years ago, and where disclosure of agency status first originated. Granted, at that time it was prompted by a law suit filed against a builder and real estate company that were in collusion.
In North Carolina, the NC Real Estate Commission is available to investigate and prosecute the types of offenses you expressed. I will not say it doesn't ever happen, but I believe the laws adopted by our state, in conjunction with the Code of Ethics that Realtors voluntarily subject themselves to when becoming a member of the local, state and national associations (of which many exceed state requirements), we do not see these types of practices frequently. And in most cases, agents get themselves into trouble inadvertently, not intentionally.
I hope your next experience with a real estate professional serves to change your position. Good luck with your endeavors!!
I'm just seeing this question and I do hope that it finds you settled into your new home. Here's my take on this--you were show this home by an agent acting on the seller's behalf (your 'agent' and I am aware that you didn't sign anything), making him/her the procuring cause of the sale, should it take place. This makes the sellers obligated to pay this agent.
The seller signed a legal document vowing to pay both the listing agent and the selling agent. They are bound by this agreement. When a buyer's agent works for you, basically for free, why would you not use someone to protect your interests?
As well, you're trying to 'cut' the listing agent out of the transaction and you have no idea how much work that agent has done for that seller. This is a full-time job for most agents this day and time and trying to save by cutting out those who work incredibly hard for their clients is just not morally right.
Not to mention your protection--I've seen buyers circumvent the agents only to find out that they've purchase a house of horrors, costing them tens of thousands of dollars--certainly not worth cutting out the expert, thinking they were saving a small percentage off the list price.
I'm a big believer in Karma.
I have to agree with John," Words Fail Me". Here are a few words for thought, in 99% of residental real estate dealings the buyer never pays a penny of commision to an agent, the seller pays. Now imagine if you went to work for a company and invested in new technology equipment that was required of you to do your job, you worked diligently 5 days a week with 2 additional days on call and at the end of 6 months they told you that they found a way to do the job themselfs, your services are no longer needed and by the way; were not going to pay you either. That about sums up what you are asking.
Have a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!
You are obligated to a real estate agent as a buyer when and if you sign a buyers agreement. From what I understand after reading this I am assuming the listing agent or seller showed you the home. You are not obligated to use the listing agent. Go for it, place the offer with your choice of a buyers agent to represent you.
Generally speaking the listing agent will do all they can to re-list the property as the contract comes to the expiration date. If it is not re-listed there is usually a clause that allows the listing broker to collect commissions should a sale happen within X amount of days if the source of the buyer came from their marketing efforts.
My question should the above happen, and they are not in contract, buyer comes from the previous listing brokers marketing efforts and they are entitled the commissions, do they represent the seller in contract when offers come? How does that part work?
Just a thought......P.S. You are not obligated to anything if you haven't signed anything
2. It doesn't matter whether they are the Seller's agent or another agent.
3. You will not owe any agent anything if you want to buy this house, since you have not signed anything at all.
4. After the contract with the seller's agent runs out, there is a specific period of time in which they cannot sell the house without paying their agent a commission.
5. The Seller is legally obligated, regardless of anything you do or do not sign.
But let me submit this for thought. If the seller is listed with an agency, the fees have already been determined for both the listing side and the buyer side. If you go it yourself, and do all the work that a buyer's agent would do anyway, you are not going to save any money on the purchase price. The buyer's side commissions just goes to the listing firm. So now you are doing all the work, have no one on your side in the transaction to advise you of what is best for you, and for what?
This situation of who represents who and who gets paid arises too often because agents do not take the time to do things properly. The NC Real Estate Commission requires ALL agents to review the pamphlet "Working with Real Estate Agents" at the first substantial meeting. Showing a home would qualify and this must be done prior to entering the home. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss whether the agent will represent you or the seller in the transaction. And if I am going to represent the buyer, we put it in writing then and there. This protects the buyer because, as they say in movies and real life, "anything you say can and will be used against you." So many agents are fearful of scaring off a potential client by covering these steps, but the fact that these steps are overlooked by an agent should be enough reason to run the other way!
If you do decide you need, or desire, to have an agent represent you, and do not wish to work with the agent who showed you the home in question, I will be happy to discuss this further with you. If not, best of luck to you!
If you have not signed any form of agency agreement, you do not have any legal obligation to use the agent who showed the home to you. As a the home buyer, you want to make sure that you have an agent that you believe will represent you well throughout the transaction. The listing agreement would specify a 'Protection Period' stating how long after the listing expires that a seller could sell the home, while unrepresented, to a buyer that was procured by the former listing firm. Lastly, if neither parties have signed anything, neither parties should be obligated to enter into a purchase agreement. Hopefully this helps, if you would like to discuss in more detail, please feel free to contact me through my profile here on Trulia. Good luck and have a Happy New Year!
Jason Ewing, GRI/CNS
Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors