Home Buying in 90025>Question Details

Joe, Home Buyer in West Los Angeles, Los...

When buying a house in this market, should I have an exclusive agreement with one agent or should we be open?

Asked by Joe, West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA Sat Oct 3, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


Representation of a buyer is a privilege. Working with an agent of choice has dual purpose.
1 You have exclusive representation 2 Representation exclusively by a professional realtor shows wisdom and trust of the buyer. Wisdom is never short changed when the details are not overlooked.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
Facing Murder Charges? Would you want one lawyer per a few hours? No! You would want the best lawyer that would have an indepth understanding of you and the facts and stay onboard throughout the process. Same thing in Real Estate. Selecting a Buyer's Agent that will work for you is in your best interest. Rather than running all over, sometimes looking at the same property, let an expert, one expert work for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 23, 2010
You want a seasoned expert on your side. Don't run around searching on your own - hire a professional to guide you. Realtors value is extensive when you're searching for a home. Do your research and select one agent you get a long with and trust.
Flag Fri Oct 24, 2014
Dear Joe. In this ay, and age, experience counts. If you want to run around with differant agents, with loyalty to none.you will be doing yourself no favor. Let me explain: If I know you are working with other agents, I pesonally would decline, and send you back to them. The reason is, my clients get 150% effort on my part, to find them the best deal for them, and carry them through all the differant paces i a real estate transaction. If you, as a Buyer, want to keep shopping around, the other agents will pick up on it, and you will not get their 100 % either.
I have a shoppinglist for my clients, and search High, and Low to fullfill their wishes. If a good deal comes up, they are the first to get the news. So you see, an agent representing you 100 %, will give you the same, or more. Kapish?
Good luck house hunting.
Unni O. Shelton,Broker, Yuba City, Ca.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 13, 2010
Hi Joe

It would make sense, but do have a date and terms spelled out.

It is good business practice on the part of the agent.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 10, 2010
Ok. So you are looking for a house & figure "the more agents working for me the better"...right?

Picture looking for a job and being required to put in a full months work without pay before finding out if you or one of the other 5 applicants get the job. How many of these "interviews" could you afford? The better agents find the better way. They don't line up for these "races". They study, practice and perfect their skills. Then they demand the same degree of loyalty that is being demanded of them.

These agents can save you money by being better informed on not only the market, but ways of writing the offer to put you in a better position.

Expect to meet with the agent, listen to them, learn about the process and contract & maybe seeing a few houses before signing up.
Web Reference: http://coronasbesthomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 10, 2010
When dealing with the largest investment you'll probably make in your life, it's always a good idea to surround yourself with professionals that can guide you along and provide information and direction when you need it.
Having a Realtor on your side makes all the difference. We work on commission and that's why we get so possessive of our clients. But the fact remains, a Realtor can be your best friend and he/she has contacts that can be invaluable to you during the home buying process.
If you are honest with your Realtor, making sure going in that you picked someone who you can trust and someone with the experience you're satisfied with, then the home buying experience can be really fun. After all, it's your home and a Realtor can take most of the buying stress off your back and make it an enjoyable experience.
Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 10, 2010

You are asking this Question, getting responses from Agents/Non- Agents and that is as it should be but isn't your Question a simple one actually?

YOU are considering a Large Financial obligation and YOU are going to be making decisions that had best be wise ones as it is YOU who will have the Obligation if things do not go Positively....

" should we be open?" This is the key to your question in my opinion and is what YOU should Focus on...

You must know what your goals are and how it is you plan to attain them, you must be informed. Working with an Agent who provides Services to assist you may be the wisest path for you to take, but this can only work if you are "open".....You need to decide for yourself what is the Relationship and What Services you feel you need from an Agent and be open,honest just as you wish they would be with you.

Then keep your word, if you buy a Home with the Assistance of an Agent be clear you will pay for those Services and pay for them. If you find an Agent you wish to work with exclusively then Yes, be clear what is offered/expected (Commission/Services) from each other, have it in writing..

The bottom line is You are the Consumer, the one seeking Services which Agents compete to Provide.
Learn your options as a Consumer/Purchaser of Services and YOU Decide which option works best for You then seek and hire the Services you require.

Good luck, Dunes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 7, 2009
Not sure what difference the market makes??? When listing a home you sign a listing agreement. One agent is working to market and sell your home. When you want to buy a home, you sign a buyers agreement for that agent to work, search, show you homes and negociate on your behalf.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 3, 2009

What Pat said is exactly correct. How can you expect someone to negotiate hard and find you the best deal when they know that you may just go with someone else tomorrow? The point of a buyer's agent is to look out for your best interests.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 3, 2009
Hi Joe,
The reason exclusive agreements exist in the first place is because of people like Journeys. Funny thing about loyalty and service, it’s a two way street. Personally speaking, I don't ask for one exclusive initially. But if I've invested time in taking out a client, educated them and found out what they want, I do expect the same professionalism back. If they are still agent shopping, I will either ask them to sign an exclusive for each house I show them (there is more than one type of Exclusive), or thank them for the opportunity and wish them well. Most often, that's when they find themselves with that lazy agent. I wish you well.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call or visit our website shown below.

Pat Palmer-Broker/Realtor
Forefront Real Estate
Forefront Mortgage
Lic Thru CA DRE #01013510

154 W. Foothill Blvd #A308
Upland, CA 91786

Phone: 909.286.1301
eFax: 909.912.8002

Web Reference: http://www.ffhomes.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 3, 2009
Your best bet is to find a local, EXCELLENT Realtor who will work for you. There is no benefit to using more than one.

Be sure you do your homework before you hire someone, not after so when you do make an exclusive agreeement with someone you feel comfortable they will do a fantastic job for you.

Find out: How long they've been in the business, if they are full time or not, how many properties they have sold over all and how many in the area you are looking, ask for letters of recommendation from prior clients (with contact info) and contact them.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 3, 2009
A great way to get really confused and lose out on the property of your dreams, is to try to use the services of more then one Realtor. Besides the obvious overlap in services, procuring cause lawsuits and general confusion most Pro's will not work under these conditions. Those who would, likely would be very poor at their job.
It takes a real focus of hard work and time to find the right property for a client, and any Professional Buyer Agent will want to have a written commitment before they invest their time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 30, 2014
Find an agent that understands your needs and knows the local market, then stick with that agent. Once you start using multiple buyers agents the purchase decision and transaction becomes confusing; plus agents who are not confident their clients are exclusive with them will not put the effort into the search process that you need.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
Hi Dunes, just wanted to say- Interesting and Creative use of Capitalization.
Good Advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 7, 2009
Ray, I am not arguing in any way that my agent should not show properties to anyone else. In fact quite the opposite, I was trying to point out the absurdity the idea. But conversely, if it's absurd to think that an agent would represent me exclusively, how can he expect me to be exclusive to him? I hope we all agree that the best way of doing business with a buyer is by interviewing eachother and building trust and a relationship. I don't know all the real estate agents here in L.A., but the more successful ones I've met don't require their buyers to sign exclusivity contracts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009

I agree, your agent should be more than a "key" to get into properties. That is why you need to interview your agent to be sure that s/he is knowledgeable about the area and type of home you are seeking.

However, your argument that an agent should not show properties to anybody else doesn't make sense. First, if someone is looking for a house in a particular area, don't you think they will find another agent to show them properties in the same area if your agent refuses? So how does this help you? The other buyer is still out there.
Second, if you find the most knowledgeable agent in the area, wouldn't you be glad that others have found the great agent who is going to find the right home for each of you? This means that all players in the market have better knowledge; therefore making the market more efficient.

While you may be loyal to your agent because s/he is working hard for you, other buyers out there may not be. This is evidenced by Journeys’ post. In this type of case you are likely to get a better response from one good agent if s/he knows that you are not working with 3 other agents. I know that I would refuse a client if they were working with 3 other agents. Why would I want to spend hours searching for properties and taking you to see them and giving all the background, advantages/disadvantages, etc. of the home if you are out with someone else later the same day?

I just think that the entire market would be more efficient if people would properly interview agents and then stick with the best one. Journeys may be getting poor service from the agents s/he has selected because poor agents are the ones who will put up with a client using 3 other agents.

I hope you don’t take offense by any of my posts, I just want to be sure that readers will consider all sides before taking steps that may result in worse service for them. I am glad that you found a good agent and wish you the best. Same for you Joe.

Web Reference: http://www.charityar.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
As an unbias brokerage firm that is in the business of referring the Best and Top Agents to home Buyers, I would recommend using one dedicated and loyal Broker. However, I would also advise that you as a buyer should interview at least three (3) buyer brokers who know your geographic area and the local real estate market. You also want to make sure that you are comfortable that the hired broker understands your needs and desires in finding a new house and neighborhood. My advise, be selective and honest and you will receive the quality of service that your deserve.

GO to OptHome.com and find the Right Agent for you........

Joe Azzolino
Web Reference: http://www.Opthome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
Ray, Like I said, I have a good relationship with my agent and would not mislead an agent. I am working with one agent and not looking at houses with other agents "behind his back." I just think that due to the non-exclusive nature of the agent's job, it makes no sense for the buyer to sign an exclusivity contract. If I liked a particular neighborhood and asked you to sign a contract saying you wouldn't show property in that area to anyone else but me, would you do it? Your commission is paid by the seller, not by me, the buyer. Therefore it is in your best interest to sell the house, regardless of whether it is to me or another one of your clients. If agents want loyal clients, what they need to do is add value to the transaction. In other words, have something to offer other than just sending me listings and opening the door to the house and telling me what is so nice about it. Know your neighborhoods. Be able to tell me what kind of heating system the house has, if the foundation or roof looks like it has problems. If I ask you what is a forced heating system, be able to answer that question. You would be suprised at how many agents can't answer questions like that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009

I agree with your statements to some degree. However, just some clarification:
In California agents are allowed to represent more than one buyer, but must disclose this to the buyers. Having your agent represent you and another buyer looking for the same type of home does not give you are the other buyer a disadvantage, because ultimately you are the one who decides how much you are going to offer.
I rarely have my clients sign an exclusive agreement, because almost all of my clients are referrals who know about me and know that I am looking out for their best interests. However, on the rare occasion that someone comes to me saying that they don't really like their existing agent, I find out what it is they don't like and if I can help, I will then ask them to sign an agreement.
I, just as I am sure you and Joe, value my time. It would be unfair if your employer had you and your coworker doing the same job and then only paid one of you. So why would you think that it would be acceptable to mislead an agent?
I consider my clients my employers and if I am unhappy with work I quit them and if they are unhappy with me, they fire me. An exclusive agreement allows for this type of relationship. All it really says is that while I am representing you, you agree to use me and that when one of us no longer wants to work with the other, then we can part ways.
I would recommend that everyone following this thread read the actual contract before making decisions about whether it is suitable for you or not.

Good Luck,

Web Reference: http://www.charityar.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
I know my response is not going to be popular with the agents/brokers, but as a buyer I personally would never sign any type of exclusivity contract. The main reason being that the agent has multiple clients looking at the same properties I am. He/she is not representing me exclusively on the properties I am viewing, nor can I expect him to. So why would I be exclusive to him? When a new property comes on the market, is he going to guarantee me that he'll show it to me first, or one of his other clients with whom he may place an offer on it before I get a chance to even see it? Also, if I'm not mistaken there is nothing illegal in CA about an agent representing more than one buyer on the same home. Would you want to have an exclusive arrangment with someone who was submitted another client's offer on the same house you were? Finally, even if I were to sign an exclusivity contract, how am I guaranteed the agent is going to perform?

Overall, I think the relationship between the buyer and the agent is best left to a good faith. The buyer should interview and select their agent as if they were hiring him/her to do any other type of job. Likewise, the agent should interview the buyer. Having said all this, I have a very good relationship with my agent and have every intention of making sure he gets his commission. But he never asked me to sign a contract, he earned my business based on merit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
I've used 4 agents. I have one for the Valley, one for MidCity, one for the South Bay, and one that my bank advised me to use. They firstly have no idea that you have multiple realtors and secondly they're working for you, the more the better. Some of the realtors are lazy and some properties that come on the market are HOT and must be purchased the same day. If you find a gem like this it really helps to have 2 or 3 realtors because you need someone to make that offer today, not tomorrow or wednesday if you get my drift.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 3, 2009
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