Home Buying in Walnut Creek>Question Details

Joe, Home Buyer in Walnut Creek, CA

how would an agent or agency know if I used agent from another company to buy a home?

Asked by Joe, Walnut Creek, CA Tue Apr 29, 2014

I wanted to put in an offer on a home and wasn't fully aware of the agency agreement I signed to do so. The offer was rejected and I haven't heard from the agent since which was 2 months ago. I have since gotten another agent from another company and am putting an offer in on the house. I understand there is a risk of paying both agents commission, but how would they know that I bought a home with another agency?

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First, did you signed a "Buyers Representation Agreement - Exclusive" then you may still be in contract with that agent depending on the specific terms and conditions set forth in it, but given that the agent has been out of the picture I would be very surprised that this is what you signed. Very few agents in the Walnut Creek area use this form, though it is beginning to gain some traction. It is much more likely that you signed an Agency Disclosure (AD) - Disclosure Regarding RE Relationships which is simply a disclosure document that describes the different ways that you can be represented by the agent.

Hope that helps
Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner
Lic# 00350257
Windermere Bay Area Properties
Walnut Creek
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2014
Great answer Steve!
Flag Wed Feb 4, 2015
Your question really is would you get caught if you use another agent...and the answer is yes.

If you signed an exclusive agency agreement with the first agent...and it is still in force, you need to address that first before dealing with a second agent. If you want out of the contract, then you need to ask for that. These contracts are legally binding. This could put both agents at conflict and you owing the agents both a commission.

Re-read your agency agreement to see with it expires. If it is still active, you need to address that with the brokerage.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2014
Anything you sign you should have a copy of. If you do not have a copy, get one.
That way it can be determined what you signed. There are many forms signed when buying or selling a home and when making an offer you will be required to sign an agency agreement. This agency agreement is only to acknowledge that you're being represented by this agent for this offer.

You may in fact have no obligation to work with this agent again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2014
If you signed a Buyers Representation Agreement - Exclusive agency, which we use in Connecticut, and the agent hasn't responded to you in that two month period of time that could void the agreement, for lack of care, and being responsible to the clients needs. Is the offer on the same home you placed with first agent, or a different one? You may want to call the brokers office just to make sure to tell them you want to break the agreement, reason why, which you can do, and is your right to do. This way you are released from the agreement as they are contacts and you can be held liable as another agreement, along with the other agent, who should have checked with you that you hadn't signed one, and that you weren't working with another agent.

This is a small networking business as agents talk, word gets out, and so do the hornets nest when agents feel taken, and commissions are lost. Be safe... call the broker, and you may want to run it by your real estate attorney just incase so there are no surprises later down the road... good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2014
Joe,
Ownership is a public record. If that agent checks your name after the deal closes and finds out you bought without them, and they choose to enforce their contract, you could be in trouble.
It would be strongly advised to deal with them before you proceed and formally terminate your arrangement in writing with confirmation. They when the phone rings in your new house, you won't have to worry if it's them.
Your new agent may have advice on how to do this most effectively.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2014
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