Home Buying in Perth Amboy>Question Details

April Giron, Home Buyer in Perth Amboy, NJ

using more than one realtor to buy a house.

Asked by April Giron, Perth Amboy, NJ Wed Sep 17, 2008

I just looked at a house with an agent. However, we have another person we want to use as our buying agent on this property instead. the first agent doesn't seem to be aggressive enough and savvy enough for us. she's nice, but i want someone who is a little more enthusiastic, eager and ready to get us into our first house. also, someone who is not afraid to get us the best price. the other agent is all of the above... can i have the other represent us instead because we want to make an offer?

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John Sacktig’s answer

You initiated contact with an agent, had them show you a home and now want to change agents. That agent is entitled to a commission on the sale. How much does it have to do with you?.. well, not too much.
But it puts you in a catagory that is not well recieved by both "senior" agents and new agents.

The agent can file a for the commission from the agent you are using now and win.. will it affect you? no.
This new agent, should, when they find out about the fact that you saw this property with another agent first should tell you that your obligation is with the first agent that showed you the home.

Once you engage in conversation and have an agent show you a property you enter into an agency agreement by your actions. The agent can and should file for arbitration to settle the situation. The second agent that would write the offer for you should tell you this. But here we are again, it is a matter of ethics amongst realtors and our business.

The answer to the question is the first realtor that showed you the property is the realtor that should write the offer for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 19, 2008
Hi April. Unfortunately for you, the agent who showed you the home is the procurring cause and should be writing up the offer with you. If you go behind her back to use the other agent, it may cause problems down the road. If you are truly opposed to using the agent who showed you the home, then I would suggest being honest with her about wanting to use the other agent and see if they can work out an agreement regarding the commission.

Good luck with the situation and I hope you get the home!
Web Reference: http://www.jillianmason.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2008
You should not be looking at houses without your agent to begin with, the problem you may now face i sthat the listing agent will not pay your buyer agent a commission as teh buyer agent wasnt present at the first showing. You would have to pay them out of your pocket if insisted on representation. Im not saying that you cant try it and it may work, however expect a very upset listing agent and it may hamper any offer you try to put in. You shold always have a buyer agent represent you when looking at property, they are looking out for yor best interest as opposed to a listing or sellers agent which is looking out for the seller. In most cases the buyer agent fee is paid by the listing agent through the fee they offerin the mls to buyer brokers, however the buyer broker has to be the facilitator of the sale. You may have a bumpy ride with this property but now you know for the next one. goo dluck with your purchase.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
Why are you even looking at homes without your agent?
Once you select your buyer's agent, it is to your benefit to look at homes with them. If you go to Open Houses without your agent, you should be leaving their card with the agent holding the house open when you enter the house.
All questions about real estate need to be directed to your agent, the one you have the agreement with, the one who is promoting and protecting your best interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
John Sacktig said:
"The answer to the question is the first realtor that showed you the property is the realtor that should write the offer for you"

That statement is a misconception (and recognized by the National Association of Realtors as a misconception) shared by many Realtors that do not understand "Procuring Cause". Repeading an error often enough does not make it a fact.

See http://www.procuringcause.com

Paul Howard, Broker
NJHomeBuyer.com Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
April: Mr. Howard's endorsement of anything I say is allays a pleasure to receive. He has a wealth of knowledge and does his homework carefully. His assessment that Procuring Cause is a complex issue and that you might be able to use the agent of your choice is also very true, though somewhat ambiguous. You should know that who gets the commission is an internal matter in the industry and buyers and sellers just have to follow their contracts and let the industry, through arbitration, settle out who gets the proceeds. I mistakenly said mediation but arbitration it is. Further, it also makes a difference as to what the agent told you at first meeting and what documents, if any you signed. This is an important point. Please don't engage in legal affairs of any magnitude without doing your own homework. It can lead to badly burned fingers. You have seen the rumpus caused already.

The second part of his last answer was less about you and more about the state of our industry. The public, by and large, seems to understand but little of the relationships that we offer and the essence of the work we do. As Mr. Howard says, there are too many unqualified agents crowding the field. I believe that part of this is because the requirements for entry are about the same as they were eighty years ago but the business has become much more regulated and complex.

I personally also believe these things:
We need to tighten up to the point where "gifted amateurs," playing part time roles, are effectively excluded (perhaps a brief period getting started under supervision might be an exception.) We also need to allow senior members of the industry (brokers) to be properly qualified to act independent of a brokerage agency.) This would eliminate the "whole office" being an agent to every transaction the brokerage does. We need to solve the problem of dual agency and buyer representation in a way that causes less controversy. We need to compensate agents for work they do as it is being done, so that clients who are dissatisfied can move to other agents without an "all or nothing" outcome, which is the way we do it now. This practice, in my opinion, causes agents to hang on to clients for dear life, often long after the relationship is comfortable and in some cases, even productive. If a physician or lawyer proves unsatisfactory, their patient-clients move on, with the professional compensated for the time spent to the point of the break. The real estate field does not usually do this and I think, in the final analysis, to our own detriment.

April, I hope that you get the home that best suits your needs and that it makes you very happy. I further hope that you can look back at our industry’s efforts in your behalf with appreciation for a job well done. I apologize for any confusion that you might have suffered because of the way we do business but do suggest that you get a primer on what those methods are, so you can obtain the most that we can give.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2008
April: Mr Holt's statement that we don't always agree is correct. He is also correct on this issue. Particularly his question: "
The real issue here though, is why in the heck were you looking at a house with a realtor that you didn't want to work with? "

In going to a home with an agent you didn't intend to work with you wasted the time of a business person who likely has little to spare. Unfortunately you don't have any legal obligation to pay her. That circumstance is a basic reason that Realtor commissions are as high as they are. With the number of people that take up the time of some agents there is no other way for them to pay their bills other than to charge high commission. That, coupled with the excessive number of (many unqualified) agents in this business result in an industry where very few make a good living. 80% could not survive on the commission income alone.

Paul Howard
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2008
April: This statement, posted below, is likely to be incorrect based on the information available and there is too little information available to reach a firm conclusion. In any case it is likely that you can break the chain.

"Unfortunately for you, the agent who showed you the home is the procurring cause and should be writing up the offer with you."

See: http://www.procuringcause.com

Paul Howard
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2008
April: Mr. Howard and I have a difference of opinion on some things but this is not one of them. Experience and sophistication will get you further than brashness in almost every case. In a recent discussion, an agent said that he would be a "bulldog" for the buyers. I wonder if he would threaten to bite the seller’s ankle if he didn't come down another $5,000.00 or to poop on the lawn if the closing costs weren't picked up or to eat the seller's cat if the seller did not do all the inspection repairs, great and small. Remember, sellers can get pretty sore if mistreated, just as you can.

The real issue here though, is why in the heck were you looking at a house with a realtor that you didn't want to work with? Your best hope is an action to get your favored agent to give the showing agent a portion of the commission to take over the deal, if the showing agent will gracefully back out. Otherwise, work with the person you have or go find another house, WORKING ONLY WITH THE AGENT YOU WANT TO USE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
Maybe. Too bad you didn't have a contract with the agent before you walked through the door to that house spelling out rights, obligations etc (including procuring cause issues).

Having the agent sign a statement that she will not assert a right to a commission based on taking you to see that one house might have worked but coming up with language that would preclude that situation is a legal issue. I'd like to see buyers start doing it though.

That said, eagerness and aggressiveness do not trump knowledge and ability. .
You might not perceive me as aggressive either. Tactics and strategy do trump outward aggressiveness.

Find out what strategy your eager beaver will employ. Then decide.

You might want to look at:

Paul Howard, broker
NJHomeBuyer.com Realty
Cherry Hill NJ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
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