Home Selling in Auburndale>Question Details

M K, Both Buyer and Seller in Newton, MA

As a buyer's agent are you concerned about dealing with the Owner who is selling without seller agent?

Asked by M K, Newton, MA Wed Oct 20, 2010

Is this a concern for you? Why?
What should the owner do to eliminate your concerns (except for hiring sell side broker) ?

Help the community by answering this question:



I am working as a buyer broker right now in a FSBO situation and it has been such a pleasant transaction. You should have no worries. You can find more helpful hints on my blog on my website.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
Im not concerned but the Seller should be!
Web Reference: http://www.mdmrealtyinc.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
This type of seller is typically called FSBO in the industry (for sale by owner) and as a buyers agent we typically get much more information and leverage than if the seller is protected/represented by another Realtor.
Sellers don't realize some of the things they say can reduce their offer and repairs etc aren't to the sellers advantage. In a small percentage though the seller is perfectly capable of doing just as good a job on their own, without representation because the have higher than the average experience with real estate.
If you are a buyer be happy that you have them as they are free to you EXCEPT in the FSBO situation, your agent must get a compensation agreement prior to showing you and if they don't you may have some responsibility if you signed a Buyer Broker agreement for a commission to be earned. so check in to that as well and best of luck to you!

Laura Myers
Keller Williams Arizona Realty
Select Realty Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
An unrepresented seller is great for me as a buyer agent! I have no fiduciary responsibilty to seller, I can pick his brain directly and from there have a private discussion with the buyer sharing all the confidential info the seller shared with me. I would need to have the seller sign a no agency form describing that I am in no way represnting the seller. otherwise seller might think from the friendly conversation we were having that i was representing him or acting as a transactional agent-dual agency. I love pulling the no agency disclosure form on buyers too that don't want to be represented by an agent. Sign that puppy and I can fully apply fiduciary duties for one side and give my client the best advantage. Way better than dual agency!

if you like my answer, please check best answer, thanks!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010

In the age of legal ranglings, why woudn't you just hire your own agent to represent you. Yes, an attorney can protect you in contract matters. Attorneys don't show and sell homes. Is the extra savings really worth the risk? We live in a litiguous society. I can show you some for sale by owner sellers who are facing lawsuits due to something they said or promised the buyer. Be very careful about this decision. I'm not saying not to be a for sale by owner seller, just be very very cautious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
Absolutely not. As a Buyers Agent is my duty to provide my client with everything that is on the Market. In my 19 years of services, have negociated both, MLS(multiple listings) and FSBO (for sale by owner). Sellers are willing to pay selling commission.(Always have to get it in writing prior to showing). As a Sellers you have to realize that the commission they are trying to save is the same commission the buyers are going to deduct from their offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010

I would be happy to discuss your situation with you if you like - you seem to be getting a similiar response from a variety of Realtors so I hope we have addressed your initial question.

Please let me know if you want to grab a coffee and brainstorm.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Not really a concern for me as a buyers agent. Probably the best would be a seller who has already consulted with their own real estate attorney to go over disclosures, paperwork & are familiar with the documents commonly used in real estate transactions. You can usually pick up in short time how comfortable the seller is with the whole process. My job is to represent my clients interests and act fairly & ethically with the seller & keep my clients informed. Nice when the seller understands the proceedures, timeframes involved as well as need for document production etc. I'll probably pay more attention and be in contact with the seller more often to remind of important dates & other events like the final water bill/smoke& carbon monoxide detector inspection etc. but at the end of the day that's what I'm hired for by my clients.

Hope that helps,
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
I will approach a FSBO and if he is cooperating, ie, willing to payout commission, I will proceed with the showing. Since a large part of the agents' jobs is to keep the transaction on track from agreement to close, I find that absent a listing agent, the buyer's agent will be working harder than usual - essentially doing her job and then some. To answer your question directly, I would feel uncomfortable if the seller did not hire a very good real estate attorney to assist him. The attorney may charge you more than he would if you had a listing agent in recognition of the additional work involved.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Buyers agents can approach a For Sale By Owner - not an issue - many times when the offer is submitted the seller is happy to pay 1/2 of the commission (it would cost more i there were a listing agent involved).

Bringing an approved buyer to the table is half the battle. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) are not aware of who is coming to their open house or if the person is pre approved for a purchase. When a buyrs agent brings them in, it's half the battle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Deb...you jumped in and said what I would have :) If it is what my buyers want...we are going to take a look at it for sure and then go from there.

You can tell from the first few communications what is to come...and again...if I'm the buyer's agent then that's what we're doing - if there is a selling agent involved or not.

I am assuming you are trying to decide if you should list your home with a Realtor or go it on your own?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
You asked Amy, but I'll jump in too. It doesn't matter to me when deciding what properties to show; I will always choose the ones that seem to be the right fit for my buyers. But I usually can tell how much the seller knows by reading the listing. Some are very well prepared, and I know they will be easy to deal with. Others haven't a clue, so I just take a deep breath first! :-)

Web Reference: http://homes.debn.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Amy, when the property shows up on MLS you don't know yet how educated the seller is.
So the question is will you prefer to take your client to similar properties represented by seller agent first or this won't impact your decision ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
There is a whole lot more responsibility for the Buyers' Agent when working with a "for sale by owner." A buyers' agent needs to be more careful in verifying information, beginning with "Does this person really own this house?" There are many other issues as well. Short sale, bankruptcy, foreclosure, liens, all which the seller may not have disclosed to you. How about a lease? All of these things will be the responsibilty of the Buyers' Agent to make sure are not going on prior to writing an offer. Because of this, it is easier for a Buyer's Agent to sell a listing in MLS which has a listing agent.

Good documentation from the seller would be most helpful as well as an offer to pay commission to the agent who brings you a buyer. A saavy agent will get this in writing prior to showing the property with all of the necessary disclosures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Hi Maksim,

As a Buyer Agent I have no problems dealing directly with the seller, and have done so many times. As long as the seller is willing to do what's required of him/her, that's fine with me. Make sure you understand the process so you can do your side of the transaction, and you should have an attorney lined up too.

Good luck!

Web Reference: http://homes.debn.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010

That depends on the level of knowledge of the seller. It can be done and the buyer's agent ends up doing most of the heavy lifting to get the transaction through. However...if it's the right place for my buyers and they want it...then that's my goal!

I also noticed that you posted an unanswered question about listing your place (or waiting until spring). Did you get an answer to that offline?


Amy Mullen, Realtor CPA LMC MBA
RE/MAX Professional Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
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