It is my responsibility to pre-view the property and to know what I am talking about. If I haven't done research on the Listing, the History, the Ownership, the Taxes, the Comps, as well as the layout of the house, then I don't deserve to make the sale!
The Listing Agent has not lived in the house, will not disclose anything pertain, and will only muddy the waters and possibly try to steal my client.
That columnist should stick to what he knows, and Real Estate ain't it.
I might be in the seller's best interest for the Listing Agent to show the house to the buyer, but it certainly is NOT in the buyer's best interest :-)
The listing agent represents the SELLER and cannot say or do anything that could do a financial harm to the SELLER.
Therefore, it is in the buyer's best interest to use their own buyer agent to show them the house and prepare the market analysis.
I believe a listing agent been present could work both ways. If the listing agent is present they can point all positives attributes but they have to disclose all known problems with that property as well. A licensed realtor should disclose problems they are aware of anyway. Some might be minor items that can get corrected after a ratified contract anyway. But those items, even if minor, can turn some buyers away from buying that property and go for the one listed next door, if they knew prior on making the offer. After they make the offer buyers are more open minded and able to negotiate corrections made by the seller. They already pictured themselves having coffee on that front porch and cooking on that nice big kitchen when they were signing that contract.
One way of the listing agent to be present at their listings is by hosting open houses. Some agents don't believe on those, but I do. First you are there when prospective clients come alone or with their agent and you make sure that the house shows great the day of the open house. You don't know if that house looks great every day, light are left on, some soft music etc. Second you can get a buyer that has no agent that liked meeting you in person and hires you to be their agent.
I hope that answers your question :)
for that to happen, not only the buyers agent and his/her clients have to have time, but the listing agent
as well. In most of these case the Buyers Agent, who knows his clients and their needs very well, would much rather prefer to show the home by himself with his clients, so that the buyers can ask questions openly, and without either the homeowners or their Agent to listen in...
If during a showing without the listing agent present any questions or concerns are coming up, it will be easy to check on those by having the buyers agent contact the listing agent and ask!!!!
Some Sellers prefer not to have a lock box at the door, and would prefer their agent or his or her assistant to open the door for a showing and the sellers have the right to request that, scheduling often still complicates coordinating a schedule with everyone especially if the buyers agent is showing several properties to his buyers... It takes also a lot of time out of the listing agents schedule since
he or she will have to be there before the 30 minute showing schedule, and after to close up, and what
if the buyers arrive at the end of the 30 minutes, each showing could take for the sellers agent 1 hour or more !!!!
Buyers agents, like to show and point out the plus and minus to their buyers, free of the oversight of
the listing agent!!!! And have their buyers feel comfortable to ask any question they like...while they are going through the home. Buyers also feel more comfortable and so do their Buyers Agents, to quickly leave a property if at first glance it is just not right for them, so much easier without the Seller or the listing agent at the property.
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As for the commercial real estate, this is different and the listing agents are there during showing because for one they don't give access to the buyer or the buyer's agent by having a lock box at the door, so they have to be there to open the door, also most of the time for commercial properties, the property is shown during business operation. In short there is no comparison between Residential and Commercial Real Estate. Most of commercial listings are exclusive agency while the residential is exclusive representation (ask this columnist if he knows the difference between these representations).
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I think that perhaps the "top flight selling agents" they're writing about are the listing agents for "top flight" properties, and as Curly Sue points out, it's even rare for "top flight" properties.
I can tell you from twenty years of personal experience that I have had to meet the listing agent at a property maybe a half-dozen times.