R, Home Seller in har

as a seller in San Francisco, we have people who want to buy our house, which is not on the market right now.

Asked by R, har Sun Apr 15, 2012

The potential buyer has an agent they are working with, apparently for no charge. I guess that my gut is saying this is too good to be true and why? Please advise what dangers there may be in this type of transaction.

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Irina Karan’s answer
Agree with the need for a good agent.

If there is no fee involved on the buyer's side, it is highly irregular.
If your have no agent representing your interests in this sale, and the "free" agent of the buyer is a friend of the buyer, you might be in for problems.

First of all, it's highly possible that the very reason you are approached before the house is on the market is because the buyer knows that the price they are offering is lower than what you could have gotten if you had the house marketed properly through a good listing/marketing agent.

Second of all, if you disclose something that you sincerely believe to be true, but later on it is found out to be different from what you said (with no fault of yours), you might be liable...Improper disclosures or missing disclosures could spell trouble, even with the best intentions.

However, if you think like a home inspector and fix things that need to be fixed in the house (because not doing this could lead to after inspection price re-negotiation, or the buyer walking away if you are selling "as is"), you will be better off. If you team up with a great local agent (with massive internet exposure), and you stage your house - you'll get more than the market price, and definitely more than selling by yourself - without any problems.

Best of luck,

Irina Karan
CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Seller with a property not on the market asking questions about selling?

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Occasionally buyers will have a friend who has a license who offers their services for free, so it could be on the up and up. However, free is not always good.

There are a lot of disclosures you are required to give buyers in San Francisco that don't occur anywhere else, so you need to be protected and you cannot rely on the buyer's agent to do this.It is your responsibility.

I would advise you to get a broker to represent you to deal with this agent to cover your requirements and make sure everything goes smoothly - there is little worse than going to court after a sale. If it looks like an easy deal we MIGHT do it for a reduced fee.

Here, probably more than anywhere, you need great representation. Don't be tempted by lower expenses. I say might because even though it looks like an easy sale it can sometimes be more work to do a transaction like this over one that is listed on the MLS.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
San Francisco has certain requirements that you as a seller should be made aware of. I will go over these with you at no cost. Buyers Agent may not be aware of these . Just call me at (415) 308-5902.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
First of all, is the buyer's agent really working at no charge to you? Double check, since in the majority of cases the seller pays the commission.

Secondly, have you seen an offer in writing? Is the buyer financially qualified?

Thirdly, have you had inspections on the house (both termite and contractors)? and if so, has the buyer approved the results of those inspections?

There are costs involved in marketing a home, and I can see why going with a buyer who may avoid at least some of those costs is enticing.

As long as both you and the buyer are comfortable with the economics of the deal go ahead. Perhaps you will leave a bit of money on the table, perhaps the buyer will overpay for the privilege of not having to compete with others- neither of you will ever know the answer.

Astrid Lacitis
Keynote Properties
415 860 0765
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Commissions are traditionally paid by the seller. Therefore the buyer's agent is 'free' to the buyer. Of course, whatever commissions are paid are factored into the pricing. If you where once a buyer for the property you are now possibly selling, the previous seller paid the commissions.

Make sure you get and excellent agent to represent you and save you time and headaches, should you decide to sell. Even if you sell to the buyers you mention (without putting the home on the market), engage a real estate agent to do the work.

Feel free to call me at 415-200-7202/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012

I did the same thing when I purchased my home. I would recommend having a Real Estate agent represent you. There are so many disclosures that really have to be done properly so that your interests are protected. You don't want something coming back to bite you. Also, just to get through the escrow process and to save yourself from having to deal with the possible issues that could arise, have a Real Estate agent shield you and do the leg work. You will be glad you did and it will be worth the commission.

Good Luck and please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.


Marc Dickow
Herth Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Tony's answer short and sweet is the best. Your realtor or attorney would owe you his/her fudiciary responsibility and the Buyer's agent would owe his/her fudiciary responsibility to the buyers.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
If you are considering the sale of your home, get a Realtor or an Attorney to represent your interest in the sale.

Questions? Email me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
If the buyer's agent is willing to forgo his or her commission, I would recommend getting your own agent and paying a couple of percentage points to have them represent you in this transaction. I would also stress doing your due diligence on the market value of your property and the market in general in your area. Last thing you want is to short-change yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
This is not that unusual. There are times when a buyer wants to purchase in a particular area and an agent contacts owners to see if they will sell. In my opinion, the agent will ask you for a commission before sending you an offer. More than likely in the form of a single party listing. This way the agent will end up brokering the deal as a dual agent. It still may be lower than a full commission. To the other agents comments, make sure the price is right.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hi! It's easy to tell if an agent is a licensed real estate agent in the state of California.
Just go to http://www.dre.ca.gov and click on CHECK CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE LICENSE
then just type in the person's license I.D. Each real estate professional is required by law to provide
their real estate license I.D. number.

A selling agent can easily get data on similar houses that have sold recently in your area to make sure
you get the best price for the sale of your house. An agent who represents you can oversee the escrow, transaction details and paper work signing. Your agent is paid to help get you the best price
and look out for you. Usually, the seller pays 5% commission.

Of course, you need to think about why you want to sell in the first place - your motivation.
For example, a seller may want to relocate to a different neighborhood, want to up size for a growing family or down size if kids have moved out or prefer to rent and take advantage of the $250,000 to $500,000 free capital gains tax advantage.

I'm here to help further if you contact me directly:
Helen Yuen, Realtor Associate, Land & Property Investments, Inc Sunset SF
helenyuen@lpirealtor.com (415) 469-0577 cantonese/english
Representting buyers * sellers * investors
in house mortgage consultant * free opinion of your property
Web Reference: http://www.dre.ca.gov
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
This is a great opportunity for you. There is a premium to be paid by a buyer when purchasing off market with no competition. Make sure you do your homework and get full possible value for your property. Start by interviewing a few agents for exclusive representation, market knowledge and negotiation skills. I would be happy to meet with you and provide all the info you need. 


Oggi Kashi's iPhone
Paragon Real Estate Group
415 . 690 . 3792 - M
415 . 874 . 5020 - O
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hi R,
In California usually Seller pays commission to Listing Broker (who represent Seller) and
Listing Broker will offer part of his commission to Co-operating Broker
(aka Selling Broker).
You should consult your real estate attorney.
Good luck.
Ellie Kravets
Web Reference: http://climbSF.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Good afternoon R,

It could be that you have come across a hard working agent, who is trying to find a place for his buyers to purchase, and in Reality you pay the commission from the sale proceeds not the buyer, this is how it usually works.

The negative side is that in this market of low inventory and a high demand from buyers, why would you consider selling to anyone without having your home listed for sale professionally and marketed to achieve the best price to you. We see so many homes with multiple offers.

I would at least recommend having a different Realtor value your property before deciding anything else.

I am available to off this service to you, and if you like the way I work ??? We can talk about this then.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
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