As a buyer, if you want to attend open houses, you can ask your agent for a handful of biz cards. Upon signing in, simply hand the open house host your agentâ€™s card, and direct the open house host to contact your agent for any follow up pertaining to your visit. Sign in with your name on a roster sheet if requested as â€œYour Name - Client of Agent Jane -XYZ Realtyâ€ and put the preferred phone number (cell or office) for your agent. If you want to attend open houses and find that helpful in your endeavor, by all means, do. This method of sign in makes it blatantly clear that you are represented and will keep you from being hounded.
Unfortunately, there are some agents who do not put their client's interests above their own (this is a violation of the Code of Ethics, which applies ONLY to Realtors). For example, some agents will not show properties that offer less than a certain commission. Others are slow to respond to their clients.
As far as "etiquette", agents should be making your inquiries: that is part of what we are paid for. However, if the need arises for you to call an office or an agent to get information, you should clearly state that you have an agent so that there is no misunderstanding as can happen in a "commission" career like Real Estate. This specifically applies to "Open Houses". However, in most cases you must visit New Construction with your agent!
Make certain that you are comfortable with your agent, that they have explained the process to you, that you have discussed your needs and expectations and, finally, that you both understand how the process will work.
If you are working with an agent and you search on your own there is nothing wrong with that. You should always inform other agents that you are working with an agent. That should stop them from hounding you. If they persist and want some information, give them your agents name and number. You should have no more trouble. Thanks for asking the question. It is a good question. Don't know how you got a thumbs down, but I gave you a thumbs up. People need to know these things. Good luck. Carrie
While I would love to be the one who finds "The House" for my buyer clients, I don't mind at all if they search on their own while I also search for them. Good for them if they find something I didn't see. Why? Because there's more to being a buyer's agent than just finding the house. That's the easy part! The hard part comes when you decide to put in an offer. Then there are negotiations, inspections, more negotiations, legal issues, taxes, lender criteria.... oh, and the list goes on and on.
So. To answer your question, feel free to search, BUT... keep in mind your loyalty to your agent and all they have to offer other than just finding your property. When you go to open houses, take some of your agent's cards with you. Tell the listing agent you are already represented. When you see something you like, don't call the listing agent directly, instead, don't hesitate to call YOUR agent and tell them you are interested in seeing a particular property. Sure, it may mean an extra phone call, but if you cut your agent out of the communication process, you could potentially put yourself in an awkward situation, and even, without meaning to, put the listing agent in a position of dual agency! Not only that, but if you cut your agent out, you won't have anybody on your side during the transaction process. Trust me - that is worth the extra few minutes of your time.
Have fun finding your home!
I know this process can be frustrating, I have been through it. One of the best things you can do is be sure to put your agent's name down on the listing sheet when you sign into an open house. Also, if someone asks you how you found the house, tell them that you have been working with an agent.