Question Details

Andrew, Home Buyer in 08520

As a buyer, do i need to take my agent to look at a house?

Asked by Andrew, 08520 Tue Oct 16, 2007

ie, can I go look w/the listing agent and then bring my agent in if we feel we want to make a bid? Or does the buyer's agent have to be there throughout the process?

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Hi Andrew:

To answer you question about the 'unethical' part, I think you are really just referring to Mansur's answer. I think what he meant was that it would be unethical for you to call the listing agent and ask them to show the house to you when you have not intention of asking them to represent you.

No, it is perfectly O.K. for the selling (Buyer's) agent to use a lock box and show you houses; as a matter of fact, this is exactly why the seller choose to have a lockbox out front, so that the Selling (Buyer) agent can use the key that's in the lock box to show their clients the house. As the seller can give the Listing agent their house key, but they sure would not want to give every single buyers agent their key to show the house.

The lock box also register which agent has been to the house, so it's quite safe.

I think what Mansur meant is that if you actually call the listing agent and ask him/her to go to the house and show the house to you; you can either go during open house, or you should tell the listing agent that you have your own buyer agent, but you just want them to show the house to you. I am not sure if I would quite use the word 'unethical' in this case; but each agent has their own duties. Whether they agree or not, it'd be up to them.

As far as your original question, don't feel bad about asking your own agent to show the house to you. It is their job to take time and find the best house for you - I love it when my clients ask me to do that for them!

Sylvia
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
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HI Andrew,
I am not sure what you meant by your last post on this thread. Are you referring to the sellers agent or the buyers agent. I know the terms don't always make sense. The buyers agent is also the selling agent. But the sellers agents is ONLY the selling agent when they also represent the buyer. Did I make this more confusing?

So, are you asking about the sellers agent or the buyers agent?

And, I did not understand what you meant about the use of lockboxes.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
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Hi Andrew,

Tks for the reply. Under the circumstances, I would only show you the property for compensation of doing the buyer agent's job. As a professional courtesy to buyer agents, I will show property a buyer on their behalf when legitimate circumstances prevent the Reatlor from doing so.

I always want to promote a property for any seller that I represent. I believe in honest pay for honest work.

You are also shortchanging yourself by not looking at property w/ your buyer agent. Much of the time I spend w/ buyers looking at properties helps me better understand their wantes and needs. I also am able to identify, clarify, and put into perspective their feedback. I am able to stand back and watch with an objective eye and ear their reactions, comments and even body language. My ability to summarize and discuss their own reactions is one of the important roles I play as a Buyer Agent. I might also make suggestions that the buyer might not otherwise have considered, offer possible solutions to problems they identify, and point out areas of concern they overlooked.

In fairness to all parties, yourself included, it is best to have your buyers agent show you property.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
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Andrew, why are you doing all the work and watching your agent make all the money. If your agent is that lazy, I suggest you find another one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2007
It is inappropiate to ask the listing to show you the property and then ask your agent to write the offer. Your agent should be the one to show you the property before writing your offer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
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The buyers agent should be there for the entire process...if they are not, what is the purpose of someone being your eyes and ears and they are not even there? Not to mention, if the agent showing the property is not the listing agent, that agent not the listing agent will not recieve a commission, and you bringing in an agent after the fact is not unethical as per rules and regulations, but the question to you is, would you work for free?
Web Reference: http://iansellsnola.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
It is best if you have your own representation "buyer's agent" and if your buyer's agent shows you the house right from the start. If you start with the listing agent you are making things harder for your agent and he/she might not get paid or may owe the listing agent a referral fee.
How does your agent feel about your plan? I have had many clients that feel the same way as you do, (they don't want to bother me) and what typically happens is they end up buying a house right from the listing agent with no representation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
If a buyer's agent asks me to show a property to their client, I will accommodate them. If a prospective buyer comes to my open house, or calls me and asks me to show them the property, I consider myself the selling agent and will not compensate a buyer's agent who then writes the offer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Hi Andrew! I would strongly recommend you retain a Buyer's Agent. Remember, the listing agent is working in the best interests of the seller which means he/she is not working for you. Your buyers agent will represent you and your interests. In Michigan, there is also a matter of procurring cause which means if you see the home with the listing agent and then go back with a buyer's agent there could be a little friction about who is representing you. Do it the right way, the way that works best - contract with a Buyer's Agent. Good Luck! Connie
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Being honest from the get go is very important.
If I understand your question right,
you are going to go to the Listing agent to show you their proprties,( some people feel it is easier to use the listing agent to show the property they listed), just my opinion and by the way this is a great question! Not all listing agents list in their area, if you are up front with them, the agent can make that decision, to take you to see a property, knowing they will not be the agent representing you. Sometimes I have heard the Buyer is looking (either buy internet or open houses)and their agents tell them a certain house (the buyer found on their own) does not meet their search criteria. These agents sometimes need to listen to the buyer and go out on the limb. Remember if the agent is working diligently for the buyer they really need the input you have even on homes (you as a buyer) did not think you'd want to look at when you started your home search.
If this is on a new home you do need the buyers agent for the agent to get their commission.
Hope this helps and I didn't confuse you, if it did, let me know I could further reiterate what I am trying to say :-)
Denise Stuart
Coldwell Banker
Web Reference: http://www.realeasy4u.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Andrew. I am not sure what you mean by a selling agent who using a lockbox to show houses. The selling agent is the buyer's agent unless the buyer's agent also happens to be the listing agent. Unless a seller does not wish to have a lockbox installed, all listing agents put lock boxes on their listings so that other agents can show the properties to their buyers without having to make an appointment with the seller or the listing agent. It would be a violation of MLS rules if the buyer's agent were to just provide the lockbox key to the buyer.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your question. I am not clear on why you think there might be something unethical about the use of lockboxes to give access to other real estate agents showing properties to their clients.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
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So, a 'selling' agent who uses a lockbox to 'show' houses - is that unethical as well?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Hi Andrew. While it's not mandatory for the buyer's agent to be there, why would you want the listing agent to show you the house instead of your own agent. If I were the listing agent, I would want to speak to the buyer's agent before I meet the buyer at the house. While it is the listing agent's job to show the property to prospective buyers, it is not common practice that a buyer will take up the listing agent's time instead of his/her own agent. If your agent is unavailable due to vacation or some other compelling reason, that's different. I would certainly do a courtesy showing and as the buyer's agent I would be the one who would want to arrange for it with the listing agent and then the listing agent knows upfront that's what's going on.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
MVP'08
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Hi Andrew:

It is your agent's job, not the listing agent's job, to show you the houses. It is also to your advantage to bring your agent while you look at the houses.

You can discuss the house with your agent more freely, not worrying about if your response on the house will be used as a bargagining tool for the sellers when making an offer.

It is also good to go with your agent so they know what kind of houses you like and will be abel to find the right kind of house for you if this does not work.

We are trained and very in-tune when listening to what a buyer has to say. Make sure your agent is there to protect you.

Your agent does get commission when representing you, make sure they do their jobs for you.

Sylvia.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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Andrew,

If you are working with a realtor and you have what we call in Georgia a Buyer's Broker Agreement (provided by the Georiga Association of Realtors), the agreement states that the buyer will only look at property with the agent. This may or may not be present in agreements in other states. The agent can not properly represent you if he is not present with you when you view the home.

There are some agents who will tell you to go ahead and look at resale homes without them, but in my opinion they should not do this. Sometimes what happens is that the listing agent does a lot of work to help you view the property, get information to you and then at or near the end of the process, a buyer's agent is brought into the picture. The buyer knew all along that he was going to use the agent, but the listing agent didn't. The buyer's agent was possibly too busy with other things to help you.

Now when the listing agent has done all or nearly all of the work, the buyer's agent comes in to collect a commission. This is called parachuting, and is frowned own (to put it mildly) by listing agents. The buyer's agent has signed an agreement stating that they will represent you by helping you find the home you want, with the features you want, and at a price that you choose to afford. They are willing to do this because they will be paid for services rendered. As a buyer, why would I want an agent benefitting financially from my purchase, when they really didn't particiapte in the adventure.

A Buyer's agent really can bring value to the transaction, but to do so they need to be involved during the entire transaction. Remember, the listing agent represents the seller and will do everything they can that is both legal and ethical to get the best results for the seller. The Buyer's agent will do the same for the Buyer, but only if the agent is involved.

Keep you agent involved and let them show you what they can do to earn their commission.
Web Reference: http://www.thenelmsteam.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah,

I no longer need to work - so I am home. I can look at several houses quickly without making my agent do the same - until I like one. ie, I'd bring her on a second visit if I was interested in the house...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Your buyers agent has a repsonsibility to you to take you to the property. Absent his/her visit to the property, how does he/she discuss the benefits and drawbacks of that property, compare it to others, and bring objectivity to discussions?

Why would you not want your buyer agent to bring you to the property?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
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Hi Andrew, you should have your agent with you when looking at homes. At open houses, just mention to the agent their that you are already working with an agent. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
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