Home Buying in Dallas>Question Details

Mathew George, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

Ethical qn here, I have recd so many great replies from you guys and would love to use all of you but.....

Asked by Mathew George, Dallas, TX Sun May 18, 2008

My question's' here I guess is ; Is it a norm for a buyer like me to use multiple realtors to search for a house ? What if the same house is shown by multiple people , who do you go with ? Generally are you guys a buyers agent or do you represent both parties ?

Help the community by answering this question:


Well Mathew... Why would you want to use multiple realtors? Find one you like and go with him/her. How do you find the right agent? Simple, get a referral from a friend, relative, or co-worker.

Realtors spend a HUGE amount of time preparing & researching. It's all about the knowledge. Your agent is your trusted advisor. They will help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that buyers often make. Find a good agent that you like and can work closely with. Finding the house is only the beginning.

That being said, I think it's only fair that you work with only one agent. The time & emotional commitment on our part is really remarkable. If I'm being asked to use my knowledge, do more extensive research, educate the client & put someone in my car and drive them around, I expect a commitment from them. Excuse me if I'm terse, but if you aren't willing to commit to an agent, why would they commit their resources to you?

Find an agent you trust and go with him/her.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Alan, I have to comment right back. The only thing that I meant by wasting ANYONE's time was the fact that, if you spend too much time figuring out who you are going to use for a realtor, you may miss the property that fit your criteria.
A little side note as well, I live and work in a small county that is just north of DFW metro-plex. Realtors in our area have more than just a few times lately been the ones showing several properties and when it comes time to write the offer, are being told that their Realtor in the metro-plex will be writing the offer. EVEN THOUGH THE QUESTION WAS ASKED (who will be writing this offer for you). The last time it happended to me (just a couple of weeks ago) I asked exactly why they felt the need to do these since I was the one that had showed them 10 properties. They replied that their agent had told them that HE did not have time to drive all the way to Wise County to show property. They should just go and find an agent in the area to show them and then let HIM know what they had found, the MLS # and such and he would write the offer up.
How is that being ethical? I pride myself on treating everyone fairly and honestly but I DO have a problem with other agents that take advantage like that.
Just had to clarify where some of that answer was coming from.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Representation is a critical issue. By law every Realtor you talk represents the seller of the house you're interested in. It's not optional. Being an agent of the seller, that Realtor is obligated to get the best deal he can for the seller, not you. You can go see a house with any old Realtor (or young one, too), but when it comes time to deal, ask yourself this question: Do I want to reveal my strategy for negotiating to the agent of the seller?
Again, it is state law that unless you have a signed representation agreement, the Realtor you're talking to represents the sellers of all the properties you visit, and not you. And, no, the Realtor can't just have an understanding that he represents you -- that is referred to as undisclosed dual agency, which can get a Realtor's license revoked. In the absence of a buyer agreement, the Realtor must be loyal to the seller.
So, why would you sign a buyer's representation agreement, especially if you have to pay them? Well, you don't have to pay them (normally). When a seller lists a house, he agrees with the listing agent (his agent) how much he will pay for a broker to bring a buyer. When your representative Realtor shows up with you, he already knows how much that seller is going to pay him -- he doesn't collect it from you, he is paid by the seller at closing.
I know signing things scares people, which is a good reason to spend some time looking with a Realtor and talking to them, before you decide to have them represent you. Some Realtors refuse to take you out unless you sign, but I personally want to know the buyer before I decide to take them on. So, we typically take buyers out to showings until we decide, and then we ask them to sign.
Can a Realtor represent both parties? No. Agents are supposed to be loyal to their clients and give them good advice. How can you advise someone about what to do, when you're also advising the other side? There is a situation where the listing broker is the broker of your Realtor, which we call Intermediary. This relationship happens occasionally. Whether the Realtor is your agent or the seller's agent, he can't deceive you or lie to you, but he does not have to act in your interest unless he represents you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008

In early stages of the home search process it is fairly normal to receive tons of information from several real estate professionals. You have probably visited several web sites, signed the lead generation forms, and have received several sets of listings. This is normal and as a Real estate professional I expect it.

Once I call you, and set up an appointment to show you a home/home, spend the time with you then I fully expect to represent you. I don’t normally use a buyer’s agreement, unless I feel the buyer might be flighty.
My obligation to you is to provide the best representation possible to meet your needs.

Yes we can represent both parties on a home. However, if you want to find one that just works for you, then find an agent other than the listing agent. Find one you can communicate with and work with and stick with him/her.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
Matthew, we are required to provide you with Information About Brokerage Services at first substantive conversation. This provides you the consumer with information about who and how a Realtor will be representing each party.
When working with a buyer I usually gather information, search homes meeting your criteria, and send them to you as a buyer. I also try to provide information regarding, lending, steps to home buying, and other information to help educate you as a buyer.
If you find from the research a home you wish to look at I set up an appointment for a first meeting.
I provide a copy of the Information About Brokerage Services at this time. If after this you feel I could represent you, I proceed to assist you. During a second meeting I will ask you to sign a buyers representation agreement allowing me to represent you in acquiring a property.

You can visit my or others web-sites and receive ton's of valuable information at no cost.

Thanks for posting this question, and I hope we have all assisted you. Good Luck..
Web Reference: http://www.bigdrelo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Thanks Mathew,

Appreciate your question, compliment and your ethics! Shows a lot about who you are as a person.

Everyone works differently; however, what's the same for all Realtors is that we only get paid when a home closes. My recommendation to you would be to look at the replies you like and that speak to you and contact those people for an interview. Talk to those agents and see who you "click" with, and then choose one. You've already got a feel for them online and you wouldn't have to start out cold by just calling a brokerage and asking for someone doing phone duty.

If you use more than one Realtor, you'll lose ground and re-start each time. It seems like you've been giving this some thought for a little while. As I remember your lease ends in December and you're interested in foreclosures or short sales. It would be really good for you to be able to close this year so that you can take advantage of the homestead exemption for next year. If you stop and start, it's possible that you could exceed that deadline and it could possibly cost you tax advantages.

For us in particular, for example, we put in hours of work in putting together information for you before we even meet with you. When we go over with you our plan for finding you your dream home, you'll better understand the time and expense that goes into doing so. Knowing how we get paid, it wouldn't make sense for a flock of us to work for a buyer. We are totally committed to you - getting you into the home of your dreams on your terms - and want to work for people who feel the same about us.

Terri Hayley
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Matthew, to get the very best service interview several buyers agents and then pick one and stick with them. The buyers I'm working with get my full attention, I call when properties go on the market that fit their criteria, I spend hours working with them to understand their needs.

As agents we only get paid when a property sells and we are either the listing agent or the buyers agent. When you have worked with someone and spent time and gas on them and potentially turned down other buyers that wanted that time as well it truly hurts when someone doesn't use your services for the sale.
Good luck finding a great agent and have a successful transaction!
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
I think when a buyer first starts searching they tend to go to several different agents. This is really counter productive to achieving your goal. Find an agent you feel you can trust and that understands your needs. The exclusive relationship between you and your agent should give you the best results. Be sure and ask your agent if they will represent you in the transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
No, it's not normal to use multiple realtors, unless we represent different areas. We value loyalty as much as the next guy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Pick one you trust and get along with. Buying a home can be a long process and you will probably spend a lot of time with each other..... Unless you are lucky enough to fall in love with a home the first day out. Choose someone that you can count on to be there when you need them and one who picks up their phone when you call. Good Luck with your house hunt!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 7, 2008
Actually I just read an earlier response and feel the need to clarify. USUALLY, the agent fees are paid by the seller. This is not always true. In the case of a FSBO, the agent fees will have to be negotiated. Also, there are times when the seller is not offering enough to cover your buyer's agent fees. Time for more negotiations. That's just one more reason you need a quality agent on your side.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Matthew, Great question. Here is some good advice. Hire Slow and Fire Fast. Meet with several agents and see if they are a right fit for you. Treat them with the same loyalty and respect you wantr for yourself. Agents do a lot more behind the scenes work than most buyers realize. Daily pre-viewing of homes, Searching and researching areas. Knowing the marketplace and the players in it. Creating and building relationships to benefit their clients.
Web Reference: http://www.Brettnoel.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008

I have to comment...

Driving around, looking at several properties that you are interested in...regardless of how many Realtors you use...is not a waste of your time. It will give you exposure to the properties that you have selected and also to the Realtor. There is no better way to get a feel for a Realtors capabilities than to actually see them in action...in the field.

As far as wasting a Realtors time...this is not about us...this is about you. This is about doing the things that we do to benefit you...not us. We are all committed to the Code of Ethics which says that it is our responsibility to put our customers/clients interest first and foremost.

Any Realtor that feels that working with a Buyer is a waste of time maybe has another agenda.

Just had to comment.

Alan Wynn
Like NO ONE Else!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Mathew, I too want to thank you for your compliment. The next thing I would like to point out is, you do NOT have to use different agents to see multiple properties. You can "interview" different agents without having several drive you around to look at just one or two properties each. THAT is a waste of not only the different agents time, but YOURS as well.
Why not call a couple of offices that are located in the area you are wanting, ask to come in and talk to an agent(usually the one that is on duty at the time your call comes in), see if you "click" and then UPPERMOST, at least give each agent the opportunity to win your trust and your business. TELL THEM right up front that you are looking for a Buyer's Rep., someone who is going to look out for YOUR interest.
Find one agent that you feel comfortable with and STICK WITH THEM! If you truly want a Buyer's Rep., then give the ONE you chose the opportunity to work FOR YOU!
Good Luck and if you ever think about buying around Wise or Denton County, give me a call, I would be HONORED to work for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008

First of all, thank you very much for your compliment. For those of us that spend time in answering questions, we certainly appreciate those kind words.

Real Estate is unlike any other business out there. For example, if you want to buy a Chevrolet, there are lots of dealers to choose from...all selling the same car. Same thing with a refrigerator or a DVD player or a toaster. With Real Estate, it's different because you have 7,000 agents in Dallas...all trying to sell you the SAME toaster. So how do you choose? Excellent question and a tough question.

One of the best ways is if a Realtor is referred to you by someone you know. Or, you can rely on a Realtor's past clients and their opinions or testimonials as to that Realtors attributes. You can review mine by clicking on this link...


If you have several properties you are interested in seeing, select a different Realtor for each one and ask them to make the appointment...meet them there and interview them. That's a good way to get to know a Realtor and how they work, how prepared they are and if you are comfortable with them.

The one thing to remember is that a Realtor is representing the Seller...not the Buyer...unless both parties enter into an agreement. These agreements...called Buyers Representation Agreements...are very flexible in what they can provide but will allow the Realtor to now represent the Buyers best interest. If you really want to use multiple Realtors, my suggestion is...after you have decided who they are...enter into a Buyers Rep Agreement with each one for a specific market area...each one being different. For example, one Realtor would work a certain geographic area, another a certain zip code, etc. Or you can specify that the agreement with that particular Realtor only covers homes that they show you so as not to conflict with homes that another Realtor might show you. Also, limit the agreemnt to a short period of time...say 30 days so that you are not locked in if you become disatisfied with that Realtors performance.

But in the end, you certainly should choose only one Realtor to work with. That way, you will have a 100% commitment from them to represent your best interests...both fudiciary and confidentiality.

All of a Realtors fees are paid by the Seller. So you as a Buyer are basically getting representation for one of the most important transactions in your life at no charge to you.

I hope this helps answer your question and will give you some options. As always, please feel free to call or email if I can help you in any way with your Real Estate decisions.

Alan Wynn
Like NO ONE Else!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
You can use as many realtor's as you like as long as you do not sign an exclusive agreement. Now some agents will not even take you out to show without an agreement. I generally do not ask for the agreement until you are ready to put in an offer. I stand on my service and commitment to my clients. I do not work in Texas but, I am sure you have some excellent agents in your area that feel the same way. You could always interview some agents and then decide on one.
Yes agents can represent both parties here in NC. They are then designated dual agents. At that point however we can not negotiate or advise you but, are simply paper pushers that pass the offers back and forth and then take care of all the paperwork until closing. I personally do not practice dual agency since I prefer to stay with one side of the transaction and service my clients. It is a personal choice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
It would not be favorable using multi realtors, many buyers don't understand all that is required and the hours vested working with a buyer, prior to even meeting a you for the 1st time. I appreciate your question concern for the realtors. Showing homes is the easy it is all the other times we as realtors invest on searching for specific homes, doing research and etc. that can be hourrrsss worth of work involved.

We do offer a Dallas home buyer rebate program save you $1000's, and I am a Dallas home mortgage loan officer, Dallas real estate agent

There are also some GREAT Dallas home foreclosures I have seen on the market move in quality below market value.

Contact my office if we can assist you
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
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