As a buyer, do you think it's better to contact the listing agent directly if you are interested in a property?

Asked by Margaret Bzdewka, Garden City, NY Wed Oct 16, 2013

Or do you have an agent you are working with do it for you?

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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
The listing agent represents the sellers best interest, always. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a negotiation. Many seem to think that if they contact the listing agent they will get inside info and a better deal. Although, some may go against their fiduciary duty to the seller because they want to put together a deal. Keep in mind, there is no way to properly represent two opposing parties in a transaction and honestly have both parties best interest in mind.

Christopher Pagli
Accredited Buyer Representative
Licensed Associate Broker
William Raveis Legends Realty
1 vote
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
The listing agent is representing the seller. The listing agent cannot represent you in the same manner.

You should interview Realtors and find someone you feel you can work well with who will represent your interests.

By all means, utilize your own realtor.
2 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Oct 17, 2013
Only if you aren't interested in having someone look out for your best interest and wish to reward them by allowing them to keep all the commission while they through you and the Seller under the bus.

No one should permit one agent to handle both sides of a transaction. Would you allow a lawyer to represent both sides in a legal dispute. Let's be honest, when you sign a listing agreement or a Buyer broker's agreement the agent/broker has a fiduciary responsibility to do what is in you (their clients) best interest. Now if on no other point than price (and trust me there's always other points) Buyers and Sellers have diametrically opposed positions. Despite what any agent may say trying to honor your fiduciary responsibility to bot clients presents a clear conflict of interest. Every State has caved in to the successful lobbying efforts of the big national real estate firms who wanted an end run around buyer brokering when it was first introduced roughly 20 years ago and every state real estate commission should discontinue allowing this practice, though I doubt any will.

I've attached a link below on how to find a great buyer broker regardless of where you live and are buying and I encourage you to read it and hope you'll find it helpful.

Best of luck and Happy House Hunting.
1 vote
Thomas J. R…, Agent, Bethpage, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
Absolutely not. The listing agent represents the seller and not you. You need a broker representing you in the transaction.
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Oct 16, 2013
I'm confused, this question appears to be from a consumer, but is actually from an agent. Hypothetical question? If so, not really a question for this forum. Something like that is better addressed in the blog forum.
1 vote
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
Get yourself a buyers agent to be your advocate(ABR = Accredited Buyer Representative).
1 vote
CamilleD, Agent, Wantagh, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
Hi Margaret,

As a buyer in today's market I think you should work with a Buyer's Agent when purchasing
a home. They will have your best interests in mind.

The listing agent has the seller's best interest and will not look for negative things about a

property and bring them to your attention or make you aware of them. For example the school

district where the property is located.

Also they might not price the house correctly.

Camille Dandola
Buyer's Agent
Joseph Anthony & AssocIates
1 vote
Ira Freireich, Agent, Malverne, NY
Sun Nov 10, 2013
The listing agent owes his/her client 100% loyalty. If you ask them a question, the answer should be what the seller wants you to hear. As a buyer, is that what you want?
That may also be the case if the agent you are working with is also working as a seller's agent.
Agents are supposed to identify who they are working with "at first substantive contact" with the consumer. The form is the Agency Disclosure Form. As a buyer this is a very important document that you should save.
Is your agent working for you? Have they checked the boxes stating that they are "acting in the interest of the" "Buyer as a" "Buyer's agent"? If not, they are stating, up front, that they are not acting in your best interest.
There are agents that only represent buyers, Exclusive Buyer Agents.
0 votes
Linda Grey, Agent, Port Orange, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
I am always surprised with the questions a Realtor can come up with on this site which is open to the public. How does this question look to a potential buyer? As a buyer I would NOT select you because you have to ask this question and you know that Realtors also buyer property.
0 votes
Linda, great point, I did not notice that
Flag Sun Nov 10, 2013
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Wed Oct 16, 2013
If you are taking someone to court, would you call their lawyer for advise?
0 votes
Elaine Patte…, Agent, Massapequa Park, NY
Wed Oct 16, 2013
Hi Margaret,

I have come across this question often in my 20+ years of Real Estate experience. While the Listing agent is hired by the seller to represent them, they are the one that knows the house best and are able to answer most all your questions about the schools and community.

However, a Buyer's agent does work for the buyer and his best intererests. What does that mean?Todays real estate market has become so volatile, because our inventory is so low thus dramatically reducing the number of days a home is on the market. Therefore buyers, like yourself feel if they reach out to the listing agent they will be one step ahead of their competition.

Typically, if the agent working with you is experienced, full time and knows the community that you are seeking to live in well, it shouldn't matter. The key is you need to commit yourself to that person. You need a qualified hardworking individual that is on top of his/her inventory so they can get you in asap.

I am a qualified, Certified Buyer's agent. If I am the listing agent, then I operate as a designated Dual Agent. This year I have sold 50% of my own listings. And I have completed over 25 transactions in 2013 to date. I am available when you are ready to make a decision.
Best of Luck! Elaine Patterson, Lic Assoc Broker 516-343-9133
0 votes
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