How Should a buyer choose an agent ?

Asked by Ramona, San Mateo, CA Fri Jan 25, 2008

Suppose a house is listed by an agent who belongs to firm A. Should I choose an agent from company B? Or will be advantageous if I go with an agent from company A? I know in an ideal world, it should not matter. But what happens in the real world? In a seller's market? and in a buyer's market?
Thank You.

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Joanna Schmi…, , Tallahassee, FL
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Your first place to look is to get referrals from any friends, family, collegues, etc.
Secondly, it should be someone you like, trust and think will work hard for you..
Good Luck! Joanna Schmidtchen
3 votes
CJ Brasiel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Ramona -

Even though California is a dual agent state, I agree with Brenda it is best to have your own agent representing your best interest. If the deal is straight forward, there could be some advantages of using one agent. It my opinion, more often than not, the deal is not straight forward, the seller wins on any reduced commission (and the listing agent) and not the buyer.

Whether or not it is a buyer's market or a seller's market, there always potential challenges to every contract. Ideally, you will have a solid Realtor working for your best interest and they will not only help you find the right home, but guide you on the best offer, and work the transaction with the least amount of stress to you.

I know there are many on the forum that have a great deal of experience in real estate and do not use agents but I have seen people that are not experienced (and even some that are) not get the best deal and suffer through a tough transaction on a property. Having a professional Realtor greatly reduces that chance.

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3 votes
Shonda Campa…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Wed May 28, 2008
The other agents are correct. You need a single agency! If you enter into a single agency relationship, the broker or brokerage firm (and all the brokers and salesperson's employeed by that firm) becomes your agent. A single agent owes you the following
*Dealing honestly and fairly
*Accounting for all funds
*timely presentation of all real estate offers
*skill,care,and dilligence in the transaction
*disclosing all relevant information reguarding the condiction of the residential property

If you enter into a transaction brokerage relationship, the broker or brokerage firm (and all the brokers and salesperson's employeed by that firm):
*DOES NOT represent you as your own agent
*Owes you only LIMITED confidentiality
*Provides you with a Limited form of representation
*Owes you fewer duties than a single agent

At Prudential Network Realty, We are unique in the fact that we are one of the few companies in Jacksonville that offer Single Agency. I hope this helps you out. Give me a call. I would love to assist you.

Shonda Sauls, REALTOR®
Prudential Network Realty
(904)260-4300 #625
2 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Hi again Ramona!
Aren't you just a busy little beaver? lol.....kudo's to you for researching this very important topic.

Aside from all of the other comments here, which I agree with, let me add one more to the mix for you to think about.

There is a new way of doing real estate that doesn't have anything to do with a buyers agent, sellers agent or where you is called a real estate consultant.

You might want to check this out before making your decision.

For more information, you can either email me (I do not work in CA, so unbiased opinion) or you can check out this site:

Either way, I congratulate you on taking the time to research your options!
Knowledge is Power!
2 votes
Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Hello Ramona,

I agree with the previous answer. It is better for you to be in a Single Agent Representation (S.A.) than a Transaction Broker (TB). Even though, you may be using the same Brokerage company, your agent is still in a limited representation situation. In S.A. representation, the 2 main duties that differ are Loyalty and Confidentiality.

In TB there is no loyalty and limited confidentiality. You want someone that is going to get you the best price possible and conditions without compromising the contract. Ask a lot of questions and find someone who is compatibe with you.

A good Realtor can become a long life friend after you have purchased your home. Find someone with a servant's heart.
Web Reference:
2 votes
Damion Boyce,…, Agent, Lakeland, FL
Fri Jan 25, 2008

In the real world it is going to be difficult to find the best agent. I would suggest that you ask those you trust for a referral. Try to get three names and then meet with them and ask about their experience. There is a big difference between agents. You may want to hire the agent who wll take the time to help you make the right decision. Also, if you pick the right person, please be loyal to them. If you feel you have not made the right decision, then definitely pursue a different agent. I do believe referrals from friends will be the best place to start (not necessarily company A or B). Good luck to you!
2 votes
Jim Darling, , Green Cove Springs, FL
Sun Feb 17, 2008
Finding a good agent is just one piece to the puzzle. You could find a great agent but your personalities may clash and your communication between each other may not be a good mix. There are all types of agents out there. Ones that will guide you through every step and on the other spectrum you may have an agent that only wants to talk with you when they have information for you. Yes you do need to interview with agents to find the one that best fits your personality. Also, do not underestimate a new agent. What they do lack in experience, they make up in hunger to be a great agent and bend over backwards to do the best for you.
1 vote
Brenda Newman, , Franklin, TN
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Regardless, you should have your own representation. If the firm is reputable, and you don't have your own agent, ask the listing agent to recommend someone in his/her company to represent you. Better yet, ask around and get some referrals from family/friends/co-workers who have had positive experiences with their realtors.

Keep in mind that the seller's agent is looking out for the best interest of the seller....not you. You have the right to be looked out for exclusively, and it shouldn't cost you anything extra to have your own representation!
1 vote
Parvesh Salu…, Agent, Fleming Island, FL
Fri May 16, 2008
Just make it simple and call me so I can help you. I can be reached at 904-504-8162 or visit me @
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0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Great question!
Ask around.....then interview several potential agents. The interview should focus on how they plan to sell your home. They should be able to articulate their "marketing plan" clearly. Key factors are: web presence, advertising budget, how do they promote themselves, where does the company they work for advertise, what was their total sales amount last year, why should you choose them to sell your home, what is their plan for selling your home, how will they keep you informed, do they do open houses, how many listings do they have etc. etc.

A large "Web Presence" is absolutely imparative in today's market. They should be able to explain the benefit of using multiple search engines, website optimization, and certainly share their site with you.

Hope this is helpful.
Good luck,

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
0 votes
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