I'm a buyer working with an agent. By coincidence, I asked to see one of his listings, he only then took

Asked by Jeff, Georgia Sat May 17, 2008

me into the home. I need reliable reports on comps, sales history, time on market, etc. I understand he is representing the seller on this property. I may make an offer, but need an unbiased advisor with MLS data access on this property. Advice?

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Brett Noel, , Los Angeles County, CA
Sun May 18, 2008
Most agents will treat yoy fairly as a dual agent. Most agents are professionals. However, food for thought. Lets says its a divorce hearing. Would you use your Ex's attorney to represent you as well? Thats why I always told my sellers to never tell me their bottom line.
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Chad, , Tacoma, WA
Sat May 17, 2008
I buy a lot of properties and I do use a dual agency to my benefit quite frequently. When an agent is getting both sides sometimes he will work a bit harder to close your deal. So you may have more wiggle room than you think.
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David - Appr…, , Maricopa, AZ
Sat May 17, 2008
For an unbiased opinion of value and purchase price you need to contact an appraiser. Even if you get your own buyer's agent to represent you in the transaction, they also have a vested interest in the outcome. Appraiser do no have any vested interests. You would not necessarily need to order an appraisal since your lender (if you are financing) will order a full appraisal after a sales contract is signed, but an appraiser can provide a consulting assignment with sufficient data (comps, sales history, days on market, prior listings, market conditions and trends, correct and proper adjustments for differences, time adjustments, etc.) for you to determine a fair offer price. If you choose to work with the listing agent in a duel agent capacity, it would also be wise to have any contracts reviewed by a real estate attorney prior to signing.
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Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Sat May 17, 2008
I agree with Jeffrey. In NC in this situation they must have you sign a dual agency addendum and if you still want them to represent you they have to become a designated dual agent. Now I personally do not do that. If the situation arises I refer out the buyer. Now if you decide to keep the agent they can no longer negotiate for you or the seller. They have prior financial knowledge and information on both parties. They are reduced to a paper handler. So you really need to get a buyer agent and then have someone 100% on your side.
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Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat May 17, 2008

In many states, for the agent in your situation to continue talking with you, they need to advise you they are representing the seller, and hence, since they are no longer representing you, you should go get your own agent. Or, they need to ask for your written approval for them to act as a dual agent (a.k.a. intermediary), where they will facilitate the transaction between you and the seller, but they are not providing representation of either party over the other.

Personally, I would run away from a dual agency situation as fast as I could and still find another agent to represent me. It's the only way you can provide the highest assurance that you are getting a fair shake. Your agent may not like it, but they know it's your choice.

Good luck,

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