Is it OK to have two agents at a time before finalizing on a home. I know its not ethical ..etc but i am sure its not illegal ..right ?

Asked by chanak, Santa Clara, CA Tue Sep 29, 2009

I am sure you can do whatever in this country as long as its not illegal. If i get two or three agents in parallel who cover different areas i can chose one of them for my final offer based on how they perform

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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Sep 30, 2009
As long as you have not signed an agreement to use an exclusive agent you can use as many agents as you choose.

Many buyers that have a broad target area will try to identify agents that are specialists within different sectors of the market to take advantage of their expertise.

We recommend that when doing this you make these agents aware of this approach as well as the locations they are responsible for....
2 votes
Carol McAlis…, Agent, Nashville, TN
Wed Sep 30, 2009
You are agent shopping and need to find one that you are comfortable with. I will not work with buyers unless they have signed a buyers agreement and work with me solely. If they feel they need another agent, then i have not done my job.
1 vote
Eric Voorheis, , Santa Clara, CA
Wed Sep 30, 2009

I wrote this response after a potential client said to me I want to work with a bunch of agents to find my home.

If you feel you want to work with a bunch of agents I'm sure you can find some. My goal is to help my clients find the best property they can afford, with the best term and conditions. In addition, I want a client for life, not just one transaction. I want to build a relationship with my clients so I can sell them many homes over the years as their need changes. This means building a business relationship based on honesty, trust and commitment.

Buying a home is most likely the biggest purchases you will ever make, and yet most people don’t think much of finding a knowledgeable agent that will guide them through the complicated process of contracts, legal obstacles, inspections, and other issues that may arise.

In your current job, how would you feel if I hired you and 2 other people to do a job, a job that you wanted and could do well; however, the terms are: that you will commit your time and energy and work for Free on the project. Then, at the end of say 3 months, only one of you is going to get paid! Would you take the job? How committed would you be to that employer?

Eric Voorheis
Century21 Alpha
1700 Winchester Avenue, Suite 102
Campbell, CA 95008
408-493-4580 e-fax
DRE# 01820585
1 vote
Sara Nickels, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Sep 30, 2009

To some degree, I understand that you may want to 'test drive' before you committ. However, you should know after spending a few hours with an agent if they are going to meet your needs.

Know that if you signed a buyers broker agreement with an agent, you will be obligated to pay a commission to that agent should you purchase a home. There is a difference between an 'agency agreement' and a 'buyers broker agreement'.

Chanak, a good agent will work extremely hard for a client, putting in long hours. I encourage you to act ethically and treat others as you would want to be treated....something my Mother taught me.

If 'different areas' mean completely differerent areas - like 20-30 miles away from each other - then that is a different story. I would encourage you to be forthright with each agent if this is the case.

Good Luck!
1 vote
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Wed Dec 2, 2009
It is possible you will find that no one agent would want or be able to work with you completely. Your area of search is physically to broad. As an example, if you said I want to find a house around memphis tn, washington dc, or charleston wv no one realtor can help you.

But if you are looking with 1/2 hour or so of the same city in all directions one realtor should be able to help you. It really makes no sense to use more than one realtor in a general area. Choose a good one and stick with them. Yes, be sure you find one you like and trust who behaves in ways you both expect and accept.

By using just one per area you are more likely to find something that fits you.
"agents in parallel who cover different areas" makes sense IF you are truly in different areas, but not if only a couple of towns apart.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Dec 2, 2009
Chanak, did you get your house yet?

In addition to the many fine answers below consider that the agents on the open house often work other areas as well, if they see you with one agent, then with a different agent, your creditability at time of offer is going to be compromised.

Also, as you work with one agent you are sharing your wants and needs with that agent, then reinventing the wheel, repeating yourself to the next agent, and often times not repeating yourself so the agent is unaware of something that is very important to you because you thought you told them but it was the other agent.

We have learned in our business that what is Ethical is not always Legal and visa versa. The best practice for all human beings is to be honest and ethical with one another. It results in a much better outcome.

Once you are determined and committed to your agent they should give you the same back. After all, most agents have the same information at their disposal, what sets them apart is there knowledge and skill. Find that and you should have a favorable outcome.
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0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Nov 16, 2009
Buyers are not bound by a code of ethics the way Realtors(r) are; nobody's going to come after you for this!
You, as an honest person of high integrity, however, have an obligation to inform each agent that you're working with another agent in another area, because they are expending effort on your behalf on the assumption that you will be buying a home from them.

It is necessary to clarify that assumption, so that they understand that you will only be buying a home from them if you don't buy in another area first.
0 votes
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Sun Nov 15, 2009
I was taught very early on, if it is unethical, do not even try have the slightest evil thought.
Most realtors network with many others and they know whom they want to represent.
0 votes
James Peters…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Nov 12, 2009
Buying a home is a very emotional decision, and involves a great amout of time and effort on the behalf of Buyer and Agent. The best Realtor-Client relationships are built from trust and respect. The speed of communication is excellerated and the trust of all your financial information is seamless when you have this trusting relationship. How can you have this trust and respect from your agent when you are not exclusively using him/her? It is understandable if you are looking in Dublin area vs. Santa Clara County vs. San Francisco for exp. You want an expert in that area helping you.

I realize you are probably information gathering right now but you will soon realize you want an agent on your team that can effectively communicate with you and work with your schedule. This way you don't have to call 3 agents to find out this or that and try to schedule showings on three different days and so on and so forth.

I know this is a different age, the information age, which de-personalizes just about everything, yet you still need to physically see these homes you want to look at and get advice from your agent about the best ways to write the offer, get inspections, etc.

If you are looking in SCC and you communicate to both agents the areas you are looking at, your price range, and other specifics, 99% of the properties you see from the agents with be the same. The determining factor should be whether or not you want to work with that agent. So, interview them and hire the one that meets or exceeds your expectations!

"I turn your first-time home dreams into reality!"
James Peterson..........................................................Phn: 408.836.9653
Keller Williams SV .......................................................Fax: 408.540.1781
2110 S. Bascom
Campbell, CA 95008........................
0 votes
Mark Burns, , Cupertino, CA
Thu Oct 1, 2009
You should pick an area (or areas) and choose one agent. If you are talking about one agent for Campbell, one for Santa Clara, one for Sunnyvale, that's what you should do. If you are talking one agent for Fremont, one for Orinda, and one for Salinas, then you need to figure out where you really want to live and not waste the time of the two other agents in the other areas.

If it was me and one or two other agents and we all knew about each other; I wouldn't expect any one of us to give you top priority for service, showing, etc. You'll be put on the bottom of the pile and miss some good deals while the agents give their best effort to the their buyers who have committed to just using them and have pledged their loyalty.

I'd probably have you sign a buyer-broker agreement if I thought you were running around with other agents. I normally don't use them in my practice but here is an example where it would protect the time, energy, and effort I put in to find, show, and sell you the right home.

Agents are generally smart and good at reading people. If I had an idea a buyer was playing this game with me, I'd have them move on to someone else. They'll find a house, someday, but things will likely not work out as well. They'll get an inferior agent doing an inferior job for them. Which is what they were asking for in the first place.

Mark Burns, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Elite - Top 2% Worldwide
President - PRDS, Contracts and Forms for Silicon Valley Residential Real Estate 2008, 2009
Chair - Region 9, California Assocation of Realtors 2009
President - Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, 2007
DRE #00896552 licensed since 1985
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0 votes
Paul Gaddes, Agent, Franklin, TN
Wed Sep 30, 2009
What would govern would be the applicable law in CA...while it might be "legal" you might well find yourself liable for a commission payable to 2 agents (not a split, but two commissions)...Most firms would have a policy regarding this and it might well disallow their agents to enter into this type of agreement. If any of your group of agents did not require an agency agreement (in writing) then you might be able to try your technique...but, I ask, would you undergo three different surgeries, to see how the surgeons performed before making a final choice...My suggestion is that you do your due diligence with interviews and reference checks then enter into an agreement with a single agent who clearly understands your goal(s)
0 votes
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