Is it possible to schedule/attend a showing without hiring a real estate agent myself?

Asked by ogarza84, New York, NY Wed Jun 19, 2013

I am in the very preliminary stages of buying. I am just starting to look around (mainly online), but not sure I'm ready to buy yet. There have been a few homes that I would've like to have seen from the inside because of the limited info available online. Will selling agents be willing to show to someone who hasn't yet hired an agent?

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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Jun 20, 2013
Hi, They would be more then happy to show you the homes. What you need to understand is they represent the sellers best interest, always. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a negotiation. There is no possible way to represent a buyer and seller in a transaction and truly have both parties best interest in mind. You may find an agent that will seem to have both parties best interest in mind in order to receive both sides of the commission....

Christopher Pagli
Accredited Buyer Representative
Licensed Associate Broker
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jun 20, 2013
Are you kidding.....they'll jump out of there shoes at the opportunity! Why? Because if you decide to buy and go to contract with them, their commission would likely double.

Take caution.....taking this avenue will likely place you in a situation of being served by an individual that is attempting to serve two masters.....the seller and the new buyer. Now, where do you think their loyalty will rest? The problem with these relationships is there is too high a degree of possibility for a "conflict of interest".....even when they DON'T exist.

All buyer's should have their own representation.....this may mean being up front with your representation, telling them that you are not an immediate buyer but one that is worthy of receiving services.

Hope this is helpful.

1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Fri Aug 22, 2014
You are free to "look at Open Houses" in most areas, however, some will not allow an unaccompanied buyer into their homes and there is a good reason for that.

The Buyer Agent who works with you will know quite a bit about you, and that knowledge eases the concern about " who exactly is coming into our home". You can understand if you think about how you would feel, if unqualified people were coming though your place all day long. It's a safety issue for many homeowners.
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Sharon Felton, Agent, Nashville, TN
Thu Aug 21, 2014
You'll need a Buyer's Agent to help you through the (occasionally complicated) process of buying your home. But it's certainly fair game to ask the seller if he/she has any open houses scheduled for the property that appeals to you. Go driving around on a Sunday afternoon and visit a LOT of open houses -- no commitment at all in those cases, and you might even get a few cookies. But when you find a home that REALLY appeals to you, you'd best be calling a Realtor!
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richard.chaf…, , Buffalo Grove, IL
Thu Feb 20, 2014
At Chase, we can offer a full underwriting approval, not just a pre-approval, before you shop.
We call it our Chase Home Buyer Advantage.
With this program you can make a strong offer, and we can move much quicker when you find the right home.
Feel free to email me with any questions, I can also recommend a great realtor in your area to help you.
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m.clerc, Home Buyer, Arlington Heights, IL
Wed Sep 4, 2013
How soon after a short sale can I buy a house or condo? and what if I don't have 20% down payment?. It has been 2 years since our short sale.. We don't have any late payments on our credit and buying is cheaper then renting in Chicago North West Suburbs.. Are there any financing companies who would be interested to work with us.. ?

Thank you for your comments
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John Walin, Agent, Libertyville, IL
Tue Aug 13, 2013
In IL we have presumed buyer agency with the exception of dual agency with written disclosures about what you give up when allowing the seller listing agent to "represent" you in sale of their listing. Find an agent you like and trust and let them help you narrow the search. No money out of your pocket and you get full agency representation. Do your own thing now, but realize that trulia keeps the under contract homes on line until they close. plus lag time for new listings.
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Ben Johnston, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Roseville, CA
Wed Jul 17, 2013
The short answer is "YES"
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Martin Foster, Agent, Hoffman Estates, IL
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Hi Ogarza84.

I would recommend meeting with a few different agents before you look at homes. If you aren't quite ready, an agent can work with you and guide you on the process.

Some of the things i do on buyer consultations are learning your preferences, educating you on the local market & the different types of transactions, we can also get you set up with a mortgage professional so you can learn your financing options and what is best for you.

I would love to meet with you at my office. I'm a local real estate agent. Let me know when you are available to meet and chat... I can be reached on my cell 630-429-4486 any time of the day, even weekends!

Talk to you soon. :)
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Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Tue Jun 25, 2013

You need representation by an agent. Either the listing agent or a selling agent. Not sure why you don't want your own agent but be advised that normally you do not pay anything to have an agent represent you unless you contract with them. The selling agent is normally paid from the listing agency. Interview a few agents in your area and work with one to help you today.
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Sue Wiskowsk…, Agent, Aurora, IL
Thu Jun 20, 2013
Yes, you can contact the listing agent for a showing. In Illinois you then have a "dual agent" meaning the listing agent represents you both but must adhere to certain requirements regarding disclosure of confidential information and your right to privacy of that information.....meaning that the agent cannot disclose certain information to each of you that you consider critical to your negotiations. The activity is a bit tricky........but after all, the Seller hired the agent to sell his property and the best way to do that is to find a buyer! I've handled numerous situations such as that with success and satisfaction for both parties.
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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Jun 20, 2013
Many real estate professionals, when they are hired by home owners to help in the sale of their house, make a commitment to the owner that only REAL QUALIFED BUYERS will enter their home. These agents assure the home owner their home will not be placed on the entertainment circuit of the curious and those who feel the need to spend time.
The agent you call, (the listing agent) will vet you to assure you are not a time waster, are serious and qualified. They wil lneed to determine if you are financally qualified to buy a home. They will asssess if THIS home is within your abiility to purchase. They will determine if you are a real buyer or just a tire kicker ("I'm not ready to buy now but do want to look around and see what's out there.")
When dealing with agents of integrity, you must accept the fact you will be required to go through the vetting process with every home you want to see. Or, you can do it just one time and hire a real
estate professional who can find and will be authorized to show you exactly what you want......if you know what you want.
As 'buyinchicago' suggested, some listing agents simply are not interested in vetting a buyer.
It is your decision to make. As you may realize there is an easy way or a way of difficulty and frustration. It's your choice to make.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
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Andrew Malak, Agent, Palatine, IL
Thu Jun 20, 2013
Yes. You can contact the listing agent and he will show it for you. Some listing agents don't want to work with buyers as it is more time consuming. Some listing agents will want to get a referral fee from you agent in case you like the house and hire somebody else to represent you. In that case depending on cost of the house, another agent might not want to represent you as he will have to share 1/4 of his commission with the other agent.
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Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Wed Jun 19, 2013
The question is - why haven't you hired an agent yet. You are not responsible for any commission or fees for your agent, yet you get their expertise, time and effort.

If you call the listing agent to show and then hire another agent - problem! Your agent will not be able to get a commission. Plus, if you are calling the listing agent - who do you think their loyalties go to? Not you, the seller. And if you think you can get a discount is you don't use an agent - WRONG - the listing agent will take both sides of the coin. So you don't benefit either way.

Look at some profiles of agents who work in the areas you are interested in. Trulia is a great way to do this. Call a couple and talk to them on the phone and ask them some questions about buying. Whoever seems like they will give you the best knowledge and service, go out and look at a home or two with them. Then, if you like them, go forward with them exclusively and reward their time and efforts with loyalty.
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Jim Holder, Agent, Rolling Meadows, IL
Wed Jun 19, 2013
Great question, and one that many first home buyers wonder about as they are not sure how to go about looking for and then buying a home. Here is my suggestion: Interview a few agents and ask them how they can help you. Look at the homes you want to see with an agent of your choice. You could work with the agent exclusively or non-exclusively, but I'm sure you'll learn soon enough that working with one agent who demonstrated the experience and skill and whom you trust will be the best option. You'll also find that you won't be charged anything (that's right "0") as most buyer agents get compensated by the seller's agent out of the commission that is charged the seller.

Learn the process first. Looking at homes to find one is easy, but buying one is not so easy. Many expensive mistakes can be made in buying a home, and that is why an experienced agent is worth thousands. Ask someone you know who has purchased at least a few homes for a recommendation of a competent real estate agent.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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Geoff Ommen, Agent, Barrington, IL
Wed Jun 19, 2013
That is a 50/50 proposition. Agents don't get paid unless a transaction closes. If you are in the preliminary stages without an agent and without a pre-approval then they are not going to be overly helpful showing a property. There are also rules about agency (who the agent represents) that may make it more difficult.

You still can request listing agent to show you a property, or you can call any agent to have them get you in and out of multiple properties. The benefit of using an agent to help find and purchase is two fold. 1) They help you understand what the positives and negatives of properties may be and 2) they help you determine the price the home is actually worth. They will also help you determine the proper steps for purchasing a home.

There is no cost to you to have an agent. The seller is the one that pays the commission, and they have earmarked the money already. If you are nervous about working with someone you have not met, then talk to a couple to see who can work with you the best. Go out with them for 1 day and see how it goes. If it is not a match, try another one.

Geoff Ommen
Broker Baird & Warner
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Kathy Diegel, Agent, Elgin, IL
Wed Jun 19, 2013
You can absolutely call the listing agent for the property directly to schedule a showing, however most buyers use an agent of their own for showings that way they'll get an unbiased opinion during the showing rather than only what's great about the house which is what the listing agent tends to focus on to get the sale.

You don't have to be ready to buy to start talking to a buyers agent. We know it's a long process and you won't be ready to buy right out of the gate ; )

Kathy Diegel
Coldwell Banker Residential
Call or Text 847-707-8907
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Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Jun 19, 2013
Since sellers generally pay for your agent's fee, you don't hire an agent. You just elect to work with one to represent you. With showings, you would need to work with an agent due to possible liability involved when entering somebody's home.
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