Realtor Protocol Question

Asked by BB, Los Angeles, CA Tue Mar 10, 2009

I just started my first home-buying search a couple of weeks ago and have a (stupid) question about realtors and using them to view a house: We do have a realtor, but she's pretty busy and I'm sure couldn't possibly show us all the properties we want to see. Can I contact a listing agent and have him/her show me the property directly? And if I like it and want to put in an offer, can my usual realtor write that up and submit for me? Or is my usual realtor supposed to book ALL my viewings and show me them personally? Thanks!

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15
BB, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 10, 2009
Thank you to everyone for answering--this helps a lot. From now on I will forward the places I want to see to my realtor, so she can set up the appointment. This sounds fair to me.
4 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Thu Sep 6, 2012
Yes, this is the job of your Realtor. She should not be too busy for you also, she may have eliminated some of the properties you might be interested in because she has seen the property before or knows it doesn't meet your criteria.

Good luck and congratulations on making a wonderful decision to buy Real Estate!
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
310-923-2334
http://www.HeatherPaulOnline.com
1 vote
Reid Kaplan, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
In response to other comments, obviously it is a good idea and much better service for a buyer's agent to accompany their buyer client to all showings, however a listing agent who insists on excluding the buyer's agent from representing the buyer because he/she came to the property on their own is not acting ethically or in the fiduciary best interests of their client.

It is the listing agent's job to find a buyer who can complete the transaction and claiming procuring cause based on this technicality not only jeopardizes your deal, it can also ruin your reputation in the community. We all agree a buyer is better served by an agent willing to accompany them on all showings, whether a buyer requires that is their choice and their loyalty to their agent should not be questioned. This is a gray area, but a listing agent's short term and long term success depends on doing the right thing and this means being flexible in this type of situation. However, since not all agents fall into this category, that is another reason to go through your agent when possible.
1 vote
David Akram , Agent, Granada Hills, CA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
You agent needs to represent you in showing all the properties. If you contact the listing agent w/o representation from your agent - then you agent will lose the right to the commission for the sale.
Hope this answers your question.

Thanks much.
David
Web Reference:  http://www.DavidNewHome.com
1 vote
Myra Gouger, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Fri Dec 24, 2010
Your realtor is supposed to show you ALL the homes you want to view. Please don't worry about how busy she is. She will make the time to help you view the properties.
1 vote
Reid Kaplan, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Dec 24, 2010
BB,
Your loyalty and understanding of your agent's schedule is very respectable. However, if your agent is too busy to set up all showings and accompany you then maybe they are also too busy to give the best possible representation. If you don't mind doing this yourself, there is not a protocol issue as long as you clear with the listing agent from the beginning that you are already represented. This is not something I would have a problem with as a listing agent, nor would I try to "steal" you as a client if I knew this was the case.

Personally, I would want to walk through all properties with you to make sure I don't see any red flags, give my opinion on pricing, and to get feedback. If you are comfortable with your agent and willing to do this on your own and they are willing to walk through the property once you think you have identified "the one" then I don't see a problem with this arrangement, but be careful.
Web Reference:  http://www.LAHomesExpert.com
1 vote
Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Sat Dec 4, 2010
You have a Realtor who is already working for you. Contacting the Listing Realtor takes your Realtor out of the picture. Talk to your Realtor about your concerns that she is too busy to show you homes. If she cannot take you to see homes, she should have someone to back her up when & if you have needs she cannot meet. Don't walk away from your Realtor without having that heart to heart talk.
1 vote
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Tue Mar 10, 2009
Look at all these great Keller Williams agents giving you such great advice. Keller Williams agents are really awesome agents! You all gave excellent advice. That is why I work with such a great company, the values and their beliefs.

Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
951-204-1864
http://www.calljoan4homes.com
1 vote
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Tue Mar 10, 2009
Well, to be honest, if I were your agent, I would really want to show you all the homes. You really are wasting the listing agents time only because they are not writing up the offer for you and yet you are taking their time to show you the property. I don't think that is really fair to them when your agent should be doing this for you. Your agent should show you all the homes you are interested in.

I understand your frustration that it seems your agent is too busy for you. However, she should be out there taking her time and showing you each house to earn her commission. If she is too busy, maybe she is not the realtor for you? You need someone to fully represent you.

If you did have the listing agent show you a home that you must see right away, I would be completely honest with him/her and tell them you are working with an agent and if they are not too busy, maybe they could just show you the house. Make it clear that they won't be writing up the offer for you. I would let that listing agent make the call. Most of them will say your agent should really show you because in order for him/her to fully write up the offer correctly for you, first they should see the condition of it. Maybe there are some things you would not see and remember to tell your agent.

I actually had an agent do this to me before. His clients called me to view the home, I went out of my way to show them and they loved the house. He sent me an offer that night. He never saw the property. This is not a good practice to get into, but some agents do it. There were things missing in the house that he could have asked for, but did not since he was not there. The roof needed work of which he did not know as he did not come out, so he did not put it in the offer to have a roof inspection or certification done. It was in an HOA and he did not even know this as he did not pull up the MLS print out. It was in a high wind area and none of them had a clue as they were about an hour away from this home. So, long story short, if he/she had been there from the beginning maybe they could have talked about all of that before making the offer.

My best advice to you is this, make your agent show you all the homes. He/she is working for you and should be available to help you. I would not ask the listing agent to show me unless I fully disclosed that I was working with another agent and could they show me the house. They will probably ask you why your agent cannot show you as well!

Good luck,

Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
951-204-1864
http://www.calljoan4homes.com
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Dear BB,

Hi There! Working with buyer is very time consuming and it often takes months to find the right property. IF your agent is very busy, I would think your agent wouldn't mind if you visit any open houses and just take her card along with you to let the listing agent know that you are committed (by buyer contract) to another agent .
As far as setting up appointments with the listing agent that is something your Buyer Agent should do for you. This way there is no confusion as to "who's" client you are. Just email or call your Agent with the listings you want to see. It has been my experience that :"consumer" sites are not all that accurate . . Many listings found for me by my buyers were already sold, removed from the market and/ or never listed in the first place!.

So it's best to go with a professional who has the right tools to help you.

In my business practice I work under contract with all my buyers. This way there is no confusion and no hurt feelings .
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Fri Dec 24, 2010
The listing agent's job is to find a buyer and sometimes that includes showing the property to a buyer who has a real estate agent who is unavailable. If that's the case, the buyer's agent should be the one who contacts the listing agent to ask for a courtesy showing. The buyer should not be placed in the position of asking the listing agent to show a property because the buyer's own agent is unavailable. You, as the buyer, should not assume that your agent is too busy to show you a house. That's his/her job. Like I said, there are legitimate circumstances that would justify asking a listing agent to show property to a represented buyer. I have done it when it was important for the potential buyer to be able to see the property because we had a time issue (i.e., we were going to consider all offers before the buyer's agent could show the property herself). If a buyer's agent called me and explained the situation to me, I would not hesitate to show my listing to his/her client, but if the buyer calls, I am more reluctant. It somehow feels like the buyer's agent can't even be bothered to pick up the phone to give me a call to arrange for a showing. So, when you call the listing agent directly, perhaps without first checking with your agent because, perhaps you don't want to waste her time, you actually don't do her a favor as her not making the call for you could potentially leave the listing agent with the wrong impression. I hope that makes sense.
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Dec 20, 2010
These are great questions! Your Realtor #1 should not be too busy to show you property you want to see, they are there to represent you, however have they sent you any properties to take a look at via email? Many times they know of properties that might fit your requirements and what you are looking for better. You actually should have your Realtor set up all showing that you would like to see, many Listing agents will not show the property if they know you are currently represented as this is part of your agents jobs. If a listing agent does show the property, you can still write the offer up with your current Realtor, just be careful as there is a thing in the industry called Procurring Cause, this is generally when the Realtor showing the property may potentially be entitled to a commission for showing the property to you.

My recommendation is to contact your Realtor right away, if they are too busy to help you, find another Realtor.

Good luck!
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
424-625-1037
0 votes
M.D.J, , Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 10, 2009
It probably would be better if you saw the outside of the property and the area on your own before viewing the inside which might narrow down your list.

In case you don't know don't forget about all the tax credits available to you when buying in L.A...need more info. feel free to contact me.

Good luck to you...
0 votes
Alan Strange, Agent, Westminster, CO
Tue Mar 10, 2009
Ideally, you'll want to have your representation actually represent you and show the houses. In Colorado we have what's called 'procuring cause' which essentially states that whomever causes a sale to happen by initiating the process (i.e. shows the house) has a legitimate claim to being compensated for a successful sale. In some cases you may have a listing agent who, wanting to take the extra step for their clients, will show their listings to people who has representation but it can get sticky. If you go that route it is the best policy to be completely open and let everyone involved know. My guess is that after telling your current agent that you want others to show you properties she will either find time in her schedule, delegate to an assistant or it will be evident that the lack of customer service may be a good indicator that another agent may be a better fit for you. Good luck.

Best,
Alan Strange
Keller Williams Preferred
http://www.TheStrangeTeam.com
303.668.5208
0 votes
Joey Sacavit…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 10, 2009
The short answer is your Realtor should book and accompany you on these viewing. If you would like to view larger numbers and marginal properties you should set some time aside for Sunday open house and see them then. But if you are viewing properties off hours you should be accompanied by the representing agent.
Joey Sacavitch
Keller Williams
323.896.5869
Web Reference:  http://www.joeysellsla.com
0 votes
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