Eduardo, Home Buyer in Santa Monica, CA

Should I not make an appt. to see a listng until I am represented by a realtor?

Asked by Eduardo, Santa Monica, CA Thu Apr 14, 2011

I'd getting more interested in seeing what's out there but don't have a realtor yet - don't want to jump into that without research. Can I contact a realtor associated with a listing to go see it - does that imply some commitment to them - or should I wait until I have my own realtor? I don't want to be stuck with a realtor just because I wanted to see a property.

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41
Jennifer Rat…, Agent, Knoxville, TN
Thu Apr 14, 2011
I would research agents and interview a few. You can also ask friends or family for a referal as to who they have used and would recommend. I would make sure ot have the agent that you are going to use show you properties as they will be able to search for homes specific to what you need and want so you don't waste time looking at properties that do not meet your search criteria. Most agent have a buyer sign an agency agreement before they will show property.
2 votes
Kimberly Bur…, , Los Angeles, CA
Thu Apr 21, 2011
Eduardo
The best way to look at properties without the pressure of committing to an agent is open houses. which are on Sundays and sometimes Saturdays. Many of the real estate websites show the open house times. If the house/condo is not held open. It is best to make appointments to go and see listings once you have an agent. What happens if this the perfect place for you? I would also spend some time with finding a lender to see the amount you are approved for.
1 vote
Carol Kawamo…, Agent, Chino, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
I have instructed my sellers not to show their home without a realtor. The sellers agent is looking out for them, you and the buyer should have an agent looking out for your best interest. It costs you nothing, and could save you thousands. You can call the listing agent to show the home, and if you want to make an offer, what happens when I'm involved, I have someone in my office write the offer and help them. I still get a referral and there is absolutely no questions in someones mind on who I'm loyal to. Hope that helps.
Web Reference:  http://ckawamoto.tarbell.com
1 vote
Carla Henry, Agent, Spring, TX
Thu Apr 14, 2011
If you are serious about buying choose a realtor to represent you. If you are just viewing properties then you are what we call a "lookie Lou", someone only looking and not willing to actually buy. This is a tremendous waste of your time and that of the realtors. A realtor who represents you can listen to what you want and are qualified for and help you look at the properties that may grab your interest.
1 vote
Marsha Brans…, Agent, Springfield, IL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
You may want to ask your friends to recommend a REALTOR who knows the area you are looking into. You may want to look with that Realtor and explain you are not ready to commit to Buyer's agent contract until being with that agent a couple of times. If they work well for you then definitely sign with them. They will then be working for you and should know you well enough to find just the right home for you.
0 votes
T.m. Singlet…, , Berwyn, PA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Hi,

I agree with the others. I would interview a few buyers agents as they will be looking out for your best interests. If not, the listing agent could possibly expect payment from you as they would be seen as the "procuring cause" of the sale of the property. Best of luck.

T.M. Singleton
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Devon, PA
484/358.1712
0 votes
Sharon Shaw, , Montgomery, TX
Thu Aug 25, 2011
You can certainly call the listing agent to see a property without making a commitment to them. Just keep in mind that the listing agent is working for the seller and their loyalties are to them. When you have an agent working for you they will keep your best interests above all others.
0 votes
Robert Cronin, Agent, Clarksville, TN
Thu Aug 25, 2011
1 Education & Experience
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

2. Agents are Buffers
Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

3. Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

4. Price Guidance
Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

5. Market Conditions Information
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

6. Professional Networking
Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork
One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!

9. Answer Questions After Closing
Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for you
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Dear Eduardo,
You need representation in the purchse of a home, and yes it can imply agency when you work with the listing agent directly. It's in your best interest to have your own agent. If you take your time and interview a few buyer agents, you won't be "stuck" you will have an advantage!
0 votes
Phil Leng, , Kirkland, WA
Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hi Eduardo,
You find a house online, by open houses, by yard signs, etc.
You find a realtor by choosing one.
Jump in, you will find someone you are impressed with and who will help you.
Phil
0 votes
Kirk "Wayne"…, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Thu Apr 14, 2011
It's always important to be represented by a realtor. A realtor helps to guide you in the right direction and the process of purchasing your home. A realtor will represent you and act in your best interest. Also remember a realtor has access to all properties listed in your area and will save you a lot of time trying to find your dream home yourself. Good Luck.
0 votes
Sheri Stinson, Agent, McKinney, TX
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Choosing a REALTOR to represent you is a big step, but one you should take prior to looking at homes, in my opinion. The home you look at with the listing agent may just turn out to be your dream home and you may have compromised your buying position by some comment you made to the listing agent without realizing that anything you say goes from the agent to the seller ears. When I meet with a prospective buyer client, it is a consultation designed to explain agency (who represents who) how we are paid, the market conditions, an overview of the buying process and gathering information on exactly what the buyers is looking for, time frame and lender needs. I have no objections to taking a buyer out to look at a few home prior to signing a buyers' representation agreement because, as I tell each prospective client, this is a partnership and we both have to like and trust each other! It's a two way street, you may not want the wrong realtor but we don't want the "wrong" client. When I accept a client, I build a relationship for life. I want to be the one they call in a few years to sell that entry level home they bought, or to pick up a few investment properties or help out their friends and family members with their real estate needs. So, go forth and interview some ABR agents, these are agents accredited to help buyers most affectively. When you find the best match for you, sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement, after all if that agent is going to give time, experience and fiduciary duty to you, the agent should expect your loyalty as well. Sheri Stinson, Plano TX
0 votes
Maria Esparza, , Chula Vista, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
It's important that when you go see a listing you are prepared to put an offer. Meaning, you should of already shopped for a Realtor and a Lender. A Realtor who knows exactly what you what and that will take you to the listings that meet your specific criteria. At the time of viewing property, you must at the least be pre-qualified by a Lender and know which are the terms and price that meet your needs. This way if you like the property, you can immediately put your offer in and beat the competition. Your Realtor must make a complete and strong offer to be considered.
0 votes
Patricia War…, Agent, Scarsdale, NY
Thu Apr 14, 2011
The relationship between an agent and a client is a special relationship. I am a Certified Buyer's Representative. When a buyer chooses to work with me in this capacity we have a fiduciary relationship. I owe my client my undivided loyalty. States have different regulations. It is important for you to know the law of agency in your state. My rule is the buyer is entitled to work with who ever they select. If you select an agent, that agent should know your requirements and keep you updated on the market. I am able to do that keying in my client's requirements and my client automatically receives new pertinent listing as they hit the market. I like to accompany my clients to all the listings they wish to see. I like to see their response to the house, therefore I never "send" my clients to other agents open houses. It is a personal preference. You will be better serviced selecting an agent who will work on your behalf.
0 votes
Rima North, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Thu Apr 14, 2011
When you go to see a property by calling a lising agent you are obliged to use that agent but for that home only. If you are going to be seriously looking at properties it is important to find a great agent who will listen to your needs and who will is able to bring you to the best homes available in your price range. You should feel confident in the agents' knowledge of both real estate in general and your market area in particular. This means the agent can confidently answer your questions and guide you through the process. As a full time agent I spend 4 days a weel looking at new listings as they come on the market so that I can provide first hand input to my buyers and now waste their time on properties that look good on the internet but will not meet their needs. I am in New Jersey but if you need an excellent agent in your area I will be happy to provide you with a list of questions to ask.
Rima North- Keller Williams NJ Metro Group- Montclair, New Jersey
0 votes
Linda Lorenzo, Agent, McKinney, TX
Thu Apr 14, 2011
You really should have your own representation. It is okay to interview several Realtors to see your best fit. I tell people that that I am meeting for the first time that it is a get acquainted session to talk about each others expectations. Not everyone is a good fit and that is good to find out up front. I never ask a client to sign a buyers agreement until we have gotten to know each other - why would you want to sign an exclusive agreement with me until you see how I work for you. So take your time and don't feel pressured into signing an agreement until you know you can work with someone. Good luck in your home search.
0 votes
Bob Prestwood, Agent, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
no you should do it both ways
0 votes
Cheron Dinki…, Agent, East Setauket, NY
Thu Apr 14, 2011
The seller's agent is responsible for getting the seller the most money. The fact is you are not represented in the transaction by the seller's agent and therefore anything you say can and will be used against you! You would be better represented by getting a buyer's agent to represent you, because his/her job is to represent you and get you the property at a price and terms that are suitable to your needs and wants. With this representation comes compensation that you are required to pay to your agent.
0 votes
Deo Tolentino, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
It would be at your best interest to contact a realtor who can give you advice on the process so you can make an informed decision on what your goal is and how you can acquire the property you want in the most convenient way possible. A realtor will sit down with you to discuss the details, and you can outline to him what you really want to accomplish. The realtor will make it easy for you along the process.
0 votes
Mike Austin, , New Jersey
Thu Apr 14, 2011
You have a smart idea! A realtor will help you and represent your interest. Read reviews about realtors in the area and talk to them to personally assess them to meet your preference.
0 votes
Paul Davis, Agent, Kent, WA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Most buyers do far more research into the home they want than they do selecting a realtor. Your realtor is the one that you entrust your largest investment. They will negotiate the best price and terms and protect your assets. It's energizing to go see a home that may be your dream home, but I would recommend interviewing 2-3 realtors to find the one you "click with", one with an excellent track record of outstanding customer service and one who knows your community. If you love to research you will become a great team.

If you do wish to see a home that is listed you can call the listing agent to view it, but remember, that agent works for the seller and has a contract to get the seller the most money possible. Let the listing agent know that you are in the process of finalizing a relationship with a Buyer's Agent. They will respect that and you are only committed if you make a commitment.

Your choice of an agent can be as important as your choice of a home!
0 votes
Olivia Hill, Agent, Hampton, VA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
There is no harm in making an appointment to see a listing without a realtor. I have held many open houses in which prospective buyers did not have a realtor. However, it is wise to have a realtor present who will protect your interest. If you are just
0 votes
Susan J Penn,…, Agent, Weston, FL
Thu Apr 14, 2011
It is good to be represented in a realtor looking out for your best interest. It is also wise to have met with a mortgage consultant to know where your finances are in purchasing a property. Also, you may decide you only want a foreclosure or short sale property so you may look for a realtor knowledgeable in this field. Good luck with your home search!

Susan Penn, PA ,SFR
EWM Realtor
2000 Main Street
Weston, Fl 33326
954-557-5993
penn.s@ewm.com
0 votes
Don Callahan, Agent, Savannah, GA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
You will be better served to have representation. I would ask around, see who you know, or who your family/friends know that is a Realtor in your area and is good. Talk with them about your situation. If and when you feel comfortable with them, make the commitment.
0 votes
Joan Mintz, Agent, Cresskill, NJ
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo,

Here's what I would do. As you go around into open houses you are going to meet many agents with many different personalities and standards of professionalism. You are bound to feel comfortable with one of them. Choose them as your agent. This way they can not only take you to the listings you want to see, but will probably have more to show you that are similar.
0 votes
Donna Gomes, Agent, CUMBERLAND, RI
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hello Eduardo , what a smart way to start your home buying process , by asking questions. I would personally go to open houses in your price range and if you dont know your price range , go speak with a lender to see what you qualify for . When you have ballpark what you can afford , let he hunting begin , go to the open houses and interview the realtor , see if you make a connection with someone . It is very important to feel comfortable with your agent because you will be spending alot of time together searching for your dream home .Keep in mind you want to be represented and the agent who is listing the home is representing the Seller and you would want your own agent to help support you every step of the way . Good luck and congratulations on your decision to start the home buying process. Thank you Donna Gomes.
0 votes
Claire Billi…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo,
A Realtor, functioning as your Exclusive Buyer's Agent, is going to guide you through the process, putting your best interests first. As a buyer, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, from using a Realtor. The seller pays the Buyer's Agent, and you do not. Realtors work with real estate situations all day, every day, while you are doing your job in which you know everything. Pick someone you like and trust, and commit to them, and let them commit to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.claireolina.com
0 votes
Jim Robinson, , Huntsville, AL
Thu Apr 14, 2011
You seem precise about your decisions, so I'll take some liberty with a short answer. Get exclusive buyer agency in writing if you are not going to represent yourself in the purchase. Read up on RESPA also at HUD website. Advertising Alabama . com
Web Reference:  http://hud.gov
0 votes
Kimberly Kni…, Agent, Drake, CO
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Absolutely its a good way for you to interview Realtors that you might consider representing you! and it's good exposure for the home of the seller to have their home shown. It totally up to you which Realtor you decide to work. Honesty and being up front in your conversation with the Realtor is probably the best way to handle any misunderstandings. Good Luck with your home search!
Kim
0 votes
Angie Baker, Agent, Germantown, TN
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo,
Yes, you can contact the Realtor representing the property you're interested in
seeing, but, I do recommend finding a Realtor you connect with to help you with
the buying process.
Angie
0 votes
Lynn and Bry…, , Lexington, SC
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hi Eduardo,

I would recommend you interviewing a few agents to decide who you want to work with. You need to know that the listing agent is representing the seller not you. I understand that you just want to look at the home. my concern is that you may tell the listing agent too much information about how much you can pay for a home and all your inside information etc.. In the event that you fall in love with the home and want to write an offer that agent will know your personal information or you may feel pushed by the listing agent.

Ask for some referrals from your friends and family and interview them. Do not sign an agreement with an agent until you are sure you want to work with that agent. All agents can show you any home on the market and send you the exact home you are looking for in you price range and area. Having your own personal agent is FREE and they will work hard for you to help you accomplish your goals.

Good luck and I am sure you will make the right choice!!

Bryan
0 votes
Amy Brunet, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo great question! You can absolutely go and view a listing without represenation. In fact, before commitiing to any one agent, you should meet several until you feel comfortable working with just the right one. The listing agent with professionally show you their listing just the same. Best of luck to you Eduardo in your purchase of a new home!!!
0 votes
Thomas Hamlin, Agent, Awendaw, SC
Thu Apr 14, 2011
No, Eduardo, you have every right to view a listing without representation. In fact, in our state (SC), the agent holding the open house has a fiduciary and ethical responsibility to explain representation and all it's variations to you at "first significant contact". Go see the home, and ask the right questions: ask the potential Realtor you choose to give you referrals to call and ask how they were treated in the purchase or sale process by the agent. Good luck, and if you need a referral out there, email me and I will seek to help you find the right one. It is your investment and you should be the most important person in the mix.
0 votes
Eduardo, Home Buyer, Santa Monica, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Great advice everybody, thanks for taking the time. Sounds like it pays to do my homework before I jump into the fray.
0 votes
Kirby Kitche…, Agent, Eagan, MN
Thu Apr 14, 2011
You are only "stuck" with a realtor, if you want to be. It is perfectly alright to call the listing agent on any property, if you are interested in seeing it. You do not have to be represented by the listing realtor. You can like the house and then go and get a realtor you know or trust better than the listing agent. It is your choice. It is always a good idea to research a realtor that you like a head of time, and then use that reator to go and see properties. They always have your best interest in mind and they may see things that you may miss in the home you are viewing...
0 votes
Wes Black, Agent, Louisville, KY
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Best idea is to interview your possible realtors before going out to look. Other alternative is when you go to open houses or make an appointment to see a house, tell the agent you are represented but your agent was not able to accompany you this time. Usually agents will not press you for a name. Be sure not to register at an open house and you will be fine. You will be able to see the house without commiting to any realtor til you are ready. This is the best answer I can give you. Thank you for the question.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo,

You may get a variety of responses on this but simply stated if you were on trial would you want to be defended by the prosecuting attorney or be represented by your own professional...

Bill
0 votes
Frank Causey, Agent, Murrells Inlet, SC
Thu Apr 14, 2011
I would advise you to consult a local Realtor as soon as possible. A Realtor can help you find that perfect property for you, and also assist you in getting pre-approved inorder to purchase a home. You can contact the listing agent to set up a showing it does not make you committed to them...In South Carolina you are not committed to a Realtor untill you sign a buyers agency aggrement, I am not license in California so you may want to ask a Realtor in California....
0 votes
John Kemper, Agent, PLANTATION, FL
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Go and find an experienced Realtor to help you purchase your home.
John Kemper
EPro Realty
http://www.MyEprorealty.com
http://www.johnkempersells.com
0 votes
Ray Akers, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
If you're getting serious about buying a home then it's time to seek the help of a real estate professional. The listing agent can answer basic questions about the property but remember this, the listing agent does not represent you. The listing agent represents the homeowner. You need a buyer's agent. A buyer's agent represents you, they'll be your best advocate. Your agent can narrow the search for homes to the best properties, according to your needs. Your agent will offer insights about each property from a professional perspective. Your agent will have access to information about the history of the home, the community, schools, and other details. Your agent can also advise you about mortgage options, home inspections, the escrow process, and more.

Many buyers presume, incorrectly, that buying a home is no big deal, and they avoid engaging the services of a Realtor. Ask yourself this question; would you schedule surgery before talking to the doctor? Would you go to court without seeking the advice of a lawyer first? Buying a home is the most important investment you will make in your lifetime and you need to make an informed decision. Start early, find an agent that knows your community and with whom you are comfortable working. Ask friends, family, and co-workers for a referral. Someone you know already knows a great agent in your community. Get at least three referrals and talk to each agent. Ask them about their experience and their knowledge of your market area. Don't be shy about asking for references. A good agent will have wonderful references that they will be pleased to share.

Speaking as an experienced Realtor with over 25 years in the real estate industry, your agent will make your life easier and the transaction less stressful.

Good luck!
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Apr 14, 2011
Eduardo,

I would interview a few buyers agents before calling the listing agent to see a property. By doing so the listing agent may claim "procuring cause" and want to be paid. Open houses are pretty much fair game.

You are wise to think about this. It is very exciting to be moving in the direction of buying your first place. If you don't know how to go about selecting a Realtor, I have resources all over the US and can make a couple recommendations, the other would be to ask friends, family and co-workers.

All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes
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