Should you work with tht realtor who is representing the house you want to see?

Asked by Misti, Round Rock, TX Fri May 2, 2008

we do not have a realtor yet, so I need to know if there are downsides to working with the seller's realtor

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Jim Johnson, , 78233
Fri May 2, 2008
That agent and any other agent who shows you the house represents the seller, unless you have a buyer's representation agreement. It will likely cost nothing to make a buyer's representation agreement with a REALTOR who will serve you. Albeit the broker can appoint the agent as an intermediary, you may want to find an agent from another firm just to help the agency you select avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

Remember though that this is a binding agreement, but it is something you should have done from the start. If the property you have in mind turns out not to be the right property after all, you will then be able to put that agent to work finding the right house to call home.
3 votes
Jason Sandqu…, , Minneapolis, MN
Fri May 2, 2008
The seller's realtor is working for the seller and probably has been for awhile. So that agent is going to try and sell the house to you and might not be looking out for your best interest. It's important to have a buyer's agent who has fiduciary duties to YOU. Good Luck to you!
2 votes
Debbie Thomas, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri May 2, 2008
There are certainly no positives for you to work with the sellers agent. They represent the seller and are looking out for the sellers best interests. You should having someone that is looking out for YOUR best interests. It doesn't cost you anything to have a realtor represent you because the seller normally pays the commission on the transaction. A buyers agent will help guide you through the process of getting the loan, arranging an inspection, appraisal and organizing everything for closing. I can send you a buyers book that will outline the process of buying for you.
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1 vote
Keith Dowdle, , 78613
Thu May 8, 2008
I would say you have received some good advise in the previous answers. The agent selling the house is obligated to get the best price/deal they can for the person selling the house. When you get your own agent to represent you as the buyer, they are working for you. Be sure to sign a Buyer's Representation agreement with the agent you choose. This agreement spells out your's and the agents working relationship and obligate the agent to work in your best interest. I'm in Round Rock and if you haven't already picked an agent I would certainly be happy to help you.
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Mark Chovan, , Frisco, TX
Tue May 6, 2008
Make sure you read the "IABS" form. This will inform you how the agent/broker will be representing each party.
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Brenda Starr, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon May 5, 2008
Hi Misti,

Welcome to Round Rock! Great choice. In answer to your question, there are definite downsides working with the seller's realtor (listing agent). First of all, the listing agent's fudiciary responsibility is representing the seller and the seller's interests. That agent could not also represent you and put your interests first,,,it is a conflict. You must have your own representation , someone who puts your interests first and is committed to finding and negotiating the best deal for you. Plus, you do not pay commissions on the buying side. Most offices won't even permit this type of transaction. Please give me a call or email and I'm more than happy to answer any further questions or provide information that will help with your real estate acquisition. I would also be happy to represent you, if you and I felt it would be a good fit.
Hope to talk with you soon l and have a great day.
0 votes
Slash, , Chicago, IL
Sun May 4, 2008
ALWAYS! Have your own representation.
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Terri Hayley, Other Pro, Dallas, TX
Sun May 4, 2008

The seller's realtor's main mission is to sell the house. If they get another client out of it - great for them. But, they first and foremost have a duty to their selling clients to sell the house. If you tell them something that's "just between the two of you," it would be difficult for them to not tip off the seller if it strengthened the seller's position. Make sense?

However, if you have your own buyer's representation, then they would strictly represent you. Whatever you told them would be held in confidence because they are trying to negotiate the best deal for YOU. Kind of like an attorney.

If you were going to court, you wouldn't hire the same attorney to represent you that was representing the other side. Know what I mean? Not that buying a home is an adverserial position, just that it's a similiar relationship b/w client and professional. Does that help you kind of walk through it?

Let me know if you have more questions. Happy to help.

Best wishes,
Terri Hayley
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri May 2, 2008
YES !... have your own representation, we deal with soooo many problems of buyers in your position who contact our office or email all the problems that have gone thru. Never purchase a home direct from a seller, builder, or lease unless you have your personal realtor who can work on your behalf.

Realtors as buyers agent we are paid at closing by the seller on your behalf.
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Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Fri May 2, 2008
Retaining the services of your own buyer agent is very simple--and it costs you nothing do so! Look for agents w/highly reputable firms that specialize in buyer representation. In my opinion, an ABR or CBR designation is essential. Interview a minimum of three and evaluate them on knowledge of the local market, buyer rep track record and responsiveness to your needs. You'll want to know upfront if they're representing any sellers. If so, get a clear understanding as to how your interests will be safeguarded in the event that you're interested in one of those properties.

BTW: Don't sign any contract until you're sure what your doing. You may want to do a home buying workshop before going any further. Sessions are ofetntimes offered via local community development nonprofits, public libraries and colleges.

Good luck.
0 votes
Jennifer Lew…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri May 2, 2008
You can work with the seller's Realtor if you want to, but just remember, they represent the Seller. They will do everything in the seller's best interest. I recommend you get your own Realtor. There's really no reason not to. The seller almost always pay the cost of your Realtor, you'll have an advocate looking our for your best interests, and you'll be able to get advice and opinions about everything.

There's another possibility in Texas called Intermediary. That's when the same broker represents the Buyer and Seller, but can make appointments so that one agent in the Broker's firm represents the buyer and the other represents the seller. The agent appointed to you would offer you advice, opinions, look out for your best interest, etc.

I would be careful in talking to the seller's realtor. You may tell them something that they can use against you in negotiations. Hypothetically, let's say you tell the Realtor you really don't want to pay the $250,000 asking price for the home, but you would if you had to. The Realtor is going to go back to his/her clients and tell them that and suggest they stay firm at $250,000. However, if you said that to the Realtor representing you, he/she would not divulge that to the Sellers and strengthen your negotiating power.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri May 2, 2008
Almost never.....they are working for the seller. Get your own Realtor first and then have them show you the homes. The other thing you want to do even before you start to look is get prequalified. You can do this at your local bank or credit union for free or once you get a realtor working for you, they can give you recommendations on loan officers. If you need a good agent in Round Rock please let me know and we'd be happy to give you a referral.
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Janine Love, Agent, The Woodlands, TX
Fri May 2, 2008
It's often best to have your own Realtor that works exclusively for your best interests. A lot of agents find it hard performing what we call Dual Agency (representing the seller & buyer) and having an agent working for you strictly gives you the advantage on getting the best deal possible on a home.
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