What information must a real estate company divulge if I call them directly?

Asked by Bret, Philadelphia, PA Sat Dec 13, 2008

I am trying to find out how many times a certain property I am interested in has been looked at over the last few months, and also would like to know how many (if any) offers have been made. I would prefer to call the seller's real estate company directly to remain anonymous. Does this information voilate any privacy laws? If I inquire directly with the company will they legally have to disclose this info to me (ie is it public knowledge)?

I already have a realtor and have my reasons for not wanting to go through them to get this info.

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9
Chris & Step…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Hi Bret.

It is true that the information you are looking for: How many showings have been made? and Were there any offers made? will not be given to you by the listing agent or the Broker's office because the listing agent and Broker have entered into a confidential business agreement with the seller. That being said, as a consumer not a Realtor, I might be interested in that information if I were trying to sell my home in the same neighborhood. But you are a buyer. That information is not the best or only way to help you make an informed decision on how to formulate your offer. The recent sales, the condition of the property, and how strong your finances are will dictate how to best present your offer to purchase.

In your situation where you believe the your Realtor and the Listing Agent are not on good terms, you might want to suggest to your Realtor, that he or she might want involve the Broker of the office. The Broker of the office can act as a buffer. We personally have asked our Broker to intervene on our clients behalf in order to provide the best representation for them.

Though some of that info you are looking for may not be answered, you will have more certainty that the emotional content of your situation will be diffused and you may even get the seller's agent to get the seller to agree to communicating some of that information if your intentions were explained.

So, in short, get the Broker involved and explain why you believe your questions are important to know prior to makeing an offer to purchase. There is more than one way to cook a caserole.
2 votes
Edmund Choi, Agent, Paoli, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Please refer to the Consumer Notice that was provided you to review the various agency relationships. Client representation is on the brokerage level and that encompasses all salespersons and staff working under that umbrella. Although disclosure of material facts are required, activities related to the marketing of the property until the time of settlement cannot be disclosed without written permission from the Seller. Good hunting!
Web Reference:  http://PhillyandBeyond.com
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Sat Dec 13, 2008
You would not get any of that information from my office, and if you did, how would you know the person who is giving it to you would be telling you the truth? You have absolutely no right to "how many offers have been made".

Invariably, when I work with a buyer, the first time I tell them there are other offers, or there is an offer on the table, they are skeptical. Once they lose a house they liked, they realize we all don't lie all the time.
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Listing agent wont disclose any info. regarding # of showings, or how many offers. Listing agent represents the seller. You can safely assume limited showings since October considering thru March homes sales are slow many families are more interested in holidays, trips, and etc.

In many instances a buyers agent can obtain info. listing agent will disclose to them OR they may even know one another thru real estate community.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Bret,

Well, you're not going to get any answers going through the seller's agent. It's not information which needs to be given by law. How would one be sure the correct information is given? How would the real estate community eforce such laws?

Days on the market will tell you everything you need to know as well as going to see the property with your agent. You're agent can tell you why it hasn't sold. If it's not priced right, it will sit there for a while and eventually be sold for less than what the seller could have gotten if it was priced right in the first place.

Have faith in your agent instead of trying to go behind their back.
1 vote
Dp2, , Virginia
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Terrence is right: the cumulative days on market is FAR more important than the number of times a property has been shown or under contract. Basically, the longer a property stays on the market--especially during these market conditions--then the uglier it is. Prettier properties get snatched up first.
0 votes
Bret, Home Buyer, Philadelphia, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Thanks for the responses, special kudos to the Somers - you guys gave me the exact answer I needed -

"It is true that the information you are looking for: How many showings have been made? and Were there any offers made? will not be given to you by the listing agent or the Broker's office because the listing agent and Broker have entered into a confidential business agreement with the seller"

as well as some really helpful info re: the office broker.

thanks again everyone!
0 votes
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
I did answer your question. I am a license Realtor in the state of PA, so you not believing what I said means you don't trust me either. It's not law and it would not be enforcable if it was. Therefore, the listing agent, office, company, whatever will not divulge that information. It doesn't matter whether the two agents are best buddies or not.

If you want to go to the seller's office and try to get info, no one is stopping you. But, it is obvious that you trust nothing anyone says so why even post the question here if you are going to do what you wish anyway?
0 votes
Bret, Home Buyer, Philadelphia, PA
Sat Dec 13, 2008
Thanks for the two answers so far, however, 1) I would not be calling the listing agent for the info, I would be calling the listing office. 2) my realtor and the listing agent do not have a good relationship, and I strongly believe that in this situation it will be easier and I have a better chance at obtaining the information as an anonymous party than having my realtor attempt to find out if there have been any showings or offers over the last 2-3 months.

Please only respond if you can answer my question, I don't want to come across as rude but I am trying to find out if and how I can get this information without involving my agent and the sellers agent directly. Thanks much
0 votes
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