Hi Lori, yes it is interesting to see how these issues play out in different states.
To answer your question in regard to a pre-approval, I will present , whether I am a dual agent or a buyer's agent, whatever pre-approval letter the buyer has provided (either obtaining it on their own or through my in-house mortgage rep.). I don't verbally represent what they can spend - it is in writing. I find many buyers ask to have their pre-approval written soley to conform with their offer - they then have it revised and increased as their offer increases. Others start right off away with a pre-approval for the maximum amount they are approved for.
Example................I just had an agent present an offer on a listing of mine (not dual agency) the offer was for $610,000, house listed at 645,000, yet the pre-app. the agent provided stated they were qualified up to 650,000. This was encouraging, as we knkew the buyer COULD go up, but that didn't insure that he would go up (and he didn't)! As I always explain to any buyer or seller,that just because someone CAN afford a certain number, doesn't mean they want to spend that much, so there is no problem dealing with approval's in any situation. I don't treat it any differently whether I am a dual agent or buyers agent.
As an aside, in regard to designated buyers agents doing such a great job of representing their buyers - let's be honest - ever hear a buyers agent say: "This is only their starting offer", when presenting an offer?, or "M y buyers already sold their home, and really need to buy? That information possibly shouldn't be stated, unless the buyer has given permission, .....yet many do share that, probably without permission. Ever hear a seller's agent tell you their listing was overpriced?? I have heard that....not exactly what one should hear from the seller's agent! But, it happens. Yet, everyone gets all nervous when they hear "dual agency", as if what you call yourself makes a difference in how well the buyer or seller is represented! That's why I said the title we are given doesn't mean as much as the QUALITY of the agent!
We do not have a " dual agency" versus "designated representative". You are either a sellers agent, buyers agent or disclosed dual agent. I have read a few posts here on Trulia from NJ agents stating that you can just show a company listing, but still be a buyer's agent. Not in my company, and we are one of the larger companies in the state. I always wonder where they came up with that. Part of agency involves sharing what you know. If I am at my desk, and I overhear another agent on the phone discussing what the seller might take, or their motivation for selling, as a buyers agent, I am duty bound to share what I know. As a dual agent, I can't do that. Therein lies one possible conflict of trying to be a buyer's agent with in- house listings.
Bottom line is - the CIS forms we have people sign make it clear what our positions may be.
If a problem arises, or there are multiple offers, one of which one is mine, my manager or another agent can step in during negotiations . Even though that person is still considered a dual agent, it is someone that can discuss the merits of all offers or just be there as support.
Truthfully, a lot of people here like having their agent handle everything, They feel a comfort level knowing the agent they trust most will be overseeing everything. I guess it;s just what is customary and usual in your area or state. Here it's not a big deal.- it's the way it is.
A lot of agents in my area even present themselves as ...: "I sell xx% of my own listings" , and wear that as a badge!
I have stated here on Trulia that it's not my preference to sell my own listings, as in any transaction, there can always be complications, and you never want one side to be upset or think you are favoring the other side. (I have seen buyers and sellers become upset with their OWN agents too) It's a delicate dance, but one that can be handled well and result in everyone being happy. Afterall, who signs a contract if they aren't satisfied with the terms?
Lori, I have a question for you - when you list a home, and you get a lead from the internet, the sign or if you already have a buyer that home would be perfect for - how do you handle that without being a dual agent? Do you hand that buyer off to another agent? Isn't the purpose of any kind of advertising or signage to bring in buyers? Here on Trulia, my name and contact information is there with my listing information ....what should I do with the leads it generates if they want to see or possibly buy my listing ?
OK, I am done!! This isn't the most excitig topic, and I thnk I have exhausted it by now! haaaa!!
Have a great weekend. all..........sell lots of houses!