Who is Your Agent Working For?

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty Services- New Paltz, NY

Here in New York State, real estate agents are required by law to explain to clients and customers who they're working for.  If you see a house that's listed for sale and you call the office that listed the house, that agent is working for seller, not for you.  Many people decide to work with the listing agent, which is fine, but the agent is required to tell you who he/she is working for.

My cousin is lookig for her first home.  She wants my mom and me to represent her as her buyers' agent.  But a couple of weeks ago, before she really started looking, she saw a house listed on-line and called the listing office.  The listing agent set up appointments for my cousin and her boyfriend to look at 8 houses with him- they were all his listings or his office's listings.  After she went out with him, she e-mailed me and asked if I would mind helping her find a house.  I asked if she signed anything with the agent she went out with.  She said no, he didn't even ask her to sign an agency disclosure.  This form is required by New York State, everytime we show a house to someone, we must explain to the buyer who we're working for.  He never asked her to sign one of these forms.  The listing agent never brought up agency or the fact that he was representing the seller for all the listing agent on all the houses he showed her.  I told her I could work with her.

After he showed her the 8 houses, the listing agent started to harrass her.  When she told him she wanted to work with a buyer's agent, he told her that was fine, but if she bought any of his listings, she had to buy through him.  This is not true.  Then my mom called the agent to talk to him about my cousin's situation.  She explained that my cousin is a first time homebuyer, she doesn't really understand how real estate works, she's sorry she took up a few hours of his time, but she really feels more comfortable working with a buyer's agent, especially since we're family members.  The agent said, "You and I both know that they whole agency thing is bull****, everyone works for the seller."  Again.. not true.  Luckily, my cousin has found a house listed by another agent, and we won't have to deal with this guy anymore!

If you're in the market for a house and you're working with an agent, don't be afraid to ask who the agent is working for.  If they say they're working for the seller, you have a right to a buyer's agent if you want one.  Don't let agents bully you into thinking you must buy through them. 

Barbara Carter and Becky Cook

Mother/Daughter Team Real Estate Two Together For You

ExiT Realty Services 10 Main Street Suite 424 New Paltz, NY 12561

Barbara (845) 505-3160 Becky (845) 853-4210 Office (845) 255-HOME

On the web: www.UlsterNYHomes.com    e-mail:  UlsterHomes@yahoo.com

Comments (4)

Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


Unfortunately, I find these laws differ from state to state...The NAR has done little to achieve uniformity in some of these matters...!!! Thanks,   Fran

Aug 05, 2009 08:32 AM
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Oh Becky I know some of our older agents still don't get it.  They are so wrong and create many problems for our image.  If this guy is in the same MLS you might want to consider a reveiw by the board.  These agents only damage us.  I am glad that the house you have found is not listed with him.

Aug 05, 2009 10:40 PM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

I'm glad to see that doesn't happen only here (unfortunately).  Some people just can't get around to using the new forms, let alone explaining them, at the earliest possible opportunity.

I just ran across a couple of buyers who threatened me with a lawyer, because I explained the paperwork to them immediately and explained buyer representation.  They told me they had just been told by someone else, that 'some agents will try to force you to sign a contract with them, but don't do it, because it's not necessary, and it will only hurt you'.    I find this very sad and not at all helpful to our profession.  I wasn't asking for a signature.  I was explaining the paperwork.  Imagine if I had asked them to sign on the dotted line ....  all because a REALTOR doesn't understand ... and won't get educated.


Aug 08, 2009 08:38 AM
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

That agent needs to be educated. Agency is extremely important. I'm wondering what he would say if he ended up in court. And with that attitude he's heading in that direction.

Sep 13, 2009 08:29 AM