Why shouldn't I call the agent on the sign..??

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

According the NAR (the National Association of Realtors), 62% of home buyers begin their search by getting in the car, driving around and calling agents on the yard sign.  I realize this seems like a great idea because the agent who is listing the home knows the most about the home; believe me, I get it!  However, whatever he/she knows about the home can easily be translated to another agent. 

yard sign

Where I'm going with this, is, that I think as a buyer, you should think about home buying differently.  What you need to realize is that yes, the listing agent, more than likely, knows more about that particular home than any other agent; however, that listing agent also has a listing agreement, a binding contract, stating that that agent is to represent that seller and his/her best interest.  If you call the listing agent and begin the process in purchasing that particular home, know that that agent can NOT represent you at this point.  He/she can only pass on information - facts; they can absolutely not offer advice and opinions.  It is, in fact, illegal for an agent to enter into an agreement with both the seller AND buyer and offer any sort of advice and opinions to either party.  I've even heard Title Attorneys call these agents who are willing to enter into an Intermediary Agreement with both parties "greedy" for the commission.

As a buyer, what you want is a Buyer Specialist.  An agent who will represent you and only you.  Someone to negotiate on your behalf all the while looking out for your best interest.  So the next time you're considering buying a home, don't start calling agents on the sign, ask a friend, family member or colleague for a referral so you can make sure you are fully represented.


Posted by

Britney Elizondo

Buyer Specialist, REALTOR® | Vicki White Homes | a team within Keller Williams Dallas City Center | www.vickiwhitehomes.com


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Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

All Great points Britney!  things most clients do not think about..

Dec 06, 2010 08:43 AM #1
Mercedes E. Santana
Santana Property Group - New York, NY
NYC Multifamily Properties

Interesting take Britney.  I am a Commercial Real Estate Broker who is has been looking for a vacation home in the Berkshires in Massachusetts.

I have driven around the area many times and on more than one occasion called the agent listed on a sign.

You have just convinced me to zero in on an agent that will truly fight for me.

Dec 06, 2010 08:45 AM #2
Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Lazarus Realty - Fresno, CA
Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California

Or as a buyer/investor you may just want to buy the home and in many cases -- particularly with REOs priced under the market - you're best bet for getting that house may  be calling the listing agent ... because they are like Goldman Sachs....


... they see the order flow and have a HUGE amount of control over the offers and what get presented and what doesnt.  Let's face it, what listing agent isnt greedy and doing their best to make sure that their listing is sold in house or by them?

just saying....

Dec 06, 2010 08:48 AM #3
Debra Harbaruk
Re/Max City Realty, Commercial Dr Condos - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver BC Realtor

Britney, Well said, most buyers are thinking about the house they want instead of the representation they want. That's a big mistake!

Dec 06, 2010 08:48 AM #4
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Which is it???

The NAR says:

62% begin their search by driving around looking for yard signs.


85% begin their search on the Internet.


Dec 06, 2010 08:50 AM #5
Britney Elizondo
Keller Williams Realty - Dallas, TX
Your Dallas Home Buying Specialist :: 940.453.5308

I apologize Lenn - I mis-spoke.  According to NAR, 32% of buyers start their search on the internet and 15% call agents on the sign.  85% of buyers simply use the internet in their home search and 62% call agents off the sign (in these categories the buyer can both use the internet and the yard sign..).  Does that make sense??

And Lazarus - my main concern is not the pay check I'm bringing home but the fact that I'm fully representing my client to the best of my ability.  So no, not all agents are greedy.  My listing agent will absolutely NOT do intermediary, even before she had me, her buyer's agents.

Dec 06, 2010 09:11 AM #6
George Fanucci
CoreFact.com - Los Altos, CA
Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions

Britney, thanks for the clarification.

Dec 06, 2010 11:50 AM #7
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Britney Elizondo

Your Dallas Home Buying Specialist :: 940.453.5308
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