Is This Your Listing?

By
Real Estate Agent with Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI

Last week I received a call from a prospect that drove by a home in Canton, Michigan and saw my companies sign. This caller Googled my company and found me listed at the top (which is the good news). He called me wanting information about the home, which I provided. About half way through our conversation he asked, "are you the listing agent?" I answered him by explaining that my office was the listing office, but I was not the listing agent.

My office is a Designated Agent office, which means that each agent works independent of each other and have no afflilation and share no information about their client. In a sense, each agent is firewalled from each other regarding any information.  

This buyer insisted on speaking to the listing agent. This prospective buyer had the idea that speaking to the listing agent would get him inside secret information and gain him some advantage. What this prospective buyer, as are most real estate clients is Michigan's Real Estate Agency. In Michigan There are four possible Agency relationship that Agents can have with their clients

  • Buyers Agency
  • Dual Agency
  • Sellers Agency
  • Transaction Coordinator

What this prospective buyer did not understand is that the Listing Agent that he was trying to reach, would by code would have to have a Sellers Agency Agreement with his Seller. This would mean that the Listing Agent would be solely representing the Seller and would not and could not disclose any "inside" information about the client or sale. While many buyers think that if they work with the Listing Agent of a property they may be told something like, "the sellers are about to lose the house and will look at a lower offer". They are looking for information that may gives them an advantage. But, what they do not understand is that an Agent cannot disclose anything about a sale or seller, even to a prospective buyer.

While it seems counter intuitive to some that think they need more information or need to get as close to the source as possible, the reality is that there should be no advantages with working with the Listing Agent.  

 

 

Posted by

Scott A. Petersen
Client First, Realtors

www.scott-petersen.com

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Rainer
94,815
Billi Evans
Murney Associates - Springfield, MO

In some cases a disadvantage. Honestly who is an agent going to be more loyal to? A seller who he has enough of a relationship with to list their home or a stranger over the telephone.?

Mar 11, 2011 03:24 AM #1
Rainer
15,881
Donna Hudson
Crye-Leike, Realtors - Bellevue, TN

Scott, we have some of those buyers in TN also!  It takes them so long to find a house because they go from listing agent to listing agent to set up appointments for a home showing.  I love these kind of buyers. After showing them my listings, I let them know, the listing agent works for the seller and they are bound to get the highest possible price for their sellers home and cannot legally disclose anything to you about the seller, not even the reason for selling.  They get this Oh Really look on their face and I just picked up another buyer! 

Mar 11, 2011 03:27 AM #2
Rainer
68,972
Nancy Fraser
Exit Realty Premier - Massapequa Park, NY
Realtor, Massapequa Homes for Sale 516-729-0278

Scott, this is becoming a trend here as well. They want to go through the listing agents not understanding the law of agency. Unfortunately, due to some unethical listing agents this has become rampant.

Mar 11, 2011 03:30 AM #3
Rainer
25,658
Justin Ochs
Diamond Ochs Enterprises - Nashville, TN
Real Estate Auctioneer

The only advantage goes to the listing agent.

Mar 11, 2011 03:31 AM #4
Rainmaker
89,468
Scott Petersen
Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI - Canton, MI

Billi: I agree there are definitely more disadvantages.

Donna: That is a great response.

Nancy: I agree LA due use these kind of buyers. That is why I said there should be no advantage.. but I know some LA are acting unethically.

Justin: You are exactly right!

Mar 11, 2011 03:48 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,007,568
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Scott, I guess I must be from another planet, but if I were a buyer, and called into an office wanting to speak to the Listing Agent on a certain property, and the agent who answered the phone gave me a hard time, I would be really, really ticked.

Also... if you are "walled-off" from each other... you have no way of knowing what that seller and the Listing Agent talked about.  It could be that the seller may have instructed the Listing Agent to tell the buyer whatever information they needed to... to get that buyer to make an offer.

Mar 11, 2011 05:20 AM #6
Rainmaker
89,468
Scott Petersen
Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI - Canton, MI

Karen: Hmm. not sure where you got I gave the caller a hard time. You seem to like to read into things and draw your own conclusions. This prospective buyer did not call my office, but me directly on my cell phone which I am assuming that he read off from my website. He never asked to speak to the listing agent, just wanted to know if I was the listing agent. I then proceeded to tell the caller that I was an agent at the Listing Office, but was not the Listing Agent and could provide him with the same information as the Listing Agent.

You are correct in stating that the the Seller could have given instructions (and they better be in writing) to disclose material facts about the sale. However, those same facts have to be also disclosed to another agent as well. So, there is no secret information.

At least I agree with your first statement. You have a great day.

Mar 11, 2011 08:13 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,007,568
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Scott... it's real easy.  He called up and asked for something, something very simple... and you didn't give it to him.  And where did I get it ?  You wrote it in your post.  Are you always this crabby ?  Perhaps a change in your diet might do you some good.  If you are always this contentious, I could never even imagine working with you.  Yikes.

And of course, if the seller instructed me to give out certain information, it WOULD be written.  Our local board has an addendum specifically for that purpose.

Mar 13, 2011 09:22 AM #8
Ambassador
3,691,648
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Scott, sounds like this buyer is caught in some kind of 1980 time warp before buyers began to be represented and before the customs changed.  Of course, back then, nobody in your company or any other for that matter, would have been able to supply any good "classified" information since all of the agents usually operated as co-agents represnting sellers.  Hope he catches on before too long!

Mar 14, 2011 09:14 AM #9
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