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.