Buyer Beware!

Real Estate Sales Representative with Keller Williams Realty - Tyler

It amazes me how so many people still don't understand the need for a realtor when buying a home. for instance... I ran into an old friend the other day going to my real estate office (Keller Williams) and here walks up my friend and her husband. We greeted each other and then I asked why they were there so bright and early on a Wednseday morning. Her answer, "We are buying a house." I replied, "And you didn't call me?" I said this with a smile on my face and seriously was happy for them. I assumed immediately that they had signed up with another friend from the same realty office. Her husband chided in and told me that his wife had mentioned a time or two that she should call me to help with their home search. I asked, "Who is your agent?" My friend then said very shyly, "Well... we are using the seller's agent." I wished them a wonderful day and went on to my business meeting leaving them so they could go and tend to their business of house buying.

Now, I can tell you what I really wanted to tell them, but it was too late to help them and I most certainly didn't want to hurt their feelings. After all, we are friends. I am writing this in the hopes that it saves you the reader heartache when it is time for you to purchase your new/next home.

Having your own REALTOR when buying a home can help you in so many ways and best of all most times the commission is the seller's responsibility! Here is a list just off the top of my head and I am sure there are more reasons to have a buyer's agent:

* Save time - Realtors can find homes with your want list and their extensive Multiple Listing Services.

* Save gas - Realtors can view the homes and see in person if they fit your wish list.

* Less stress - Realtors can be your negotiator when it comes to making/accepting/rejecting offers and counter offers.

* Save expense - Realtors can assist you with obtaining a certified inspector. If the inspector finds expensive issues with the house your agent can help you with withdrawing your offer on the house, or counter offer that the owner pays for repairs.

* Your buyer's agent is with you from the looking stage to the closing table. They have your back! Most people do not realize that if you the buyer discloses information to the buyer's agent (such as you could pay X number of dollars more than their asking price) they are obligated to tell their client (the seller) that disclosed information. No one really has your back on the deal. Now I will say there are a great many agents out there that are honest and fair, but even they will be representing their client (the seller) and not the buyer if/when thing go sideways.

Be safe, be sure, be diligent, and contract with a buyer's agent when you start your home buying process.

Comments (35)

Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

you were nicer and more polite than I would have been.  good for you.

Jul 08, 2011 02:26 PM
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Diann...this is so true.  Buyers still don't realize this.  Consider making this post public so consumers can read it!

Jul 08, 2011 02:36 PM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Excellent advice.  There is definitely more education needed on this topic. 

Jul 08, 2011 02:41 PM
Natalie Tarrant
RE/MAX Little Oak Realty - Langley, BC

Personally, I feel a buyer and a seller being represented by the same agent should be against the rules. Here, its classified as Limited Dual Agency. It has to be consented to in writing by all parties, but do they really know what thay are consenting to? I doubt it. I don't believe we can do our absolute best for a client if we are representing both sides.

Jul 08, 2011 02:44 PM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Alas, it happens all too often. People who go into the biggest transaction of their life unrepresented often live with less than optimal conseuqences. 

Jul 08, 2011 03:23 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

These types of posts are soooo important.  One of the benefits I would add is ADVOCACY for the Buyer.  Thanks for this very important message to buyers.

Jul 08, 2011 03:38 PM
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Wow, I feel sorry for folks who don't even know what they are missing.  I'm sure that listing agent was happy to oblige them!!!

Jul 08, 2011 04:11 PM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Diann...congratulations on having your very first post featured. 

It is incredible how many buyers insist that they will only work with the listing broker.

Jul 08, 2011 04:35 PM
Robert Hammerstein -
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Diann = It is simply amazing sometimes when we come across the reactions from our customers and clients to our buisiness along with all the misconceptions and stereotyping that goes with it.

Jul 08, 2011 05:19 PM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

And she is still your friend? She wouldn't be mine! Who needs stupid friends?

Jul 08, 2011 06:12 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I actually went out and purchased some teeth cleaning equipment many years ago...But, once a year, I go to a professional so he can help me with everything he knows and with everything I don't..I dabble in cleaning my own teeth, he does it every day. Big it is with Real Estate....My 33 years in the Real Estate business causes me to see and know  things...things that buyers/sellers/investors definitely want to know about...

Jul 09, 2011 01:16 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Diann, its hard to believe that people will purchase one of the biggest transactions in their life un-represented, but it is done every day. You handled it nicely.

Jul 09, 2011 01:39 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
You can think of a million reasons why they may have done this but you wonder about the main reason.
Jul 09, 2011 01:48 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Amen, amen, amen, and amen.  I have had a few close friends do the same thing as well.  It really makes you wonder what they are thinking.  Sounds like you handled this very well.

Jul 09, 2011 01:55 AM
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Diann - Isn't it the truth!  People really just don't understand what is in their best interest.  I just wrote an offer for a customer who originally wrote on another home with the Seller's agent.  He feels he was royally ( you know what) and is so mad a the other agent.  His lender said that he needed to find an agent to be on his "side"!  I thought that was great advice!

Jul 09, 2011 05:16 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

And don't forget to do the follow-up post when they've bought the house through the listing agent (the sellers' agent) and now are kicking themselves.

Jul 09, 2011 06:04 AM
Sherri Berry
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate

Excellent advise and great post!  I am amazed that people STILL think they are getting a better deal by not having their own agent.  Scary!

Jul 09, 2011 09:45 AM
Deborah Wilson
Hackenberg Realty Group - Canton, OH
Stark County OH Real Estate

Diann, Great post and you were very kind and gracious.  Somehow buyers all think the listing agent is going to share things no one else knows and get a better deal.

Jul 09, 2011 01:40 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Dian - you handled it well, and you have provided some important information for buyers to think about. If you are in a legal situation, you want your OWN attorney...same goes for home buying.

You also did not get into a discussion with your friend about what she was doing and why not work with another agent - that could be viewed as interfering with an established relationship with an agent and possibly an ethics issue.


Jul 09, 2011 03:46 PM
Delores Campbell
Keller Williams Realty - Chesterfield - Wildwood, MO
Your St. Louis Real Estate Resource

You handled this in such a professional manner.  I have recently been working on talking with friends and family about the importance of being represented by a buyers agent and also not being represented by a dual agent.

Jul 13, 2011 03:13 AM