Real estate transactions can be plagued with anger and conflict. That's why working cooperatively with the agent on the other side of the transaction is so important.
What happens when the other agent is the buyer? Can the agent objectively manage the transaction just as she would any other transaction?
I had two of my listings go under contract within days of each other. These transactions had similar timelines for contingencies and closings.
In the case of Agent #1, everything progressed as most of my transactions do. We worked together to get our clients to closing. Over the five weeks between contract to close, we exchanged 14 emails and less than 5 phone calls and even fewer texts. That transaction closed yesterday without a hitch.
Over this same five weeks, Agent #2, who is not only the buyer's agent but the buyer, has tormented me with over 50 emails and so many phone calls and text messages that I've lost track. Why so many? Because she wasn't contacting me as a buyer's agent, she was contacting me as a buyer.
I communicate very well with my clients and the agents on the opposite side of the transaction. However, I try to convey as much information as possible in one email or conversation. Otherwise, clients and agents have a tendency to think you're disorganized.
They lose confidence in your abilities if you contact them about every little thing that comes up. Sellers want to know everything is being handled to their satisfaction without being pestered. But that's exactly what this agent/buyer expected me to do.
With all of this communication going on, you wouldn't think there would be any reason for this transaction not to close on time. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Because while this agent/buyer was contacting me about all the things she wanted to have happen prior to closing, she neglected to disclose a request for a second appraisal (less than a week from closing) or a follow-up inspection by the lender for a roof replacement. (I didn't learn about that last item until 2:00 today, less than 48 hours before closing.)
Learning about these types of things so late in the game makes me look bad and I don't like looking bad.
So, here we are 32 hours away from closing and suddenly silence. My clients have already moved all their belongings out of their house, the utilities are scheduled to be disconnected tomorrow and we don't know what needs to happen to get this thing to closing as scheduled.
The goal is always to get the transaction closed as stipulated in the contract. Real estate agents are able to do that by working cooperatively together. This agent did herself and the real estate profession a disservice by representing herself.
What happens when the other agent is the buyer?
The agent contacts you as the buyer, not as the agent. By doing this, she made countless mistakes on this transaction. I think if she had provided this type of service to any other client, they would have fired her.
In the future, I will definitely advise my clients of the pitfalls that may be associated with buyers/agents who handle their own transactions.