I have often wondered what makes a client use a particular agent....especially one who obviously doesn't work in their clients' best interests. A friend of mine the other day, who happens to be a loan officer, told me a story about a friend of theirs who used another agent in our town. They had offered on a home and were anxious to get it. The agent, who also had the listing, told them that if they gave "x" amount, they could probably get the house. When the clients offered that "x" amount, a couple of hours later, the agent informed them that it was "already sold" and apologized. The clients, not knowing any better, moved on to another house, using this same agent. They did find another house and moved in, but later they found out that the agent's brother-in-law had bought the house they really wanted.
The agent was wrong on two fronts. First, she did not represent her seller because she could have potentially had two competing offers. Second, she did not represent this particular buyer because she didn't get an offer written and submitted. This makes me wonder. Are we not educating the public enough on what to look for in an agent? These clients used this particular agent because she had the listing, thinking they would get a "better deal" if they used her. This was a wrong assumption, and it might have cost them the home they really wanted. There is no way to know that if they had used their own agent, they would have gotten the house, but their chances would have increased.
So, the moral of the story is, if you are a buyer looking to buy, use your own agent to represent you. In most states, you are not charged for this service. Why not have someone looking out for your interests alone?
In my next blog, look for a list of things to look for in your buyer's agent.