I Don't Care Who I Talk To . . . I Just Want to Buy The House

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

"I don't care who I talk to . . . I just want to buy the house."

This was a statement made by a caller a few days ago. 

The call started off with:  "Hi, I'm calling on your listing . . . " and then my mind wandered off.

I don't have listings as an Exclusive Buyers Agent.  I am THRILLED when I get calls because it means my site is being used by consumers to search for homes.  When buyers call on "my listing" I zone out for a second because there are over 14,000 active listings at any given time which are run through my site via the IDX.

After the caller tells me about the property, I'm honest and tell them I'm an Exclusive Buyers Agent . . . my brokerage does not take listings or represents the sellers (as is clearly advertised on my web site.) 

After explaining this, I offer to assist them further and I gladly look up the property, or ask if I can be of further assitance to the caller.

I often ask: "Why would you want to call the listing agent?"

In this particular case, the caller replied:  "I don't care who I talk to . . . I just want to buy the house."

----------------> This is the worst attitude ANY buyer could have <----------------

Just wanting to buy the house does little, if anything, to protect and/or promote the buyer's best interests.  

Not caring who you talk to, when you are a buyer, is counter-productive. 

You can easily let the cat out of the bag!!


The listing agent works for the SELLER.  They will not / can not advocate on the buyer's behalf.  Even if there is full disclosure on dual agency, the buyer just wanting to buy the house, not caring who they talk to, may not receive FULL REPRESENTATION without any conflicts of interests.

A buyer would be better served having their own agent, who can, and will, perform the following:

  • Showing all property that may be better values for the price range, location of preference, etc.
  • Provide accurate information on the property
  • Explain forms and agreements
  • Monitors closing/escrow
  • Assist in arranging financing (if necessary)
  • Keeps financial position confidential
  • Promotes / protects buyers best interests
  • Negogiates sales price
  • Negotiate terms and conditions
  • Mantain confidentialty
  • etc.

In this case of the caller, it was a wash.  He was really not interested in "just buying the house" which turned out to be a mobile home on 6 acres of leased land.  He was not going to buy that house, but he thought so.  I like to work with serious buyers, grounded in reality.

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


All Rights Reserved © 

Comments (119)

Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Buying a house without a Realtor is like going to court without an attorney.  As Realtors, we need to continue to educate the public about the buying process and the role a Realtor plays in that process. I like the thought that all buyers being "serious buyers, grounded in reality."

Feb 12, 2013 03:01 PM
Shantée Haynes
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty - Washington, DC
Helping the DMV On The Move...

It's bound to happen! I accept it as something that comes along with being in the business and simply learn to ask alot of questions when I get the opportunity to have that kind of conversation. The one who asks the most questions, controls the conversation...

Feb 12, 2013 11:46 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers


"Exclusive Buyers Agents " ONLY work in offices that NEVER list property or represent sellers...

Feb 13, 2013 12:06 AM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

try to convert every contact you can. Sometimes they turn into great customers.

Feb 13, 2013 12:16 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Some people run head long into the wall, some just dance around the wall, but most people have no idea what is behind the wall of a real estate transaction and so therefore try to take charge, as if that will protect them.  You make great points, but when you are not listening at the beginning when the person is talking about the listing, how can yo expect them to listen to your information?  Just saying.

You are right, people don't read and so they don't know the nuance of your website saying we only represent Buyers.  As an agent who lists and works with the buyers who come in I often can double end a deal. As the Buyers Agent I can never do that.I think we all choose how to conduct our business, but listening fully needs to be one of the first skills developed.

Feb 13, 2013 01:03 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Larry -- I zone out because I have NO LISTINGS as an Exclusive Buyer Agent brokerage, and there are over 14,000 lisitng running through the Portland Metro market at any given time.  And as I wrote in my post, I then explain the practice of my EBA Office, being honest and forthright about not being my listing and offer to assist them by looking up the property, "Do you have the MLS # for me?" etc. 

An old school agents, I've found, love to boost and brag about how they "double end the deal" . . . which is essentially NOT offering full representation to either buyer or seller.  See, Larry, I do listen, and also comprehend what I read.  There are a lot of agents who double and IMHO, when an agent double ends a deal it's a disservice to both buyer and seller, but it nets the listing agent more and therefore, the peacock displays their feathers.  I practice 100% Fiduciary Representation to my clients.  Never putting them in a situation where their representation is diminished due to the "double end"self-motivations. 

Feb 13, 2013 01:38 AM
Joel Jadofsky
Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach - Panama City Beach, FL
One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area

First off in the State of Florida every brokerage is a transition broker unless you disclose you are a single or non representive. It is not Illegal to work with both seller and buyers and we have limited fiduciary. Have you read the #1 seller THE MILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE AGENT? It is a model on how to be successful in Real Estate. The basis of its model is to get all the listings you can as for every listing sale you get you should get at least 1 buyer sale. This is a book wriiten that interviewed the top 50 agents in the country. This is the pricipal all the top companies use. I understand your company only works with buyers and thats why you have a limited uinderstanding on how you can work both sides and still be fair. But it is wrong to sit there and say in general we all are doing a disservice to out clients. I know this is your pitch to get your clients to work with you because you are not allowed to accept listing. Common sense the more clients you have the more referrals and the more word of mouth you get. It we were doing our clients a disservice our companiees would go under from bad word of mouth, so we must be doing something right as we are growing and the companies that are Exclusive Buyers Agency's are falling by the wadeside in numbers in the Country.

You say we are money hungery self serving but your model is the just that. You spin this theory just to get clients to work with you. So you can make a living. Its not about the best thing for your client. You have never had to work a short sale or a foreclosure. I have better knowledge to help a buyer then you will as I know all aspects of the Real Estate industry

Feb 13, 2013 09:54 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

Dear Joel#113: 

Before you insult someone about their "limited" understanding, and your "better" knowledge,  please educate yourself on what a Florda Transaction Broker is...you are spitting fire and don't even understand the basics of what your own state rules are regarding real estate relationships. Dual agency in Florida has been illegal for more than 10 years...

1.  There is NO FIDUCIARY DUTY in a transaction broker relationship.  None, zip zero zilch.

2.  The Florida Transaction Broker Notice says that the licensee will "ASSIST"..."ASSIST" does NOT mean "REPRESENT".

3.  The Florida definition of "limited" representation ONLY means that a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of the licensee (NOTE:  the word "agent" is never used, only licensee) a transaction broker cannot advocate for anyone.

Transaction Brokers are middle men, who fill out the paperwork and must remain NEUTRAL.  You, my friend are grossly uninformed...about everything.

...and yes, I read "The Millionare Real Estate Agent" and also went to a 3 hour seminar on it. 

...and yes, I am also an EBA and also short sale certified. 

Eve in Orlando




Feb 13, 2013 10:42 PM
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Eve  Well said...you saved me from saying it.  I wish I could remember the name of the gentleman that was my 1st intro to EBA's.  I think he is/was in Ohio and a former President of NAEBA.  I remember he was very outspoken...but convinced me a working agency relationship was more important than ego and money.

Feb 14, 2013 01:55 AM
Joel Jadofsky
Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach - Panama City Beach, FL
One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area




(a)  Transaction broker-duties of limited representation.--A transaction broker provides a limited form of representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. The duties of the real estate licensee in this limited form of representation include the following: 
1.  Dealing honestly and fairly; 
2.  Accounting for all funds; 
3.  Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction; 
4.  Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer; 
5.  Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing; 
6.  Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential;

(b) Presumption of transaction brokerage.It shall be presumed that all licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage relationship is established, in writing, with a customer.

And Eve there is not a Florida Transaction Broker notice if the State of Florida. All Real Esate Licensee's are Transaction Brokers, Unless you declare you are a single agent or no Brokerage relationship at all.

Feb 14, 2013 02:17 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

READ the state disclosure, you forgot the best part:


Limited representation means that a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of the licensee. Additionally, parties are giving up their rights to the undivided loyalty of the licensee. This aspect of limited representation allows a licensee to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and the seller, but a licensee will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.

Feb 14, 2013 02:29 AM
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Joel  Let me put my $.02 into this.  Think of what we do as treating every client we have an agency relationship with as either our father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughterIf you were helping your daughter or mother buy a new home would you treat them fairly or would you work for them?  Think about it!  We work for our clients...much more than honest and fair. 

We respect the traditional agents as they are honest and fair in their dealings...AND WE EXPECT THE SAME RESPECT!

Feb 14, 2013 02:32 AM
Joel Jadofsky
Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach - Panama City Beach, FL
One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area

John all I am saying is she states several times that we cannot legally represent both sides. And that there is no way we can be fair to both sides if we do. That is all I am arguing. This just is not fact. I understand its her model of her company but what she states just isnt fact.

Feb 14, 2013 02:34 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

#113 . . . The role of a listing agent is to sell their client's property.  But somehow it's morphed into using the seller's property to fish for buyers, as you so clearly admit to doing.  Pathic, IMHO.  Of course, sellers have no clue that their property is beng used by their agent to pick up a buyer, not to sell their propety, but to sell SOMEONE ELSE'S listing. Selles are, clearly, unaware of this practice . . .  similar to buyers who seem to want to call anyone. 

Since the majority of people, including quite a few real estate agents, do not understand the LAW of real estate agency, they can't explain representation, and fiduciary duties to their clients.  The poorly written Agency Disclosures found in most states actually make it very difficult for a seller or buyer to go after a "dual agent" / transaction broker who screws up the deal  It's a "Get Out of Jail Free" card . . . a lot of agents know this.   Since dual agents, and all the creative variations of tha theme that states come up with, have watered done "limited" duties when both buyer and seller are "represented" in the same transaction, how can the agent ever be held up to a higher standard?  They can't.   And the word "represented" is hugely MISLEADING.  Principals may believe they are being represented, when in fact they are not.  They signed a "disclosure" or were handed a disclosure and it all sounds so good on paper.  Since when are real estate transactions all neat, tidy and predictable?  No liability equals not losing in court when an injured seller or buyer brings a lawsuit against a dual agent, limited agent, etc.  

And most of the angst in a deal gone bad is from the BUYERS -- who are left holding the bag, once they (unfortunately) letthe cat out.  Sellers cash out, they move on.  They typically have no remorse when a deal closes, and hence don't seek legal recourse. 

A million-and-a-half dollar property is sold and the dual agent didn't advise the buyers to get a home inspection, or otherwise advocate on repairs.  Buyers moved in and the electrical system was shot, over $50,000 of work/repairs needed.  Buyers were SOL.  Agent defended against the action that they didn't have a duty to the buyers. Since the agent didn't know of the material defect, they weren't held responsible for non-disclosure.  Buyers couldn't prove that the sellers and/or their agent knew about the electrical condition.  Buyers suspected, after the fact, that sellers knew all along, but didn't disclose it.  Hard to prove what the sellers discussed with their agent prior to listing agent/turned dual agent.   Buyers asserted they were mislead/misunderstood the disclosure.  Buyers suspected the listing agent/dual agent was self-motivated by the SWEET double-dip, close to $75,000 in commissions and the sellers were motivated to SELL (aren't they all).  But, as the buyers found to their chagrin, that's hard to prove too, unless there's something in writng (like a comment on a blog stating how the agent loves to doubel-dip all the time - proves "motivation"). The Sellers cashed out, moved on . . . couldn't be bothered.  Buyers are ALWAYS left holding the bag, once the cat's let out.  Buyers were intelligent people, buying a high-end property.  They couldn't really argue that they ddn't understand what they were getting in to, althouh they didn't.  The listing agent was just so darn nice, so seemingly transparent, and seemed so fair.

I don't even know what "I'm fair with both clients" means.    Hmmmmmmmmmm . . . define "fair."  Is it "fair" to the buyer that they can't rely on the dual agent to help them with their due diligence on the property, or comp property to true current market value, and the list of the myriad of things that are required when SINGLE AGENCY is in play.  The states know the common law of agency can NOT have both principals "represented" by the same agent, so they create statute that, essentially, absolves agents of even HAVING any duties to "represent," and limits their duties of the real estate agent -- all done in statutes, code, administrative law.  

I realize this is may be over your head . . .

Where do I state that a dual agent can't be "fair?  As I ask:  Define "fair."  I'm not making up the Common Law of Real Estate Agency.  I don't make up the Fiduciary Duties of a Single Agency broker/agent. 



Feb 14, 2013 02:40 AM
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Joel  I see a Transaction Broker as a referee in a ball game.  The ref keeps the game honest and fair.  Yes, you can treat each side honestly and fairly.

You stated Carla had a limited understanding of traditional brokerage.  I'm sure she will accept your apology.

You mentioned The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and success is based on making the most money because you have the most listings.  Money is a very poor measurement of success and wealth.  I wouldn't trade my life, wife, family, health, friends, clients...for any amount of success measured by money.

If your next listing or buyer was yourself...trust me, the Florida Real Estate Commission is not going to let you be a Transaction Broker.  You have someone's interest at heart.

Enjoy your day!

Feb 14, 2013 02:56 AM
Joel Jadofsky
Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach - Panama City Beach, FL
One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area

Carla I still disagre with you. If someone calls me on my property I try my best to sell them that property if its truly what they want. Why would I walk then to someone else property and take half a deal if they like mine and as you say I can double dip. 

But how many clients do you get that actually buy the house they call you on? Or the first house they see? 1 in 10? 

Yes I get other leads from my listing. and yes that is why I take listings. Its alot cheaper way to advertise myself. But I do not do a disservice to my client. I try to sell every listing I have as fast as possible. That is how I get more listing from word of mouth selling homes in a resonable time frame for fair market value.

Feb 14, 2013 02:57 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

An agent can practice any way they want to.  The reson there are "definitions" of real estate agency is because THERE ARE DIFFERENCES in the manner and scope of representation. 

And far be it from me to care what an agent does while under a listing agreement.  In Maryland an agent can not be a "dual agent."   And I heard that in Maryland a listing agent can not discuss other properties with customers/buyers while under a listing agreement.  If someone comes in during an open house, or calls on the For Sale Sign, the listing agent can not talk to them about "like" properties that might be of interest to them.  Hmmmmmm . . . wonder why Maryland enacted that?!?   In Virginia a buyer rep agreement is required to be signed by buyers when working with a buyers agent. 

Why anyone personalizes my post to toot their own horn is heyond me.  I just wrote a post about a caller not caring who they talk with.  Pity, is the one-word to sum up what I think about that.  I practice Single Agency and choose to work with buyers.  If I was a listing agent, I would not use my client's property via the listing as my fishing pole.  Does that make me a bad listing agent??  That's just me.  I would respect my clients: their need to sell their home, I'd respect my representation of them, and ultimately, getting the transaction through to the close of escrow.  Then I get my commission for a job well done.  I wouldn't hustle buyers, or look at them as another meal ticket.  But, that's just me.   If I were a listing agent, I'd actually mention this to potential clients in the listing appointment.  I think they'd like that, and hire me. 

Feb 14, 2013 04:06 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Comments are deleted when it's clear that my post is being high-jacked and when I'm reminded of a song "You're So Vain," and to paraphrase: "You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You" it's time to delete.

This post was not originally posted to discuss how anyone in particular practices real estate.  When the message thread gets so far off topic and is high-jacked, it's annoying.  It becomes clear when a commentor becomes obsessive.    It can be difficult for obsessive types to blow off some steam.  Going for a brisk, energetic walk or going to the gym works.  And if not the physcially fit type, maybe eating a candy bar, or two might help.

Feb 14, 2013 04:48 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

In Florida we don't have dual agency. All parties are governed by the agency disclosures. I question whether I can represent a buyer and seller as a transaction broker without dealing honestly and fairly to both parties. That is just how I am. Been doing this for too long to do it any other way. 

May 18, 2013 12:50 AM
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
35 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Carla - Great post. I have heard this line many times as well. When you sit down with a buyer and explain the laws of agency to them, it really is an eye-opener.

Jul 24, 2013 06:31 AM