Who's the Decision Maker,can be one of those bombshell questions. Real Estate selling and buying requires us, as Realtor's to deal with the decision makers. You could be talking to the decision maker upon first contact, or you could be discussing your representation with someone other than the decision maker (owner of the property). Until you meet face to face and get the facts all you can really do is ask questions and note the answers.
Many times younger buyers have parents that will contact me on their behalf. Some in fact offer so much information they seem like the seller, except their name isn't on the deed! They lent money for the purchase of the property, failed to have joint ownership, a promissary note or any written attactment recorded for their investment. They want a say because of their investment but really have no say in how the property is listed or sold. Unless their child authorizes communication, in writing of course, when you list the property with them they are treated as any other interested party. Cross the line even though it does not seem reasonable and you could be violating your fudiciary responsibility and possibly your code of ethics.
Knowing Who's the Decision Maker helps you market properties. We have all had brothers, sisters, husbands and wifes call and want to list a property for sale. In Michigan the husband can not sell a property without the wife's signature on the contract. Divorce situations happen. They also cause people to do strange things, like sell the home the wife or husband is living in without their knowledge!
Knowing Who's the Decision Maker when working with home buyer's is just as important. Many times someone behind the scenes is offering information that may be counter productive to your efforts. Parents, co-workers all well meaning use bits of information and turn them into facts that are used by buyers to forge a buying strategy that collapses angry moments when offers to purchase fail.
I have had parents want to preview any home their child would like to buy before lending them money to purchase. Only reasonable for an investor to think that way. The problem may be that the parent/investor may not have a flexible schedule, live some great distance away and unable to view the subject property fast enough. Most properties have the peak visits within the first 30 days of being listed.
Knowing "Who's the Decision Maker" can help real estate agents represent their clients better. Hidden Decision makers can cause delays in purchases and sales creating undo stress for clients and agents.
Do you know Who's the Decision Maker in your transaction?