"I didn't want to bother my agent..."

Real Estate Agent with Amerivest Realty

Seems like lately I’ve been getting more and more calls that result in a meeting with buyers that already have a Realtor… a Realtor that they didn’t want to bother by having them rush out to just show them a house.                                                                                    

I take partial responsibility for this because I’ve really become lax about asking, “Are you currently working with an agent?” when someone calls to see one of my listings. 

I haven’t done floor time in a while – which is when I got really good at asking every caller if they already had an agent.  (Because I was rarely in the mood to rush out to show someone else’s listing to someone else’s buyerJ)

But, when it comes to the opportunity to show one of my own listings – I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive to all the agents whose work I’m doing – but I don’t really care if the people have a Realtor or not.  I’m just happy to show my listing for my sellers’ sake.

I am pretty against dual agency – and have most of my sellers initial the little line to say, “No, Tara can’t be a dual agent on this sale.”  So, when I show my listings – my showings start with a little speech about how I’m working for the sellers – so don’t tell me anything that you don’t want me to tell them.  (And, of course we always complete the necessary ‘no agency’ formJ)

So, here are a few “comments” that I’ve heard lately.

From an older gentleman:  “My daughter-in-law is a Realtor – so I’ll use her.”

From a 30-something female on a Saturday morning:  “My agent has a full-time job, and I felt bad about asking her to show me houses on her day off.”

From a 20-something male at noon on a Thursday:  “My agent is at work, so I just called the number on the sign.”

From a middle-aged couple:  “Our agent is really busy, so we thought we’d just call you.”

And the funny thing is – I really don’t mindJ  More than once, these people walk through the house with me and then call the agent they’re related to/didn’t want to bother/that was too busy to show them a house – and they write my sellers an offer.  So… I’ll happily keep showing my listings to already happily represented people.  (And, I'll keep collecting of all the comical rationalizations that buyers have for not just calling their own agent.)


Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

It's your listing, so I don't see anything wrong with it. You're looking out for your sellers best interest and that includes getting people into their front door.

Oct 02, 2013 05:52 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I do the same.  Anti-dual agency and is in my seller's best interests to allow the showing no matter who is representing them.   As long as everyone knows their role and is aware of the other's intentions, all is right in the world and no one feels "used".  And some of their excuses are laughable, aren't they?

Oct 02, 2013 05:57 AM
Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green

Thanks for sharing your views.  Being so helpful as you have been to prospective buyers is a good trait to have!

Oct 02, 2013 06:39 AM
Rosie Crow
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX
Exceeding Expectations. Delivering Results

I wouldn't mind showing buyers my listing.  But, if someone called me (who is already represented) to show properties listed by other agents, I would politely decline.  Their agent needs to step up to the plate and carve out some time to show properties.  But, then again, everyone has their own way of doing business. 

Oct 02, 2013 08:28 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

My own listing - I'll show it as many times to as many people as I can. My sellers are happy, and I get a commission when it sells.

Other people's listings - I show only to those people that I will represent in a negotiation. This isn't a charity affair for me.

Great post, Tara - your sellers are lucky you put them ahead of yourself.

Oct 02, 2013 08:53 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Irvine Realtor®

Anytime I receive an opportunity to talk to somebody new, it's an opportunity to generate revenue.

Oct 02, 2013 09:08 AM
Jeff Fisher
PureWest Real Estate - Whitefish, MT

I'm with you Tara, anytime I can showcase my listing I'll do it. If they tell me a story about their agent is blah blah blah, I just smile and say, well I'm here and lets take a look! 

Oct 02, 2013 10:28 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great post I try and ask if they have an agent and if they say yes my request is they contact thier agent. They have a job to do and that is to represent thier buyer. I certianly do not want to over step my bounds with another agents buyer. So please do take a look at the property but please do contact your agent it is their job to help you make the move you are interested in making.

Oct 02, 2013 10:51 AM
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

Tara, I was taught years ago to be prepared to do everyones job. In this particular case you are doing an incredible job for your seller by being willing to show without the resentment that goes with it when, at times, they do turn around and write an offer with someone. On the buyers side I really coach my buyers up front about how it feels as an agent when you call the other agent "just to see the house" and not bother anyone.

Oct 02, 2013 11:36 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Tara, I am always happy to show my listings to buyers.  As the listing agent, it's my job to get the houses sold. In a perfect world buyers would call their too busy, too sleepy and well traveled agents to see the properties.  I make it clear to my buyer clients that I am never too busy to show them houses. I also explain that we will need to coordinate schedules and I give them business cards to hand to other agents so the agents know my clients are represented.

Oct 02, 2013 01:55 PM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Metro Life Homes - Palm Springs, CA
California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Tara, you have an excellent attitude about handling such requests... there can be an opportunity in just about any meeting. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 02, 2013 02:26 PM
Brian Park
Park Realty Investments - Murray, UT

I always showed listings to represented buyers where my brokerage was the listing agent. I wanted our listings in the buyers mental inventory and a chance for our sellers to get that old sold sign.

I did resent showing listings not ours and some lazy agent let every one else do their job for them. So for awhile I told the buyers the fee was $25 dollars or some such amount per showing, because their agent was going to be the one to get the check when they bought and when all was said and done, and I don't know how to pay my bills if I incur expenses and work for free, but I'm sure if your agent has your interest at heart and he will reimburse you, why don't you check with them, and see what you can work out? I did know in many cases these agents were kicking back commission or working at discount so were not giving full service and palmed as much work on the buyers  and other agents as they could.

Finally I started more of a interview approach asking them to come into the office and start screening them and found half of them were ready to select another agent, and half of them were potential prospects for my mortgage broker. that is of those that were real buyer prospects. Many of the kickback the commission prospects started rethinking their position when the market picked up and they found out their plan had many flaws, and their agent was happy to cut them loose and get a nice referral fee or rewrite the contract and work on a 50/50 basis. The ones I loved the most were the window shoppers who were not going to do anything at the moment but wanted instant service because they made a request and if you would take them to lunch first that would be nice and after all it doesn't cost us anything to serve them and its our job..

Oct 03, 2013 05:43 AM
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

God bless you is all I can say if you don't mind because there is no way in hell I would do all that when someone else should be.

Oct 07, 2013 02:35 AM
Garth Jones
Prudential Tropical - Valrico, FL

On Sunday, at 4 PM "well the home is higher than my price range, and I wanted to let my agent have the day off".  Well now, aren't you the courteous buyer?

Oct 07, 2013 10:44 PM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Just depends on the situation. Probably will always show my own listings and try to close the deal.

Oct 08, 2013 03:11 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Tara Winfield You are 'short selling' yourself by not acting as a Transactional Agent. We have acted this way forever and no one objects. It is all in how tyou present your Listing Agreement. You are cutting your income stream substansially and it is not Dual Agency.

Oct 16, 2016 09:21 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Like you, I work for my seller but I learned the hard way to always ask "Are you working with an agent?".  My pet peeve are other agents who want me to do their work because they are "too busy" or out of the area.  

Oct 16, 2016 10:50 PM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

I agree it is our responsibilty as listing agents to show our own listings, regardless of who's representing the buyers. Just like you I start out with a speech on dual agency too. I'm all about transparency and buyers and sellers need to know up front exactly what the deal is when they work with the listing agent. 

Oct 17, 2016 05:53 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

There is a difference when it is your listing for sure. You are right, then even when we don't want to do it, we know it is the right thing for our sellers. 

Oct 17, 2016 09:34 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I always ask that question from a buyer, but when they call on my listing, and say the want to see it, my question goes  to pre qualification and if qualified, i am showing it to them if their agent is not available. Have a good day Tara Winfield 

Oct 17, 2016 10:43 PM