I got a call from a potential buyer on a listing I have in Gilbert, Arizona. This buyer had seen one of my advertisements and wanted to view the home. As I always do, I asked if they were working with a REALTOR. There was a pause and then the buyer, a gentleman, said, "Yes". I then politely asked this buyer if there was a reason he was calling me to show him the home instead of his agent. His response was, " well, my Dad will be representing us, but has his license in-active right now. He will have someone to hang it active with in a couple of days."
So, I am in the business to sell homes - and I will be showing this gentleman my listing tomorrow. I wanted to explain what could and often does happen in similar situations in Arizona and across the nation. This topic has spawned volumes of discourse, lengthy discussions and pages upon pages of procedural standards and precedents. I will try to explain in simple, admittedly not complete, terms why agents have a problem showing properties to other agent's clients. You are already familiar with procuring cause if you have ever looked at a new home community and seen on the door, "If you are working with an agent, they must accompany you on your first visit."
If an agent spends the time and money to market a property, shows and educates a buyer about a property and then the buyer decides to buy the property. The agent that helped to get the buyer to the point where they were ready to say, "I want to purchase this home", is the one that should earn the commission for selling the property to the buyer. In the real estate industry we call this "Procuring Cause". Simply writing up an offer to purchase a home on the buyer's behalf, even though you might be negotiating the deal does not entitle you to a commission. This type of agent essentially is having other agent's do the footwork and incure the cost for him/her and then they want to get paid for the work. Let's think about this, is it fair for someone to do all the leg work, spend the time and money to get the buyer there, spend time with the buyer at the property providing them with pictures, information, etc. and then have someone else step in and get paid for the first agent's work? If an agent is representing a buyer, shouldn't they be showing them homes? How are they going to speak to, and consult a buyer in contrasting homes, neighborhoods, etc...if they haven't viewed these homes?
National Association of REALTORS has a Code of Ethics and procedural standards in place to try to protect the public, our clients and to try to ensure agents treat each other in a professional manner. The Golden Rule is specifically spelled out at the beginning of the document. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If you want a specific agent to represent you in the sale of the home - let them represent you from start to finish. If you shop for homes without your agent there is a very good chance your agent won't get paid and you won't get the benefits of true buyer representation.
Thanks for reading.