More Homes Close When A Buyers Agent Is Not Involved.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642


There's a trend in Houston, and I don't like it. More and more situations are being created to squeeze out the buyers agent. It's happening with home builders, inventory homes, existing homes and without question PRE-MLS properties.

Home Builders (1st place winner!)

A good portion of the home builders in the Houston area have their fair share of unethical practices. In fact, unlike Realtors, they have no industry Code of Ethics to which they are required to abide by. One minute they’re inviting us to parties and wine tasting events and the next they’re telling OUR buyers that if they show up without a Realtor they will pass on a huge savings to them. The only reason a builder would pay you to show up without a Realtor is to minimize losing even more money through negotiations. In addition, the builder wants ultimate control throughout a transaction, even if it doesn’t put the buyers best interest before their own. The contracts builders provide are nearly one sided and the last thing the want is contractual exposure or any other type of interference by a Realtor who knows not just the area, but the way a deal is supposed to goes down. And don't get me started on the builders "preferred Realtor, lender, or inspector of choice."

Existing Homes

There are real estate brokers in town who not only suggest, but demand that their Realtors show their own listings to each and every buyer they do business with. Not only is this ridiculous, but it’s unprofessional and a waste of time. If my buyer is interested in a purple house with a green door then that is what I intend to find them.  I do not try and steer buyers to my office listings when they don’t match what my buyer is looking for.  I don’t drag my buyers to my office open houses to appease my broker or to appease another home seller. My buyer isn’t a prostitute. The day my broker demands I show an office listing is the day I pack my things and find a new office. Not all buyers are stupid. It won't take them long to figure out that your cramming your own listings down their throats.


Pre-MLS Properties

Pre-MlS properties can have their place and they can be extremely productive if orchestrated with ethical intentions. There’s been numerous times when I used a “Coming Soon” rider on a real estate sign in the yard 3 weeks before I entered the home on the MLS – with the approval of the home owner.

But why?

It’s not uncommon to sit down with a seller who is ready to sell their home, but still needs 2-3 weeks to get the property prepared for showings. Many homeowners want to paint a room, declutter or rearrange some furniture. Why waste any time marketing? A sign out front could create a very nice interest list, especially in a market that is starved of inventory. Ethics are violated when a Realtor lists a home and deliberately does not put it on the MLS (without seller approval)  for an extended period of time in hopes to “find the buyer or tenant” without the involvement of another Realtor. There has been discussion that during a lease it’s actually to the Landlord's benefit for the listing agent to “work both sides of the deal” in order to meet, learn and get to know a tenant  on a more personal level. That school of thought is debatable.

Overwhelming statistical data supports that 9 out of 10 buyers who purchase a home do so with the assistance of a Realtor, especially when they begin their home search on the internet. And just about every buyer with a nose on their face does.

Yesterday a Realtor told me that “his boss” told him he had to be present for each and every showing that took place at his listing as this was the best way for the home to sell. In his Supervisors opinion, only one agent is necessary and the listing agent was the sales person, not the buyers agent. There are so many problems with this attitude & approach that it gives me a headache.


Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Greg, It is happening here in San Jose and the surrounding bay area too. Listing agents are holding back with information keeping agents at bay and then suddenly the property is sold with a "preemptive" offer.  Seriously, they never set the deadline ... no one else had a chance. Call if preemptive if you want ... I have another word for it ...

May 17, 2015 06:41 AM #9
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I believe the neogotiation time can be shorter w/o a buyer agent.

May 17, 2015 10:40 AM #10
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Just wait . . . all it takes is one really nasty lawsuit from a really pissed off buyer, and/or buyers, who got screwed in a deal because the listing agent, builder etc. breached the fiduciary duty.  

Listing agents that play these games are opening themself up. Buyer are not only more educated, but more likely to make a claim.  

May 17, 2015 12:00 PM #11
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Does anyone want to venture a quess at the #1 claim that hits the E & O insurance carriers for real estate agents?

Give up??

Dual agency!

In one from or the other, E & O insurance carriers for real estate agents get hit with dual agency violations, breach of fiduciary duties, commission claims -- #1.

May 17, 2015 12:07 PM #12
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Greg, it might be that the current hot market is attracting new practitioners looking to make a quick buck. 

May 17, 2015 12:13 PM #13
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     In Tallahassee we are fortunate that the overwhelming majority of Builders are happy to cooperate with Real Estate Brokers.   

            But I have seen it in Orlando and Sarasota, when I sold houses there.   Builders who were anxious to squeeze out the Broker and avoid paying a commission. 

May 17, 2015 12:27 PM #14
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

It's not unexpected in a seller's market that the builders would try and cut off all outlets that would steal a dollar from them.  It is those same people that are screaming for agent support when that market turns to a buyer's market.

May 17, 2015 12:51 PM #15
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

I am with you on that Greg. We have similar here as well where we deal with a new build and how they can skirt around laws that we have to abide by makes no sense to me whatsoever there needs to be a level playing field

May 17, 2015 01:30 PM #16
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Not seeing anything of the kind in my market and hope we don't.

May 17, 2015 02:50 PM #17
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Working as a "builder's agent" in the past: my builder encouraged us to cooperate with buyer agents even if they didn't show up with their client.

Often it was the clients who would ask me "if I cut out my buyer agent and deal directly would you reduce the price by the amount of their commission?"

My answer was my builder's policy: "No, because if we started doing that buyer agents would stop bringing buyers to us. So I encourage you to use your agent; we want agents to like us and bring us more buyers".
As a result we had buyer agents bringing us two to three transactions each. And yes, this was during the peak years 2004-2007.

As for resale "pocket listings" this is a disservice to the seller because opening the house on MLS to more buyers with their agents can increase bidding and net the seller more.

May 17, 2015 10:19 PM #18
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Not wise to base all outcomes on money alone. I have built and developed and math drives the bus. Abundance, when it comes to wanting results, beats scarcity every time...If you have a cool head and an open heart, and know anything about faith.... there is enough for all

May 17, 2015 11:31 PM #19
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Again - this type of behavior taints the industry.  Most of us are ethical - but the ones that manipulate listings to their advantage hurt everyone.

May 18, 2015 12:23 AM #20
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Most of the builders in the Boise Idaho area work pretty well with local Realtors since they recognize the power of buyer representation.  However, I was really upset when I saw an email from the listing agent (employee) of a builder with an email signature stating they would pay $500 to "pick your neighbor".

May 18, 2015 03:35 AM #21
Gerhard Ade
RSVP Real Estate - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.

In the Seattle area, a "Coming Soon" promotion for a listing will get you a hefty fine by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. A sellers' market brings out the worst in this industry. The same agents who want to do both sides of the deal now will the ones that come running and scream "find me a buyer" in the next buyers' market.

May 18, 2015 04:17 AM #22
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

As markets shift too much in either direction, some unethical behavior comes into play.  It's a shame it happens, but not surprising as a lot of folks feel that if they are to win, someone has to lose.

May 18, 2015 04:52 AM #23
Andrea Curtis United Country Premier Properties Certified Military Relocation Professional
United CountryPremier Properties - Harker Heights, TX

Greg I feel you pain.  I think every market has the same issues, some are just worse than others.  Looks like you are getting that right now.    Chin up and keep doing the right 

May 18, 2015 06:16 AM #24
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Pretty much don't have the builders issues in this area. Sometimes but not often. Don't agree with the prelisting thing. Sounds like an agent just trying to sell their own listings. Against MLS also I think. As for a broker trying to control showings  and buyer, Think it would last as long as it took me to walk out the door. 

May 18, 2015 06:22 AM #25
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Athina #18

Good point.




May 18, 2015 07:07 AM #26
Virtual Realty Consultants
Virtual Realty Consultants LLC - Wellesley, MA
Making the American Dream a Reality

In states where designated agency is practiced, it is silly not to use a buyers agent to avoid the conflict.  However, in those areas where the agent representing the buyer is a sub-agent of the seller, then one has to question who really is looking out for the buyer's best interests.  


I have seen and experienced firms that require their agents to show their own listings - especially to corporate relocation clients - and they use this as part of their pitch to prospective clients.  I don't understand it.  I don't understand why sellers want it, but these are the same sellers who want their listings advertised in the newspaper and in magazines, so I guess that I wouldn't want the listings anyway.

May 18, 2015 09:00 AM #27
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Greg - It seems that during good times, home builders and brokerages get even more greedier than normal and try to get both sides of every sale. This happened a lot with home builders during the housing boom - they were offering agents zero commission because they knew they could sell their homes without any help from buyers agents. Then, when the housing market turned, they started offering a higher than average commission to buyer agents, as well as all sorts of incentives to get their clients into their communities.

I guess we must be in a good market right now, based on the greed.

May 18, 2015 04:19 PM #28
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