Profile picture for boeinguy727

Can I approach the listing agent with an offer, or must I use a different agent?

I saw a property I liked (short sale). I called a agent to show me the property. I had to fly there, get a car and hotel room. After all that, he acted like I was a casual shopper and he was not prepared (also, it's a condo/hotel and the place was booked, so I couldn't see the room). The agent did not have information I needed. I want a new agent. Can I simply contact the listing agent? The agent I called only showed me the area, nothing more.
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November 12 2011 - Staten Island
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You made an appointment with an agent to fly in and look at properties and the agent was not prepared?
Usually, when someone contacts me by phone or email about coming into town to look at properties, I allow 4 - 8 hours for that person. Sometimes, if they will only be here 3 days and have to buy within that time frame, I clear my calendar for the 3 days.
Now, this is presuming that the potential client plans ahead. You can't call me this afternoon and expect me to rearrange everything by tomorrow. We're talking 3 - 5 weeks notice here. Well-planned trips can be very productive.
The other part of this equation is that the potential client and I will have multiple phone conversations and emails over the weeks leading up to their visit. You don't just meet someone at the airport and start the relationship there; you build the rapport before you meet IRL.
By the time they arrive, we both know quite a bit about each other. I have already qualified them as a buyer; I have their Letter of Guaranteed Funds or PreApproval Letter on file; I know exactly what they are looking for; they know how I work; they understand the buying process; they are comfortable asking me questions; we have probably already signed the agency agreement. We are ready to go!
We will see several properties, discuss the merits of each, take a lunch break, see a few more, take a dinner break and determine which one suits their needs best.
If your experience was not like that, something needs to change.
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November 12 2011
You can approach the listing agent but remember, the listing agent always represents the buyer. You really should have your own agent to protect your interests from contracr to close.
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January 02 2012
You can approach the listing agent with an offer HOWEVER remember that the listing agents loyalty and fiduciary responsibility is to the seller NOT to you.  That means that he/she will not have your best interest at heart and quite frankly it won't save you anything by not having your own representation.  Most sellers will not discount the sales price because you don't have a realtor, so you might as well have an agent.
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December 19 2011
Listing Agent represents the Seller, not the Buyer.  Wouldn't you want somone looking out for you?
Ania
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December 19 2011
I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with an agent who claims to be a REALTOR.  I am a full time - full service Realtor and I hate to hear when a client is not happy with a Realtor.  Before you even flew down your Realtor should have checked to see if the unit that you were interested in was available to show or he should have explained that he might have to show you a similar unit.  Also, he should have shown you other properties that might have been of interest to you.  It is a tricky situation when a buyer works with the listing agent.  It can be done but it is best to have a Buyers Agent working for you that can give you the best representation.  The listing agent has to work fairly when negotiating with both the Seller and the Buyers if you choose to work with the listing agent.  Sometimes the outcome is not as good as it could be for either party.
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December 19 2011
building a relationship takes time, however meeting an agent on the fly will in most cases deliver the result you had disappointment. As the previous agent stated you needed to have some conversation and expectations of how things would work prior to you visit. As well as when you arrived. the listing agent works for the seller if you don't need representation then you don't need a buyers agent to help you. Again the selling agents job is to protect her client. It would serve you better to hire a competent buyers agent.
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December 19 2011
Do what you think is right.  My only advice to add is to at least send an email to the agent who showed you the property and let him know that you are going in a different direction and why. 
Be professional even if he wasn't. 
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December 10 2011

If the agent who showed you the property finds out that you made an offer that wasn't through him, he/she could possibly cause a stink with the listing agent since he/she was technically the one that showed you the property. However, in such cases it is difficult for the selling agent to prove their case and uphold their right to a selling commission

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December 06 2011
Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
considering the details of the post and the fact that its almost a month old, i'm quite sure that this has been resolved, but for the record, since Sherri Bloom dragged it back up

when you make an offer to a listing agent, 90% of the time you basically double their commission in the process. this means that you might get more "support" from their agent, even if you offer a lower price. "this is an all cash offer, it looks really strong" or "i looked over some of the comparables and i think hes right in the ballpark."

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December 06 2011
Hi. As long as you have not signed a broker agreement with the agent, you are free to use anyone you like. It might be in your best interest to use a different agent, other than the listing agent, so that you are sure your best interests are always being represented in the deal.  Good luck! 
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December 06 2011

The listing agent will have the seller's interest in mind, as it should be. There are plenty of good agents out there, who will help you write up a contract and do the negotiations. I certainly wouldn't recommend trying to negotiate a short sale on your own. They are difficult, to say the least, and some banks will not allow you to enter the transaction without representation.

If this agent works for a broker, contact the broker and let them know you were not happy with this agent, and ask for a different agent. In Georgia, all agents represent the broker, and they will assign someone who they trust to help you. If the agent IS the broker, look elsewhere.

Good Luck!

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November 14 2011
Did you sign an exclusive buyers agency agreement?  Remember if you use the listing agent he or she is representing the seller.  My best advice would be for you to find yourself a good buyers agent that you feel is working hard for you.  Do you have any friends, family or acquaintances that could ask about a referral?
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November 14 2011

I would go directly to the listing agent. If you have not signed an exclusive agreement with the buyers agent, then I would search and find a different one. There are enough agents in every market that you can find one that better meets your needs.

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November 13 2011
If you didn't sign any sort of Buyer's Agency Agreement with the first agent, then you can certainly contact the listing agent.  Just know that they are working for the seller at this point and they will have the seller's best interest in mind.  You could also look for another Buyer's Agent to help you out, possibly one that is more attentive to your home buying needs than the first.  Good luck!
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November 12 2011
Profile picture for boeinguy727
Thank you all. In the agents defense, it was short notice...he had three days to set up my visit but it's one specific property (condo unit) I'm interested in and I wanted to see it and the resort in general (I was in the area a year ago). I told him I'd be paying cash for the property. I expected him to be better dressed (not shorts and sneakers) and that he'd be able to tell me at least the taxes and how much income the condo generated. I can understand the place being booked up and I guess the only way to see the room is to rent it. After the visit, I felt like I was dumped. I expected him to discuss what we saw and get a feel for what I thought. I expected him to take me to his office. I know I want to buy it (already conducted my own research and have relatives there that know the area), but I do want to see the unit. Considering I'm ready to write a check for $250K, I thought we'd be able to start the process. He just got in the car and left. I just don't think he's interested. I've worked with agents before and this one was not at all what I'm used to. Maybe short sales aren't his cup of tea? I'll contact the listing agent. Thank you again.
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November 12 2011
I can only speak for North Carolina.  As a real estate agent I have to have a buyer officially hire me in writing to be their exclusive agent before writing an offer to purchase for them.  If a buyer hasn't signed an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement with me then they are free to work with any agent including the listing agent.  If they have signed an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement then the buyer is required to work with me only for the time period, geographical area and property types described in the Buyer Agency Agreement.  If you've signed a Buyer Agency Agreement and have decided that you don't want to work with that agent then the best thing to do is to contact him and asked to be released without penalty.  Most agents will agree to this. 
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November 12 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
I would not use any agent that had me fly in and then was not ready to show. If you go to the listing agent be prepared to do all the negotiation, inspector screening and bs detection on your own. If you feel capable of handling that then go ahead and deal direct.

Otherwise, scout a good agent on Zillow and interview them by phone before you set up a time to actually meet them in person or by Skype.
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November 12 2011
In Nevada you can use the listing agent as your agent. Dual agency is very common. The agent that you met with should have had everything set up for you to view the subject property, especially knowing you were flying out.
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November 12 2011
Call the listing agent if you like.  I recommend going straight to the listing agent in short sale situations.  Most of these properties are priced below market and if you get a list of the comparable sales from the agent to preview it could help with deciding on your offer price.  Watch out though if the listing agent doesn't answer all of your questions.  Same goes for any agent.  Find another one immediately.  This business is about full disclosure - not running away from questions.
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November 12 2011
 
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