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Etiquette for Buyer's Agent Help

I'm a first timer who is looking to buy a home in a very hot area at the moment. The houses in my price range are being sold the same day they come on the market Inventory also seems to be drying up. I recently hired an agent who I have mixed feelings about. The first time I went to look at a house he did not join me because he was busy. I found a home for sale through my own research that is not on the MLS yet. I had already spoken to the listing agent regarding the property prior to hiring my buyer agent. 

As it turns out, it's an REO property and the listing agent also uses their own buyer's agents for their properties. They offered to rep me and show me the property, which seems like it would give me a leg up on purchasing the house.

My question is: since I found the property, would it be considered alright to view the property with a different agent? Will this totally alienate my current agent?

Is is a conflict of interest that the listing agent works in tandem with their own buyer's agent? 

  • April 18 2012 - Culver City
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Answers (6)

Most importantly it is crucial that you have an agent representing you that you trust and are comfortable with throughout your transaction.  Have you signed an exclusive buyer's agent agreement with the first agent?  If you found the house yourself and haven't been working with the first agent very long (or at all it sounds like) then you are most likely the procuring cause of the sale, if you end up buying this house. 
I would say there isn't anything wrong with having a buyer's agent represent you that works for the list agent.  Just make sure they're representing YOU and are looking out for your best interests...not the seller's. 
Hope this helps, good luck!
  • April 18 2012
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There is no obligation to use any agent.  Even in the event you have signed any exclusive agreement I think it is very acceptable to contact that agents broker and explain why you are unhappy.  Any decent broker would pair you with a new agent and make sure they understood you are too be very well taken care of.  The broker could also terminate the agreement allowing you to work with whomever you choose.
Buying an REO, foreclose or short sale can be tricky and confusing; it would be in your best interests to have an advocate that you both like and trust.
Best of luck, I hope you find the home of your dreams.

  • April 18 2012
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Thanks so much for your help! These comments were very helpful. 
  • April 18 2012
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Are they requiring you to use their agent?  You can always choose your own agent to represent you.  When an agent represents both the buyer and seller it creates what is known as "dual agency."  While working in real eestate law for an insurance company, the majority of cases that I dealt with involved dual agency.
If you do not believe that your buyer's agent is doing what he should, then I would look for another agent.  Believe me, buyer's agents are all over the place. I would speak to your agent and explain the situation.
As far as it giving you an advantage if you work with the in house agent that they recommend, it shouldn't. 
  • April 18 2012
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Once you have a written Buyer Agency Agreement you cannot break it without justification and mutual consent.  In this case you are still bound to an agent you do not much care for, which does not give you a license to start dealing with  another, that is, unless you are willing to pay the agent you have an agreement with, out your own pocket.  The listing agent, must have asked you if you had a buyer agency agreement (that is the first thing you learn at RE school) if you said Yes (which you should have) you cannot have anybody else represent you.  If you do not like your agent, please, terminate your contract, have a word with the Broker and move on.  Then you are free to hire whoever you want to represent your interests.  Short sales are tricky, hire somebody with a good strong track record.  the best of luck! 
  • April 19 2012
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Dear Culver City Buyer,
 I agree 100% that inventory is scarce in Culver City, so your Agent has to be pro-active in finding property .  It is also very important that you are ready to place offers when these homes present themselves ( meaning Pre-Approvals in place, down payments and good faith deposits ready).

In my professional opinion, you also need a Realtor who works with buyers and who has time to provide service to you.
  It is false that you have to use "the listing agent's own buyer agent team" to purchase this property.  I think you answered your own question about the conflict of interest!
You can still work with your current Agent, or if your current agent is too busy,  find a really good Buyer Agent to assist you.
Good luck to you!
  • August 04 2012
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