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First and Foremost, the listing agent represents the Seller and they have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. The listing agent could represent you and they will know what the highest and best offer is which could be your advantage in a multiple offer situation. However, the listing agent represents the seller first... This market is competitive and if you want the home more than the next guy, you will have to represent that in your offer. And the highest price is not always the best offer... You can present your offer through the listing agent and I am sure they will do just a good job for you, but keep in mind, they represent the seller before they represent you...If I am the listing agent and a buyer approaches me to write and present an offer and they tell me they are willing to pay $350K, but they only want to offer $300K, as the listing agent representing the seller, I am obligated to disclose to the seller that the buyer is willing to pay $350K....Great question and good luck!
Since the listing agent has a responsibility to represent the sellers best interest, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations. Think of it this way. The broker has an obligation to disclose any information to his or her seller that benefits the seller. So only say things to the listing agent that you would say directly to the seller. Are you in trouble? Maybe not. Since the price has been negotiated the next step is to formalize the purchase in writing. Have the broker draft the agreement and forward it to your attorney before you sign anything. Let the broker know that your attorney will be in touch to negotiate any changes in the agreement. Also, do not negotiate any terms further. Inform the listing agent that all correspondence must go through your attorney. It is not ideal and it would have been preferable to have a buyer broker, but trying to insert a buyer agent into the process now would be confusing and could bring up issues of procurring cause, especially where you have already negotiated some terms of the purchase.
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