Profile picture for BlueDog902

I"m looking to buy my first home. Is it uncool to contact more than one realtor?

I want to be professional and polite. However I also want to get the best opportunity. I am unaware of the proper etiquette. 
  • April 15 2011 - Springfield
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Answers (23)

Best Answer

Hi BlueDog,

You should absolutely interview several agents.  Have them give you a buyer's presentation so you can judge their preparation skills, ability to communicate, test of knowledge, and ability to answer your questions. You need to find out if they are a full time agent or part-time, the number of years they've been in business, their sales figures, etc.  You don't have to base your selection on this because they are some great agents in the business with a few years experience.  Do find out if there are any violations against them by checking their DRE # against the state records.

Your face-to-face meeting should give you some insight on their personality and whether there is a fit for you in working with them.  You can also terminate a contract with your agent at any time should things change.  Buying a home is a major step and it should be a comfortable relationship.  The agent has to be able to give you feedback, keep you informed, and communicate on a regular basis.  You should also be informed of the process in buying a home so there won't be any surprises. 

If you need any reading material I can e-mail you some on being a first-time home buyer.  Good luck.
  • April 15 2011
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Under what circumstances would you want to contact other agents?  If you are interviewing them, that's good; if you haven't signed a Broker Agreement, then it's okay to keep calling agents... but if you are working under a Buyer's Broker Agreement, then it is best that you contact your own agent with each new question or house you want to see.  Good luck!
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Let's invert the situation:

An REA is looking for a seller of a home. Will the agent only work with one seller at a time till your home is sold?

An REA is looking for a home buyer. Will you be the only client of that buyer's agent till you buy your home?

An REA is making an offer on a property. Are you sure that only your offer is being submitted by your buyer 's agent?

Think about these questions and read several articles from credible sources and make your own judgement.
  • June 07 2011
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Hi Blue Dog,
I would strongly recommend you interviewing your buyer agent prior to hiring them. I would also strongly recommend getting everything that agent will be providing to you in writing.

With that said, I would not call or contact real estate agents to show you properties until you have selected a buyer's agent that you want to represent you. I would not even go to open houses. The reason why is, that licensee can claim you as a customer, even if you don't sign anything.

If you find a property before hiring your agent, that agent that showed you the property may not allow your buyer's agent to get the fee that the seller/listing agrees to credit to your buyer agent.

  • June 07 2011
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It's always a good idea to interview agents. You will be working together for a significant amount of time so you want to make sure you are both able to communicate effectively. If you don't want to commit to one agent right away, just be upfront with the agents that you do speak to and let them know you are interviewing agents for the job.
  • June 03 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Agents may ask buyers to sign an exclusive agreement, but they do not have to sign. There are lots of agents that choose to rely on their professionalism, hard work and value added to tie their clients to them instead of relying on a unilateral agreement.

The fear of having clients walk out before making an offer to use another agent is understandable, but happy clients do not jump ship in the middle and good agents understand that.
  • June 03 2011
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You can definitely interview more than one agent, but do not make multiple agents look at multiple houses with you. Most agents will take you to one or two houses and then ask you to sign an exclusive representation contract which says you will only work with that Realtor. 
  • June 02 2011
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Profile picture for Carole Tyne
What is Cool --- ask your friends for referrals.   Looks up agents on Zillow read the reviews.  I would not have more than one agent searching for properties for you.  
  • June 02 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"You can always cancel the agreement, that may not be something that has been mentioned before, if they are not working for you."

Not true. Buyers who are unsatisfied cannot "just cancel". Those agreements are written to protect the agent and most are difficult to cancel even with good cause. Once signed, those buyers agency contracts are enforced by agents even when buyers are not satisfied. Buyers should not sign them willy nilly and should know exactly how much it takes to cancel them.
  • May 27 2011
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Exactly, once you find one that you want to be your agent you should sign with them.  There have been too many experiences with "jack in the box" realtors that show up after another one has put in alot of time and unfortunately they get the commission.  Trust your gut and go with who follows up with you quickly and addresses your needs.  You can always cancel the agreement, that may not be something that has been mentioned before, if they are not working for you.

  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"Once you find one you should sign a buyer agreement with them."

I would disagree with that. Meeting agent a few times and talking with them is not enough to sign an agreement. The agent needs to show good faith and show you with their work that they are listening to your needs as a buyer in terms of keeping good contact and sending you increasingly tailored listings to your criteria.

Singing an agreement right off the bat may tie you to an agent that feels that they can back off and not work as hard to keep you as a client. If you sign an agreement, I would severely limit the amount of time that you agree to for no more than a 30 day renewable contract. Too many buyers have been held hostage by marginal agent through buyers agreements. Make certain you have a great agent before you sign one.
  • May 27 2011
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You should definately interview agents/brokers.  Once you find one you should sign a buyer agreement with them.  They represent you and your interest then.  If dual agency occurs (where they list a house you want to buy), that will be disclosed and if you choose another agent can act as your buyer agent to protect your interests.

Make sure your broker is aware of financing options for you and special programs that are out there now for first time buyers through the state and fed.
  • May 27 2011
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It is normal for home buyers to call as many realtors as they can prior to hiring one. A home buyer must see to it before hiring that indeed, the realtor hired can work on his behalf.
  • April 20 2011
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Because purchasing a home is not a small purchase by any means, the more people you talk to the better. Find an agent or a couple that you work with best and go from there.

You do not want to stick with one agent and regret it later.

Good luck on you home hunt!

Howard
  • April 20 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You can contact as many realtors as you want, but it is really helpful to find one to use for the buying transaction. As a first time buyer, I would not use the listing agent as your own since you would be trusting them to ask questions of the seller on your behalf.

It would be better to have another set of eyes on the deal that are looking out for just you and not for the seller at the same time. Buying your first house, you don't know what you don't know so you need to find someone who can bring their professional experience to the table and ask the right questions.
  • April 19 2011
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Good question. No, its not, sometimes youll go through many Realtors to find your dream home. Its most important to find your perfect home not your perfect Realtor.
  • April 19 2011
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I love working with First Time Home Buyers.  I always tell my customers to "interview"  agents.  Find the agent that fits best with your personality and one that you feel comfortable with.  Then pick ONE.  When you pick the right agent, it becomes a win-win for everyone. 

  • April 19 2011
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Once you commit to an agent that you have confidence in, I see no problem talking to other agents. Of course please tell the other agent that you are working with an agent. Most agent have no problem with that.
  • April 15 2011
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You are doing the right thing in choosing the best realtor who could represent you. Hiring realtors is just like hiring any other services, you should look the one that suits you and meets the standards that you've set. 
  • April 15 2011
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You should try to interview a few agents and then go with the one you feel more comfortable with. You should be as upfront with the agent and let him or her know what you expect but to work with two agents is not necessary. There is not a problem signing an agreement because this is how agents get compensated but you should try to do it short term so if you see the need to change you would not have to wait a long time. Any other questions give me a call.
  • April 15 2011
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Hi BlueDog, Feel free to contact as many Real Estate agents as you need until you are satisfied.  In fact, it's recommended, however, be honest with your agents.  When you settle on one agent you want to work with, you should try to be loyal and stay with that agent.  They are going to spend their resources on you, leaving their wife and kids in the middle of dinner to show you properties, miss a kids game ... etc.  Don't stop working with that agent unless the agent is clearly not helping you.  In that case, you should change agents again.  But shop around first! :) If you haven't purchased a home in the last 3 years, chances are you qualify for a first time home buyer down payment assistance program.  I've actually helped people get over 80k in free money but you have to know what you're doing.  Make sure the agent is familiar with all the programs in your area and with the different lenders that are APPROVED in the area to offer those programs. Congradulations and happy house hunting! :)
  • April 15 2011
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Thanks for your question Blue Dog.  I LOVE IT!  I am going through this now.  A potential buyer searched for Realtors in our area, then read all the reviews on me which you should do.  We then met, and they interviewed me and then they interviewed other Realtors.  I got the job.

If this does not work for you, I can research some Realtors in your area that appeal to your needs and hold some designations, etc....

Good luck, hope this helps and if you need me, let me know.
  • April 15 2011
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It is fine to speak with a few of them and even let a few of them send you listings etc so you can get a 'feel' for who you think will be a better 'fit' and you can always change your mind later and go with someone else. Just do not sign any Agreement to work with any agent 'exclusively'. Some agentsntry to get you to sign it, but you do not need to. If they are unwilling to work with you without it then fine. There are tons of us agents out there to choose from.
  • April 15 2011
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