Profile picture for EllenOH

Is it legal for a buyer to contact LA directly?

I had a sellers agent (friend) who showed me a house.  I submitted an offer that was not accepted by the seller and I was considering submitting another offer. I had some questions about the property and I did not feel my questions/concerns were being properly interpreted and conveyed by my agent to the listing agent.  I contacted LA directly for a open conversation, she was happy to discuss my concerns.  My agent advised me that it was ILLEGAL to call the LA directly.  Is this true, or is his personal feelings (ego) getting in the way?  

An aside - This was not a "secret call", I advised him of my call to the LA the same day - He would still earn his commission should a sale ever be transacted.
  • September 13 2012 - Fort Lauderdale
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Answers (5)

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A member of the public may call whomever they wish; as long as YOU called the listing agent, he/she may talk to you

  • September 13 2012
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As others have stated, it is not illegal for a buyer to contact the listing agent of a property directly.  However, if you feel your real estate agent is not communicating your wishes clearly or acting in your best interest, you might consider partnering with a new agent.  

Best of luck!  I hope everything works out okay for you.

Chad Gray PA, Realtor
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  • October 25 2012
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Its not Illegal at all.  There would be concern on who earned the commission though possibly.   For Florida and I'm in Fort Lauderdale too we operate as a transaction broker unless another agreement was signed so the listing agent can handle the transaction for both parties, they would have limited representation for both parties.  We do not have dual agency in Florida in residential transactions anyway.

As far as the commission goes, it's called procuring cause, meaning who actually SOLD you the property, not who showed you the property. If your agent is not meeting your needs or getting the proper questions answered for you then you can legally ask the listing agent, its just not the best thing to do.  You should have someone thats works for you in your best interest and getting your questions answered.  If your not happy with your friend then I would ask someone else to help you. You as the customer are allowed to do that and still buy the same home, maybe the new Realtor could give your friend a referral fee, but that probably would not be required in this case since your not happy with your agent. 

I just took a class on procuring cause and it was very interesting, its not about who showed you the property or even who wrote the contract believe it not.
  • September 13 2012
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"Illegal?" no...there is no law against that.

"Unethical? no...there is no realtor code of ethics for consumers.

"Uncool?"  Probably, however I do not know what it is that you needed that the agent could not provide.

You say you had a "sellers agent-friend" show you the house and then you refer to them as "your" agent.  Unless you are working with a Buyers Agent, you do not have have a agent...you are working with either a sellers agent who still works for the seller...or a transaction broker who owes you NO FIDUCIARY duties and does not work for either party.

"Friends" and business do not mix well...you may have just ruined your friendship.

Go to www.NAEBA.ORG  the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents and use an exclusive Buyers Agent for your next transaction.
 
Eve
  • September 13 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
It is not illegal in my state to call the LA directly. In most states, agents can handle both sides of the transction with no issues. However, if you are a client of your friend, they should be the one talking to the LA about your issues not you. That is what they get paid for and if they are not doing that job for you friend or not, you may need another agent.

You do need to be aware as a buyer that many times the SA has the primary responsibility to the seller in a dual agency contract and not you as a buyer. Unless you are an experienced buyer or feel confident in your ability to handle your side of the deal without detailed advice, you may want to find an agent that can play your cards close to the vest and keep their eyes open on your behalf.
  • September 13 2012
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