Profile picture for qandoz

Is it ok to use two seperate real estate agents when searching for a home?

We are currently working with one lady that we like pretty well, but in the last few weeks we're starting to feel like she doesn't have time to show us as much as we'd like. We're currently in contract on a short sale, but we've expressed full interest in looking at other houses since we really have no idea if this house is going to come back for the price we wanted.There was one house that had only been on the market a few days that we didn't find out about until nearly a week later and by that point we had lost out because it had an offer. I feel like she's always making excuses that she has other plans and can't go, but when we press her she always manages to free up the time without a major issue.  Also, in the past week or two, I've been trying to get hold of her and haven't gotten responses until at least 3days later, if at all. I was just wondering if it really was bad form to look with someone else if we're genuinely interested in looking at other houses. Obviously if we get the short sale it's through our current agent, but in the meantime I'm really starting to feel like she's not doing her best in working for us.
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May 31 2011 - Bellevue
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Profile picture for Pasadenan
"I am at the point of offering as many agents the same opportunity to serve me and who ever is the most successful is the one who will get the kitty." -

I'm not an agent, and don't have any reason to protect any agent's interest or business, but I suggest one consider the ramifications of such a decision before taking that route.

Sure, if looking in two entirely separate regions, you need a local agent familiar with the local market, and that has membership in the local MLS... but if looking in the same area, the two agents are showing you the same homes, and have access to the same database and same resources.  And they are using a lot of their own personal resources to find you what you want.  Unlike used car dealers, these agents have no "ownership" of what they are selling, and no ability to cut you any deals, other than give you a rebate on their commission.  So when they find out that you have a second agent  (or 3rd, 4th, 5th, ... 100th agent...) are they going to do ANYTHING for you, other than a "drip feed" of listings meeting your criterion from the MLS?

Of course not!  Why should they spend 4 hours of their time to show you a house that you will only look at for 20 minutes, when you will not even let the agent write up the offer for you, and will just go to your other agent for them to write the offer so that the other agent would get the commission?

Choosing home selling representatives is not at all the same as choosing which used car dealer to buy from, or which sale rep at a car dealer to buy from, or which department store to buy from, or which sales clerk on commission at a department store you are going to allow to try to sell you.
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June 10
HI! I can understand how you might feel that way.  As an agent, I feel guilty when I am not readily available to my clients.  There are times, hours or days, when I am just booked.  Still, I recommend communicating your concerns to your agent.

There are huge benefits to you for keeping with one agent.  You have given him/her specific details as to your limits and allowances, all information you don't necessarily want other agents, or sellers, to know.

When you use multiple agents without a signed buyer's representation agreement, ultimately everything you divulge to them is to be passed on to the seller should they show you a home listed by their same brokerage.  It can severely damage your ability to negotiate your best deal.

Communicate your concerns, commit to your agent as they have committed hours and information to you.  If you still have an issue after this, consider visiting with the broker.
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June 10

In sales, which this is, if you go shopping for a car, you are going to buy one car. Less you have more money than Jay Leno. One car is all I am going to drive at one time or another. Hence, you check out a few cars, and the winning car goes home. Well all of those other sales people don't get  paid for you buying A over B car. The landlord down the street doesn't get paid if his prospective tenant rents another apartment over his as well. Real-estate agents are sales people, yes, we have a little more bite and protection in our world than someone who sells cars and such.

Still, if you want anyone to take your sales serious, stick with one sale rep at a time. IF you don't like this rep because of their bad bed side manners, fine, get ride of them when their contract with you ends.

You agent probably doesn't think you are serious in selling this house. There are a lot of sellers in your spot who don't want to move, period. So, a stall is their tatic to stay. Yes, No, and indecision, your choice.

This short sale has two sides to the sword, two cutting sides. One, you sell and two you can stall. Please, I am not trying to dis you, just trying to help you think what she is thinking. Put yourself in her/his shoes and understand, no sales, no money. No money, no house, no car, no food, no cable tee-vee.

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June 10
Profile picture for zuser20140610050413709
I think most of these responses are from real estate agents themselves because everyone says the same thing, "Just go with one". Look. The way I see it, buying a house is an investment for YOUR life, not for your real estate agent. I am at the point of offering as many agents the same opportunity to serve me and who ever is the most successful is the one who will get the kitty. I'm sick of this loyalty to one agent crap. These guys go after the client who has the most money, and the biggest commission potential. Nobody is looking out for you. Go to sleep!
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June 10
Profile picture for sunnyview
"Now that we are getting ready to look again, we are going to have a sit down with her and really spell it out."

No, please don't do that. You have gained valuable knowledge about your agent. She wants to sell a house and is not focusing on what is in your best interest. That fact should not be ignored. There are too many good agents who are willing to help you find the right house not just the "right now" house so they get their commission.

I would terminate your agent now and start interviewing other agents. You cannot expect that the agent change the way she does business. It is much more likely she will make promises and continue doing business the way she always has at your expense. Once you submit a contract with her, you are stuck for better or worse and she will be primarily focused on her commission instead of telling you what you should be watching out for as a buyer. You can't take that risk and you can do better as a client.
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June 17 2011
You really need to talk to your agent. I ran into a similar situation after my agent found out that my fiance and I were considering (and did end up) waiting a few more months. We felt as if we were getting brushed off, and we really just wanted to see a couple more houses then break the news that we wanted to wait a little while longer. To top all of this off, she stated that NONE of the houses we looked at would be available if we didnt buy immediately. The market is so slow here, only one of the ten properties we have been monitoring has sold.

Now that we are getting ready to look again, we are going to have a sit down with her and really spell it out. Either she helps us, or we take our business elsewhere. We may not be buying the most expensive house she has ever sold, but we are still customers, and there should still be a certain level of customer service. I think you should sit down and have a very similar talk with your agent.
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June 17 2011

Hello,

To mention the use of "any" two professionals in working on the same job is not good. Case in point, you come down with an ailment were medical advice is needed. Do you choose two doctors?

In this simple example you would not, however, if you feel as though the first doctor is not doing what is needed, you will easily discuss your concerns with this doctor so your concerns are addressed. If nothing still does not change with their "bed side manner", you will find one that does work as a true professional.

Best of luck in bringing up your concerns with your present Realtor since as a true professional, he or she will do what is asked of them concerning your real estate needs.

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June 17 2011
I agree, one agent at a time. I would have you sign a Buyer's Agents agreement after the 1st house. Real estate brokers get paid at a closed deal. If we keep working and showing 1...4..10...40 houses, and if there is no agency agreement, and you back out, then we wont get paid. We all need to have our bills paid, and we all work hard. Our job is not as easy as some people think. We are on commission only, and we can spend anywhere from 8 hrs to 14 hrs a day, 7 days a week. It will be really disrespectful to the other agent if you go with someone else. Please talk to her and explain your situation. Let her know if you come across another house, and if closing is faster that you might consider it, being a sure fast closing. She would love to get paid faster :) I do not appreciate the fact she does not respond to you, and I do not admit it. Let her know that as well. Communication is the key in every relationship and a deal. If I have a buyer and we write an offer on a short sale, and if it takes long time, and if my buyers would like to continue shopping, I would definitely show them more homes as they wish. How long is your contract been in negotiation?  
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June 17 2011
qandoz,  I am not an agent so I have another perspective on the subject; however, for the most part we all end up on the same page.  I believe a consumer should determine who they are going to work with and stay the course.  However, the issue is that many consumers don't evaluate the merits of the agent to know if the relationship is going to work out.  Statistics show somewhere over 65% of consumers hire the first agent they talk to. Could be the reason there are issues, because expectations are not set in the first place.

That said, either with an agreement or not, you and the agent have invested heavily in the exisiting relationship.  I suggest to have a real meeting to thoroughly discuss your frustrations.  I promise, leave a voice message that you are thinking of walking and the communication will improve dramatically.  LOL!

At least this way, there is a clean break and you know there are no strings tying you to the previous agent if you decide to move on.  Then, like finding a dating partner, make a list of what you are looking for in an agent...and look for THAT agent....not the biggest advertisement.

Good luck!  
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June 15 2011
Working with one agent is best. Since you already have an offer in on a short sale I would not be willing to show you anything until we knew you were not going to get the short sale. But your agent should have discussed this with you prior to making the offer. I would also have a buyer agency agreement with you, and I only show houses one time with out this in place. I have discussed it but wont have you sign it until the second time we go looking.
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June 15 2011

I would have you sign a Buyer's Agents contract before I would show you a hproperty, this would explain the laws in my state.  One Agent at a time.

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June 08 2011
You should definitely have a conversation with your broker.  It sounds as if she has put a lot of time and effort into your business relationship already.  As an independant contractor, your broker does not get paid until she closes a purchase transaction with you.  You may need to communicate your expectations more thoroughly, and she may need to do the same.  In order to make a living as a real estate broker, she needs to work with multiple clients during the same time period.  Also, there is a lot more to the process than the time she spends with you looking at homes and writing offers. 
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June 08 2011

Are you under a Buyer's Broker Agreement?  Either way, it's always best to just put it all on the table.  If you are honest who could fault you?  Not always comfortable, but can you remember a time you didn't appreciate someone's honesty?  Good luck.

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June 07 2011

Suggest talking with your current agent about what you are feeling.  Not sure if you signed a buyer broker agreement.   In some states it is required before openning a door.  
Your agent should have you on a auto search so as soon as a property meeting your criteria.  Should send email to you immediately. 
Talk to your agent. 

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June 02 2011

One agent at a time and one house at a time.
If either isn't working out it's time for a chat! 



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June 01 2011
Like it has been stated, it is always best in the long run to work with one agent at a time. As the buyer, you choose an agent, and by signing an agency form, you are in essence hiring that agent to work for you. Even though the seller generally pays the buyer's agent's commission, that commission is earned by working for you. If an agent fails to earn that commission by not meeting the needs and demands of their boss/principal/employer (you), then you are well with your rights to let that agent go, and hire yourself a new agent. 

If that agent does not work hard until he/she finds out that there may be competition for the job, I don't think that is the type of agent you want to be working with. The best buyer's agents are those that are not on a team as a "Buyer's Specialist" or a Buyer's Agent" who has to give a large portion of their commission to the team leader. You also want an agent who is motivated, works hard and is ethical. Ask your friends for referrals, interview different agents, and then establish your expectations when you pick one.

Good luck! 
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June 01 2011

Yes, it's ok; however, it's much better to work exclusively with a full-time Realtor that you can trust. If your current agent isn't meeting your requirements, it may be best to let them know, and move on.

Furthermore, you don't want to be in a contract with an agent that is unresponsive and not representing your best interests, so more reason to move on to another Realtor sooner than later.

Best Wishes.

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June 01 2011
I think Shawn hit the sweet spot.  It's a lot like dating.
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June 01 2011
qandoz,

As in most relationships, one at a time is a very good rule.  The other good rule is to end relationship before starting another.  This will keep from causing you or anyone else problems in the future.  The only exception, the 100 mile rule.  Good Luck!

Shawn
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June 01 2011
You should probably state your concern clearly in an email to your current agent.  It's very likely that she will get more "motivated" to continue showing you homes when she realizes you're considering working with another agent.  That's not an easy thing to do, but you'll feel much better than if you are trying to work with two agents at once. 

The concern with working with two agents is that there could be a brokerage/agent disagreement later concerning who earned a commission.  You don't want to get tied up in that.

(Edit:  wd, you just beat me to it by 30 seconds).
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May 31 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
The first step is to spend time talking with your first agent about expectations and how they aren't being met.   Does she know you want to keep looking?   Are you trying to low ball short sales?  In addition to working to clarify expectations, spend time listening to her feedback on your actions and expectations.    It is bad form to not communicate and go to a second agent.  If you've communicated very clearly in a two way dialog and can't resolve the issues, then feel free to bail.  
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May 31 2011
 
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