Profile picture for user6260036

Question regarding using an agent from an open house vs. a previous agent...

My wife and I have had an agent who put us on her email list that sends us an email whenever a house meeting our criteria comes available.  If we want to see the house we would call her and get her to set up a showing.  We made an offer on a house using her, but it wasn't accepted.  The only thing we signed was a non-exclusive agreement regarding that sale.

We recently saw an open house listed on Realtor.com and decided to go check it out on our own.  It turns out the guy showing the house for the selling agent is a friend of mine who I used to work with.  We're interested in making an offer, and he wants to represent us as our buyer's agent.

He said since we didn't sign an exclusive agreement with the other agent then we are free to work with him.

I feel a little bad for the other agent since she's shown us a few houses, but we did find this house on our own, and the guy even came back the next day to show it to us again, and since I have a history with him I think he would do a good job representing the interests of my wife and I.

Is this a common occurrence?  I think calling the other agent and getting her involved would complicate the process since this other guy can represent us, but I would like to minimize hurt feelings as much as possible!

Feedback?
  • April 22 2013 - Lakeland
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Answers (9)

Your friend is new to the business and hungry for a sale. If your agency agreement only covered the one offer he is not doing anything illegal. He is however acting in a manor that is pressuring you to buy through him. A realtors obligation is the clients needs and not their own. If his motive is his bank account than be assured your best interest is not where his focus is. By hiring him you may be encouraging him to learn valuable lessons in real estate at your expense.
Be a good friend and a wise friend. Your friend can receive a referral fee or work as a partner to the other realtor with a split commission. Help your friend learn the value of a good deal by helping him learn the mechanics of a good deal. Add value and satisfaction to the deal by including him along with the other realtor. Protect yourself and reduce your risks by keeping your interests the main focus. Your friendship and his reputation will remain solid because of this.

Best regards and keep us informed what you decide.
  • June 04 2013
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Profile picture for JDaniel
Great question. Since all real estate is local this is a fairly common occurence. Any agent that has been around for a while has probably been on one side or the other in this scenario. 

Here is a suggestion that might help both agents and ease your conscience at the same time. You could ask whoever you choose to represent you if they would be willing to give the other agent a referral fee.

If you decide to go with your friend and you get the property it would be a good gesture. It would also help both agents establish a good working relationship for the future. After all, someday the shoe will be on the other foot!
  • June 04 2013
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I would have no Idea why your daughter's agent did not point out the house.  There could have been any number of reasons including the criteria given to the agent to search for and maybe this house did not satisfy all the criteria. 
However, more importantly, the Realtor's job is far more than locating properties.  There is a long list of services provided by your Realtor.  Locating the right property is important but the real work begins after than. 

  • June 04 2013
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Profile picture for user5731954
I am not a realtor but my daughter might be in this same position.  My question is this:  if the agent who has been representing  you for some time is supposed to be looking for homes that meet your criteria, why did he/she not notify you of the open house?  Would be interested in comments from the professionals on this!  Thanks
  • June 04 2013
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The agent who was attending to the open house would probably not share in the commission... Typically the Seller pays all commisions and as a part of the listing agreement the seller allows the listing agent to offer a commission to the cooperating broker representing a buyer.    

  • April 22 2013
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Profile picture for user6260036
Some of your assumptions are indeed correct - he got his license in January and is new to the business.  What he told us was if we weren't working with another agent then he'd love to represent us.  When I told him we've had another agent (actually, a husband and wife team) show us some houses, he said as long as we didn't sign an exclusivity agreement then we're under no obligation.

He said since we found the Open House on our own then they're out of the picture.

His name isn't listed as the selling agent; he was just attending the open house for him.  So he said he would represent us and our interests and the guy whose name is on the sign would be the selling agent.

He, the listing agent, and the agents who have been showing us houses all work for the same Realtor company.

Ethically, I just can't shake the bad feeling about leaving the previous agents completely out of the process.  So now my question is, if we get the other agents involved, will my old work acquaintance at least get part of the commission since he showed the house and did do some leg work for us, even if it was just over the course of two days?
  • April 22 2013
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As Tim & Rachel said, there are a number of things that need to be disclosed.
Since you have not signed a buyers representation agreement you are free to work with anyone you wish. You may free bad about your relationship with the other agent but there is little you can do except be straight forward. I do hope your friend asked if you were working with an agent when he met you atr the Open House. If not, he should have. It is a common courtsey not to attempt to interfear with the client/agent relationship.
Also another note of caution.... Friendship is Frienship, this is business. You are looking to spend a fair amount of money and you need to make sure you have someone representing your best interest.
Since you did submit an ofer ona another house I suspect yo did sign an exclusive agent agreement when that offer was submitted , look at your copy of the offer and make sure.

Good Luck
  • April 22 2013
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Hi there - this has a few variables:
1) My strict advice is to use the person you think is most competent in representing you and your interests.  Experience, work ethic, ability, etc. all play into this scenario and choice of yours - weigh that first and give a "+" to the one you would choose.  Please don't let your past work relationship weigh into this.

2) Your own sense of morals and ethics apply most here since there is no contractual or legal agreement to use either of these agents.  Again, weigh how your best interests will be served and go that route - you'd not want to leave money on the table or spend more because of a friendship...AND competent and good friendships and agents are valuable to you. 

PS - why didn't your old work "friend" let you know he was in the business now?

I hope this helps - cheers!
  • April 22 2013
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
A couple issues. Dealing with friends can often be tough and end a friendship when things go sour. It happens!!

Also, your friend I bet is new and green and is that what you want? Your friend is probably in the same office as the listing agent and so he would be a dual agent in the deal, that must be disclosed. Did he mention it? He can also act as a designated  agent and that must be disclosed. Did he?

  • April 22 2013
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