why use a personal agent vs. going direct to the listing agent?

we're buying another church and looking at the pros and cons of useing a personal
agent or not.
  • May 23 2009 - Dallas
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Answers (9)

Very good answer Michael, Trust is the key. In Ca it's called  Dual Agency. With all the disclosures to go over it is a tough gig.

If you are a dual agent selling a condo, with piles of HOA documents, in addition to the mountains of other disclosures, well, it's is really dificult. I just can't/won't do it.
  • May 25 2009
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The previous answer was closest. An agent who represents both sides, seller and buyer, is an intermediary(in Texas). I have participated in this many times and will continue to do so in the future. The most important facet in dealing with any sales person is trust. As a property buyer how do you know? References and testimonials that's how.
  • May 25 2009
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Jay is right on the money and I'm not sure where 'spec tater' is coming from. A professional Realtor is ethically and legally obligated to represent the best interests of their client. I never disclose information about my clients without their permission and can't imagine disclosing any of their 'cards' so to place someone else's best interest above theirs. I've also never seen another agent on the other side of a transaction offer up compromising information about their client just to get the deal down.Usually, buyers should have their own agent to solely represent their best interests - especially if they don't hold complete trust with the selling agent. Working as an independent intermediary between the two parties can be a touchy situation when there is an existing relationship between the agent and the seller.

Would you walk into court and ask the other side's attorney to represent you both? If it was a straight legal transaction, then probably so. But if there was a lot of negotiation involved - maybe not.
  • May 25 2009
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Thanks, spe_tator.... that makes more sense. I still think Nathan should get his own representation. A Commercial agent.
  • May 23 2009
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No I am saying to withhold certain information from the agent.  i.e.  the top dollar you will pay  or  how motivated you are.   etc.
  • May 23 2009
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spec_tater: You are telling someone who is buying another church to be untruthful.

anyway, In 8 years I represented the buyer and seller on the same property 2 times. It wasn't easy and I won't do it again. Most recently I was asked by a buyer to write an offer on one of my listings. I said no.
  • May 23 2009
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If you are a reasonably good negotiator  I say go for it. just remember not to be completly truthfull with the agent even if they are representing you. The majority of the agents will lay all the cards on the table behind closed doors because they are not working for you ..... they are working for the commission. Agents are paid to get the deal done as quickly as possible so whats to stop them from telling the opposite party what cards your holding on the first phone call  to see if  the deal can happen quickly.   obviously not all agents are this way then again  not all used car salesman are dishonest either.
  • May 23 2009
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"jay myers" You are a very smart guy! You're answer is 100%. Wish you worked by me, Long Island, NY.
  • May 23 2009
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The listing agent is working for Sellers, they have a fiduciary relationship for the sellers. If you are planning on offering less than the list price, you may not get the best representation for your side of the transaction by using the listing agent.

I believe almost all states now allow an agent to enter into a Transaction Agency, or whatever they happen to call it in your state. Which typically mean Limited Confidentiality for each of the parties, and the agent is only suppose to facilitate the transaction. But let's face it, since they started working for the sellers, it is hard for anyone to veer away with whom they built a relationship with first.

Now with all this being said, how I encourage Buyers to Buy one of my listings from me, and as a tool I entice sellers to list with me is by offering to reduce the commission. It is a good practice that this be disclosed to everyone involved at the very beginning. This would allow a lesser price to be accepted by the sellers since it would not effect their bottom line, and it also allows the Buyer to get the property for less. As an agent I would prefer to take less money, and be involved in everything, even if it is twice, the work to make sure a transaction closes.

This is just my thoughts in a nutshell, I know other agents do not agree with my willingness to cut commission, but all I can say is I am not a greedy ba$tard. Furthermore, if I would normally make 3% on a listing I am offering @ 6%, and the Buyer chooses to work with me, I would typically do the transaction for 4.5%. State licensing requires an agent to work with everyone Honestly, and Fairly and if it is disclosed in the beginning, it would benefits everyone. First thing I woul suggest is call the listing agent, and ask "Are you willing to reduce the commission for the transaction if we use you?" If he/she is offended, move on. What a listing agent also needs to keep in mind by being open to this idea is if you end up not purchasing that particular property, then they have most likely gained you as a client for another property.

Good luck!
  • May 23 2009
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