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The Buyer's Agent

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This may seem pretty obvious- but generally buyers have their own agent and sellers have their own agent.  Yes – there are times when the same agent represents both the buyer and seller (limited dual agency) but that is not the reason I am writing this blog.  Dual agency probably needs several blogs.

The reason for this blog is to address what seems to be a misconception by some buyers and that is the role that their agent should play in the actual showing of homes.  Some buyers prefer to call up the listing agent to arrange a viewing directly with the listing agent.  Then when they find the suitable home they enlist their agent to write the offer. 

When I receive a call on one of my listings one of the first things I ask is whether the buyer is working with an agent.  If they are working with an agent or intend to work with an agent, then I suggest that they should call their agent and arrange to have them show them the property.  This response actually surprises some buyers who do not understand why the listing agent should not be willing to accommodate the viewing.  In fact, I have had some very interesting exchanges over the years with buyers who like to point out that I am getting half the commission so I should accommodate their request.  I point out that their agent is also getting half the commission so they should be happy to take the time to show them the property.  I think that one response that never fails to surprise me is when a buyer tells me that he does not want to “waste” his agent’s time until he sees if he likes the property.  If he likes the property, then he will call his agent to write the offer.  Wow – but it is OK to waste my time as they narrow their search.

While I think that most buyers fall innocently into this trap of calling the listing agent, there are those that are encouraged to take this course of action by their own agent.  Showing homes is a very fundamental part of what a buyer’s agent does in earning a commission. As an industry we need to educate our buyers on how we work and how we get paid and make sure they understand that it is our job to show them homes when we are their designated agent.  If your agent does not view the home before writing, then how can they possibly advise on value or write an offer that protects your interests?