Just a short blog today. This isn’t about how to select an agent, but if you are interested in that, please check my earlier blog. This is about what happens when you view a listing on a search site such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and others – and next to the home you like you see three suggested Agents. You click on one and send the email that says, “I am interested in learning more about the property at 123 Main Street.”
Listing Agents Represent Sellers, not Buyers!
That agent may or may not be the one who actually listed the home for sale. The thing is, as a buyer, you don’t really want to talk to the the agent who listed the home. Why? Because they are representing the seller. As such, their relationship with you is the same as the clerk in Sears who shows you their athletic line of clothing. You are a customer to them.
Advertised Agents are usually Buyers’ Agents – Just what you need.
It is more likely that the agent you select is one who wants to work with you as a Buyer/Client. They want to represent you as you move forward to buy a new home. If you don’t already have an agent, this is an excellent way to find one.
Be Sure of Your Buyer/Client Relationship
So, if you are already working with an Agent, and you have signed a contract with them basically hiring them to represent you, should you be clicking on another Agent’s name simply because it showed up next to a house you are interested in seeing? No. Make note of the address and get to your Agent. When you signed that contract, you basically hired them to help you find a home. Put them to work.
Why not work with more than one Agent?
Think about this. Working with Real Estate Agents isn’t like working with that Sears sales clerk. They aren’t paid a regular wage from a company. They make money working exclusively with clients. When you click on an agent next to a property, they get notified (sometimes with an email, text and phone call) that you are looking for information about a particular home. Most Agents will ask you if you are already working with an agent during their initial conversation with you. If you are, say so, but as I stated earlier, if you are working with an agent, don’t click on any of those advertised agents. Just call your agent and ask them about the home. Why do they ask? Because reputable Agents don’t try to steal clients away from other agents. Agents only get paid when the deal is done – the closing ceremony has happened and the keys have been exchanged. Sellers typically pay the commissions for both the listing agent and the agent who brings the buyer to the table. Buyers shouldn’t assume that Agents just run around showing people homes. Agents have very real fiduciary (legal) responsibilities to their Buyer/Clients. They have a costs associated with working with Buyers that Buyers aren’t expected to pay. So they spend money on you whether or not you actually buy a home. The goal of course is to help you find the best home for the best price in the shortest amount of time. And then get paid – by someone else than you. If you have more than one agent running around thinking you are their client, you are taking unfair advantage of them.
Do your online search. When you find a home you are particularly interested in, select and agent to the right. When they get back to you, interview them even as they will be interviewing you. If you feel like they might be a good person to work with, meet with them and if that goes well, sign a contract with them to represent you. Then you will go through the process of finding you new home – but the buying process is the topic of another blog.