Should You Call the Listing Agent?|
Should You Call the Listing Agent?
First, very few people actually buy the house they call about.
For argument's sake, suppose that you call the Realtor who is listing
the property you "might" be interested in. It turns out that the house
is absolutely perfect and affordable and you want to make an offer. Do
you want the same agent who represents the seller to also represent
When you make an offer to buy a house, you are entering a
negotiation. The seller wants as high a price as possible and the
buyer wants the lowest price possible. Plus, there is more to buying a
house than just settling on a price. If a Realtor represents both sides,
there is a potential conflict of interest, although an ethical Realtor can
often equally represent both sides. In such a case, however, the agent
becomes more of a transaction facilitator than an agent working
actively on behalf of either the buyer or seller.
You must keep in mind that there are times when it might not work
out, too. The listing agent may choose to represent only the seller
and that would leave you without your own advocate.
The Crux of the Matter
Most real estate transactions go fine, but almost every one has a
challenge or two. These challenges are often routine, but sometimes
not. Because the agent has divided loyalties, one side or another
may doubt where those loyalties truly lie. Mistrust develops. This
can take a small problem and blow it way out of proportion. At that
point it becomes a crisis.
Having an agent on your side as your advocate removes the mistrust
and helps keep things on an even keel. If a challenge develops, you
know where your agent stands.
Plus, the seller pays for it -- you don't.
copyright 1999 by Terry Light and RealEstate ABC, revised 2002