Can I use multiple RE agents in the same market?

20 Replies

I would like to know the etiquette or standard for dealing with more than one agent in the same market. Can I engage two simultaneously if they are showing me different properties? Or do I have to be loyal to one?


I'm curious... what is your reasoning for wanting to use two different agents within the same market?

Originally posted by @Christopher Giannino :

I'm curious... what is your reasoning for wanting to use two different agents within the same market?

 Agree.  How do you think you will not offend them all?

Don't be afraid to use multiple realtors in the same city. there is plenty reason to do so.

Many realtors have off-market listings or properties they know are about to come on/off market. Also some realtors focus on singles in smaller areas and some know an entirely different area really well.

I have wholesalers, agents , brokers all sending me different listings for the same city every week.

On the flip side, whichever agent shows you something, make sure to go with them on it. If they found it for you and are working on it, they deserve your loyalty/ respect.

I tell all my guys, "if you bring the deal to me, I'm happy to go with you on it."

You would think they would work a bit harder in finding your property.

We use multiple real estate agents for various reasons.  Some are able to draw from different resources to find us off market deals and some specialize in different style properties in different areas.  If you have two agents competing to send you the same property, you've created a redundancy in your team building.  You've also created a problem because you're going to offend one or both of the agents and they won't want to work with you in the future.  

If both agents are showing you the same properties, you should only be working with one of them.  

Thank you Paul for posting this question because Im also considering this. I figured its alright to have one than more real estate agent as long as they are NOT in the same company (example: Keller Williams) and you make the offer on property with the agent who showed you the property.

Im planning to do this because 1 agent is just not fast enough for me. 

Thanks for all the great responses. I have one agent in a specific market who has been sending me listings for several months with my requested parameters. Then I was searching around on Loopnet the other day and found some other listings that were my parameters but I hadn't been seen before. I made an inquiry into one property on Loopnet and an agent called me up ten minutes later, then sent me a ton of listings for the same area. Of course, I would be loyal to my original agent and what he's presented to me.

I have used more than one agent for my deals but I only deal with one agent on one property.

Agent for my flip - I have an agent for my downtown and flip deals. She brings me a deals and I buy through her. When I finish rehab she sells. She knows the area very well, stage the house, on point with comps & appraisals. She knows I buy rentals and we talk about tenants & Section8 all the time because she is also a landlord.

My other agent- I use him for buying my rentals & we've been working together for six years. We've close several REO's & HUD using him. He even jokes that he need to come to me for training when he his ready to flip his first house.

Good luck,


Yes, you can. Just don't sign exclusive agreement with either. Good luck.

Thanks for posting this question @Paul OBryan as I had the same question. I appreciate the feedback from @Rohan J. , @Bob Floss II , and @Tracey Williams . Our neighbor is a long-time MFR investor and referred his RE agent, who is also an investor. When I called, I thought it was odd that he asked if we would be financing or paying cash. He said we would need 20% down for non-owner occupied. We've purchased 5 properties but all have been conventional, owner occupied with minimum 20% down. But, my understanding from BP podcasts and forums is that there are infinite options for creative financing that don't require 20% down on rentals or flips. We will have more conversations and discuss this further with him but I would like to have more than 1 agent helping us find deals. They each have a different niche and come across deals pre-MLS. I think loyalty is important and am certainly willing to keep my $$$ with an agent that finds us a deal, though.

My question is, if an experienced agent mentions 20% down requirement, is it just that he is fishing to see if we're serious buyers or is there a downside to creative financing that some agents don't want to deal with?

Thank you!

@Tammy Tivis He wants to know you are serious and he wants to know how he is going to get paid. With Creative Financing, he wouldn't know what you have in mind and if he would ever get paid. You need to discuss that item with him so there is no question in his mind. Obviously he has been burned. That is what makes him experienced.

@Account Closed , thanks so much for the insight.  Embarrassed to say, I had never heard of creative financing up until a couple of weeks ago from BP. We may end up going with 20% down, but we want to explore all avenues and want to find an agent that will help us explore all available options. I didn't mention creative financing in our brief conversation but didn't realize an agent could get burned from that.  Good to know and I'll broach the subject with an open mind. :-)  

In many, if not most markets there are 100s if not 1000s of Brokers/agents and not all of them are in the same circles or are working in the same parts of the areas in which you might want to work. One idea is to find out which brokerages are the top brokerages in the market and try and establish relationships with brokers and agents in those brokerages. Make it clear to them of your criteria and how they will get paid in the process. Creating the relationship is way important and if they are investors themselves or work specifically with investors the alignment of interest will be much closer.  

Keep up the momentum!

@Tammy Tivis  

All that I do and teach is creative financing and "off market" properties. Real Estate agents list a property generally for 6%. That is paid by the seller and split between the listing and selling agents. The agents each split that with their brokers. So, a $200,000 house has about $12,000 in commissions that is split $6,000 to the selling agent and $6,000 to the listing agent. They then give half (usually, unless they are a 90% shop) so $3,000 goes to the brokers and each agent winds up with $3,000 *General Numbers*. 

Some brokers won't allow their agents to get involved in creative financing deals so if only one of the four agents/brokers says "no", it can kill the deal. When you go "off market" there are no agents involved. (Do the escrow and title like normal.) The seller then can reduce the sales price because they don't have $12,000 coming out of their proceeds. 

However, if an agent brings you a deal, pay them their fee. It is worth it and they have earned it.

Thank you @Account Closed !  We bought a personal residence without an agent and it was seamless so it's given me the confidence to know I can do it with a rental or flip. Good to know that some brokers won't allow their agents to get involved with creative financing and I'll keep that in mind.  Going "off market" is ideal so we shall see what presents opportunities arise.  

Definitely don't bite the hand that feeds you in regards to an agent bringing you a deal! 100% agreed!

All the best!

Sage advice @Jeremy Hunter and definitely something to consider in our search for an agent. When you say "make it clear to them of your criteria and how they will get paid in the process", I assume you're referring to negotiating a referral fee for non-MLS properties?

Thank you!

@Jeremy Hunter Thanks for the clarification. Felt like a dumb question for what was so obvious but so much lingo to learn, I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.  All good to know. 

I appreciate the response & Happy Hunting to you as well!  

@Tammy Tivis One of the hard parts about real estate is working with parties without an understanding of everyone's experience level and knowledge base.  We just did a deal with a fairly experienced broker that we have done several deals with in the past.  We had problems with other real estate deals and we needed to switch the 1031 account purchasing the building the morning of the closing and swap out earnest money.  I received an onslaught of text messages calling me and my client 'amateur hour' and refusing to help.  We ended up getting it done and switching the purchasing 1031, but during the closing the same agent admitted he didn't understand how a 1031 works.  

The point is, some agents expect everything to be very vanilla and every buyer puts down 20% and puts up 10% or more earnest money and uses conventional financing.  Don't let them bother you, they have a very narrow vision in real estate.  If you are closing deals and everyone is getting paid, it shouldn't matter how you are getting the deal done.  

I am house flipper so that is where my answer is coming from. I approach my realtor the same way that I approach dealing with contractors. I reward performance. I will use them and keep using them if they are meeting my expectations. But I don’t like it when people get stagnant and lose that “edge” and get way to “content” with our relationship. If my contractors don’t continue to provide great work at a great price then they are gone. If my realtor doesn’t meet my expectations they are gone as well. Luckily I have been with the same one for about a year now and all has been good. But if it wasn’t good he would be out. Don’t be afraid to hold these guys or gals accountable to provide a good service. If they do provide a good service then treat them well. If they don’t, move on. Sounds harsh but hey it’s your business. And you can’t be in the “people pleasing”business.

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