Buyer vs Seller agent

9 Replies

After locating a property that I'm interested in on MLS should I contact the listing agent first or my buyer agent.

I"d like to collect more information about the property, before contacting my buying agent.

Thanks

Go through your own agent

I am going to open this conversation up again.  I was listening to podcast #212 and they were stating how one should consider just going to the seller's agent because they may treat you better than if they would have to split the commission with another agent.  

So I was wondering if it would be wise to contact the seller's agent IF you come along the deal before your own agent contacts you about the deal.  @Russell Brazil would you expound on your original comment, that is, to go through your own agent?

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Sarah Ottesen :

I am going to open this conversation up again.  I was listening to podcast #212 and they were stating how one should consider just going to the seller's agent because they may treat you better than if they would have to split the commission with another agent.  

So I was wondering if it would be wise to contact the seller's agent IF you come along the deal before your own agent contacts you about the deal.  @Russell Brazil would you expound on your original comment, that is, to go through your own agent?

Thanks!

 If I have a client who tries to go around me....I'm going to make things hard both for that client and the listing agent. That clients name is going to get around as someone who is unethical to do business with, which is going to cut them out of future deals and drive up their costs. I'm also going to file an ethics complaint against the listing agent for double ending a deal with someone who has an agent already.

I can and do make things difficult for unethical people in this business.

Also if some one doesn't have an agent and goes straight to the listing agent....that person is going to get so taken advantage of, while being convinced they got a good deal. It's fine to represent yourself if you know what you are doing...but in reality few people do including the members of this forum.

I've sold a few houses to people without representation, and they were all convinced they got a great deal when they had no clue how to negotiate, or what repairs are common to ask for etc. Works out well for my sellers though. More money and less hassle, and no one to tell that buyer they are getting screwed.

As a Realtor my self I would suggest using a buyer agent who knows the area/market. Having your own agent will allow him/her to negotiate the best deal posible for you. They will also be able to gather any information you would need to make a good financial decision. Make sure the expense the seller is providing is accurate by requesting copies of the bills. Also make sure you get an inspection to prevent any surprise repair costs. Figure out your CAP rate, and if it makes sense put your agent to work to get the best deal for you.

I'd add that by including your agent in the deal you're "giving" him/her business in a literal way.  There is no cost to you and you're gaining favored client status points AND a professional RE advocate to help you in all aspects of the deal.

If you don't think it's a benefit to have your own RE agent involved with the deal, then you may need to find another RE agent. I don't say that to be snarky. I believe my RE agent provides great value to my deals with market/area/comp insight, a read on other agents and sellers, updates on what's happening in the market & market players, connections to the "aggressive" bankers & appraisers and a second set of eyes on the deal. I even discuss our property renovation & addition plans with him to get an opinion for ROI from a market partisipant.

In the long run, a good relationship with your personal RE agent will provide the benefits I've outlined above as well as access to the "good" deals that never make it to the MLS and connections into the RE inner circle (without the overhead of networking and schmoozing).

I'm always looking for ways to maximize the expertise of my RE agent(s) and ways to reward and pay them without cash coming from my pocket.

Originally posted by @Cooper Bert :

I'd add that by including your agent in the deal you're "giving" him/her business in a literal way.  There is no cost to you and you're gaining favored client status points AND a professional RE advocate to help you in all aspects of the deal.

If you don't think it's a benefit to have your own RE agent involved with the deal, then you may need to find another RE agent. I don't say that to be snarky. I believe my RE agent provides great value to my deals with market/area/comp insight, a read on other agents and sellers, updates on what's happening in the market & market players, connections to the "aggressive" bankers & appraisers and a second set of eyes on the deal. I even discuss our property renovation & addition plans with him to get an opinion for ROI from a market partisipant.

In the long run, a good relationship with your personal RE agent will provide the benefits I've outlined above as well as access to the "good" deals that never make it to the MLS and connections into the RE inner circle (without the overhead of networking and schmoozing).

I'm always looking for ways to maximize the expertise of my RE agent(s) and ways to reward and pay them without cash coming from my pocket.

Great points Bert. Many of the properties I will have for sale, those properties will make it in front of the eyes of a number of my clients before the MLS. I also get leads on off market stuff from other agents and wholesalers, so tapping into that network helps a lot of my clients out.

@Russell Brazil - The strategy of offering pre-MLS good deals to your valued clients is win/win. My agents refer to these as "hoggers" since they keep both sides of the commission if I buy the deal. The agents also have more commission to bargain with if the sale is tight and needs some additional price incentive.

One other great advantage of having a good RE agent is the ability to leverage their professional relationships to help find/close deals.  It's no coincidence that my RE Agent, RRE Lawyer, Title Company Agent, Commercial Banker and Appraiser all know each other personally and work extremely well together.  Nothing better than the ability to have an "off the record" personal conversation to work out problems in deals and help both buyer AND seller.

As a young biz person in my early 20s, I inherited a relationship with a well placed, highly respected, business savvy, powerful attorney thorough my older sister who had baby sat for him.  His oversight, knowledge dissemination and introductions made a huge difference in my business career.  That relationship directly led to my RE agent and the others listed above, although I'm on a different generation of guys at this point.  You never know where you will find great relationships!

So yes OP, bring your RE agent in early, let HIM/HER do the information collecting and leverage his/her knowledge and connections. Separately, be loyal and give him/her as much biz and referrals as possible.

Ask three questions:

1) Would the agent recognize this deal as something I would want? 

2) Does my agent they take me seriously as a buyer?

3) Did they have adequate time to present you the deal (ie more than off-market here-say or a few hours)

It might be your fault he hasn't given you the deal.  You agent may not know your criteria because you may not have explained it properly.  Or maybe you've asked him to do dozens of CMAs without making an offer or you have a history of dropping out in escrow.

It might be his fault you haven't gotten the deal.  They may just not peruse the listings thoroughly enough or in in a timely enough manner to meet your satisfaction.  

If my agent isn't doing his job, I'd go around him in a heartbeat.  A good buyer's agent with clear expectations and purchase criteria will never have this problem.

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