How Many Realtors is Too Many?

8 Replies

I am a newbie. I got a lead on a realtor who specializes in selling foreclosed properties who I have not called yet. Then I got the name of a realtor, from a local REI, who they use and who has her own rentals. I finally got to speak to her and she seemed to know her stuff (remember, I'm new so we will see). I set up a meeting to meet with her but I'm now wondering if I should even bother with the foreclosure specialist or should I stick with just the one? Is it wrong to have more than one at my disposal?

@Jerie Bowie

Nothing wrong with having multiple agents - many investors do. Just be upfront with all of them. If one of them brings you a deal don't have the other agent write it up. Common sense stuff. 

Be aware of what kind of representation agreements you are signing. If you sign an exclusive agreement with a single agent for a specified period of time and/or a broad geographic area you are obligated to adhere to that contract. It's a reasonably fair request if you are dragging an agent to 30 different properties.

For many of my investor clients I will sign agreements only specific to the particular address that we are dealing with. Another deal next week means a new agreement with that new address. That's generally something I will do with more sophisticated investors. Newbies will get locked in to something much broader as they are a lot more work for me.

Originally posted by @Jerie Bowie :

@ryan murdock I didn't realize I would have to sign with an agent as a buyer, I thought only sellers signed.

It may vary by state but in mine agents usually sign representation agreements with buyers. Without one, the scope of service an agent can legally provide is limited and some agents simply refuse to deal with a buyer without a signed agreement in place. 

@Jerie Bowie you can never have too many Realtors, Contractors, wholesalers, know too many fellow investors. People change, professions change, always be adding and keeping your lists of colleagues fresh.

It’s all about the deals. Best of luck to you and your lists of team members!

@Jerie Bowie   You do not have to sign with an agent.  If you don't want to keep shopping.  What agents will not want to do is show you many properties without an agreement.

If you find the properties yourself that is not a problem.

If an agent calls me as a known investor and tells me about a property they know I might be interested in then I will use them if I buy it.  Other than that... I might not use an agent.

The answer to your question is typically one. Generally it's tough to get a deal on the MLS in an ascending market. You'll always be able to find better deals off-market, but you'll have to dig a little harder. That's not to say that you can't find a deal on the MLS or with a realtor, but for the most part you'll make a lot more money when there aren't other people competing against you.

It’s good to know and network with as many as you come across. You do need to make sure you know the rules of each contract, however.

You should network and get to know as many as you want from every field; carpenters, attorneys, electricians, plumbers, etc., this includes real estate agents. However, many of them have different rules and contracts they stand by. For example, you may know 2-3 attorneys, but usually only one will be able to legally represent you per deal. On the other hand, multiple contractors can be hired for multiple job types within the home.

Most (full-time) real estate agents earn a living by representing buyers and sellers, which is why they would ask you to sign a contract “exclusive representation” for a specific length of time. They are investing their time into helping you find a deal and they need assurance that you will allow them to close on the deal on your behalf in order to earn the commission.

Some agents make you sign a contract stating that they will only send you listings of specific areas or specific addresses. This means you could ask another agent to represent you in other markets. This option is the best in my opinion, because an agent is most experienced and familiar with their own market. Investors tend to dabble in multiple markets at the same time.

So, to summarize: Yes, it’s ok to network with many agents. Yes, it’s ok to work with more than one agent as long as your contract with each agent does not overlap. Most agents can easily determine if they can legally represent you. As long as you’re up front from the beginning about who else your working with and at what capacity, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Good luck!