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Realtor Question

Posted by jane__ny (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 20, 09 at 21:38

If you sign a contract with a Real Estate Company to sell your home, can they bring potential buyers to see your house? Seems like a conflict of interest to me.

I'm new to this and finding the whole process confusing.

Thanks,
Jane


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Realtor Question

It varies by state, I like it, if you get a low offer you can easier suggest your agent lower commission.
If you do not want to accept dual agency tell your agent now, then your agent can have another agent show your house.


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RE: Realtor Question

Yes, they can (at least here they can, not sure about all states).


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RE: Realtor Question

Jane in NY your agent can bring a buyer to show your house. What other agent out there knows the details of your home the best? Right now they represent you as the seller. She has probably already explained to her buyer that she represents you as a seller and you have their undivided loyalty. Should the buyer decide to make an offer on the house,and want a buyers agent your agent is by law supposed to have a conversation with you and the buyer about dual agency and both buyer and seller have to give informed consent in writing. Some states don't allow dual agency, in NY it is legal. In a dual agency situation, the agent will not be able to provide the full range of fiduciary duties to the buyer and seller. Both the buyer and seller are giving up their right to undivided loyalty. If you are not comfortable with that, the agent can have another agent in his/her office negotiate the offer for the buyer. It really depends on how much you trust your agent. In the end, YOU are the one who decides the price you are willing to sell your home for so in my opinion its alot of worry for nothing. If you signed a contract with an agent, you should also have a NYS Agency Disclosure Form. All the definitions are on that form. (If you want a copy, let me know, I'll email it to you)


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RE: Realtor Question

How do you expect the Real Estate company to sell your home if they can't show it to potential buyers? How on earth could that be a conflict of interest?


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RE: Realtor Question

creekside, the OP is asking about her listing agent bringing in potential buyers, not every other agent in town.


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RE: Realtor Question

cmarlin20, I never mentioned any other agents. I don't know where you got that. I said potential buyers.

I simply don't understand the angst over the listing agent/agency showing the house. That's their job. Since when can't a listing agent bring in potential buyers? The listing contract is for the agent/agency to find a buyer for the home. They may split the work and commission with another agent/agency, if it works out that way, but there is usually no requirement that they do so.

Again, to sell your home. the Realtor has to show it to potential buyers. It doesn't make any difference if it is the listing agent or someone from another agency. They are all working for the seller. That's who pays them. And that includes the so-called buyer's agent in most cases.


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RE: Realtor Question

creek_side there are a number of concerns when the listing agent shows your house and someone wants to purchase through them... is it legal? In many states dual agency is not. In NY it is, but Linda117 brought up the valid point that with dual agency the Realtor is not giving the homeowner their undivided loyalty. They cannot. Many homeowners, especially those that are less real estate savvy or first time sellers, would not appreciate paying a full 6 or 7% commission and not receive full services in return.

When we last sold (in NYS), our listing agent was strictly a seller's agent. He never brought a buyer in and told us upfront he did not. It was not only not a concern to us, it was a positive that we would not have to deal with a dual agent possibility.

For every person that may not care that their Realtor engages in dual agency there are just as many that would prefer they do not.


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RE: Realtor Question

They are all working for the seller. That's who pays them. And that includes the so-called buyer's agent in most cases.

Years ago that was true. All agents were sub-agents of the seller's agent. However most states have changed agency laws to allow buyers to have agency representation. In those states they will have disclosed limited dual agency, allowing one agent to act as a transaction agent, without fully representing either side. Your state should have literature spelling out exactly what the agents and clients rights and responsibilities are.


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RE: Realtor Question

When you sign a Listing Agreement, the party you are signing with is the Listing Agent, not the company. In NY, as was answered above you will have the right to agree or disagree from allowing your agent to represen a buyer. However this does not apply to agents in the office or within the same real estate company.

But I disagree that it is "alot of worry for nothing"... A real estate transtaction contains many terms besides price. For example, a sale of home contingency. A buyer may ask you for one and it's hard for me to understand how one agent can be protecting two parties around these contingencies (sale of home, appraisal, inspection, etc).

But, if you choose to reject a buyer represented by your agent, you may lose that potential buyer altogether. So you have to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is right for you.


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RE: Realtor Question

When you sign a Listing Agreement, the party you are signing with is the Listing Agent, not the company.

No, all listings belong to the broker. The listing agent is operating as an agent of the broker. If an agent leaves a broker the listings that he/she had stay with the broker and don't transfer with the agent.


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RE: Realtor Question

Jane,

Your instincts are good. Your agent is supposed to working for you. They are supposed to protect your interests by negotiating the best deal they can for you. In most states, if they want to change that relationship, they have to do that in writing. In some states, they are not allowed to do that at all.

If your agent is representing both you and a potential buyer, they aren't really representing anyone except themselves. That doesn't mean they won't get your house sold and it doesn't mean you won't get a fair price for it. If they are getting both ends of a commission, you might even say they have a larger incentive to get a deal done. However, you need to be aware of what the relationship really is and it needs to be clearly spelled out for you.


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RE: Realtor Question

When we sold our house, we had multiple offers (this was several years ago in California) and we chose the offer from the individual our agent brought. As soon as we made that decision, the broker took over negotiating for us. The agent also took a reduced sales commission because we accepted his buyer.

This was perfectly fine with us as we were incredibly comfortable with his level of professionalism. He told us that he had a client who would probably be interested (he was looking for a rental property) but even if he brought this client to the table, he would have to compete with any other offers. A very satisfactory outcome for all of us.


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RE: Realtor Question

Thank you for all the good comments. I'm new to this and find many aspects confusing. I am listed with a large agency and represented by two agents. I work primarily with one. Both names are on my listing (I have no idea why). I like both agents.

Linda117, I agree she knows more about my home then I might want a potential buyer to know. I was honest and told the agents many things about the house which might concern a potential buyer. I have lived in the house 36 years and over those years things have happened which were fixed or dealt with. We spent a year updating and staging the house for sale and spent a small fortune doing so. But a new buyer might be concerned about something which happened long ago and I feel shouldn't be divulged. There is no reason to reveal everything.

It never occurred to me that someone from her agency would be showing my house. I certainly didn't expect her to do so. I've had 7 showings this week, all from this agency. Some were people who have been looking for 2 years. My agents know how much money we want to walk away with. I don't feel a potential buyer should know that. That amount is my bottom line. I hope to get more than the bottom line.

I am not comfortable with this at all. It just doesn't feel right. But this is new to me and I suppose I should just let things be for now.

Jane


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RE: Realtor Question

Jane NY said "I agree she knows more about my home than I might want a potential buyer to know. I was honest and told the agents many things about the house which might concern a potential buyer."

Jane NY said "My agents know how much money we want to walk away with. I don't feel a potential buyer should know that. That amount is my bottom line."

When we sold our homes I never would have told the listing agents this type of information. Bottom line, no one is looking out for my interests, so I have to do it.

If there were issues with the house that were completely fixed, then they are no longer an issue. If it doesn't need to be disclosed to a buyer, then it doesn't need to be disclosed to an agent. The bottom line that I am willing to accept on a deal is my business and a decision I will make when the time comes, this is information that only you and your spouse need to know. Next time around you might want to be more guarded with the information you give out and then you don't have to worry about agents sharing any "personal" information.


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RE: Realtor Question

as said before, they owe their loyalty to you. However, I've seen firsthand that some agents don't follow this.

you can't go back in time and fix what you said to the agent, however, think about it going forward.

Our agent didn't ask us what our final number was, but she could have guessed. I don't think anyone including the agent is going to bring up past things as long as they're done.

I found moreso that as soon as there is a viable offer on the table, the agent will be pushing for you to take it. I'm sure this happens in almost every situation for good and bad reasons. If they're honest, they will start the selling to you when it reaches what they beleive is the real market value of the house, which is their job. If they're dishonest, as soon as its not really really low.


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RE: Realtor Question

We were quite naive.

Jane


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Jane I can't speak for all agents and what they would do, but I will tell you, it would be ILLEGAL for your agent to share with her buyer or any other buyer what your bottom line is. First and foremost they represent your interests. If they bring in a buyer, they still represent you, even if they show the buyer the home. If that relationship changes, you will have to know about it first. Other agents in your listing agents office are not representing you.(except the other one on your contract) Let them show the house, in the end you make the decision on whether or not you want to accept the offer. When you list your house with an agent, chances are they may have a buyer for your home, she might have had a discussion with them that she is "representing YOU" on that house, she could be representing them on ANY other house. It does sound confusing, but its not for people that are in this business and doing it every day.


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RE: Realtor Question

what Linda said.


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RE: Realtor Question

Guess I have a lot to learn. First time selling a house. Hopefully my last.

Thanks for all the helpful info,

Jane


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RE: Realtor Question

A couple of reasons you may be seeing alot of activity from within the listing office are that
- it has been sent out to the office agents as soon as it was listed
- and some of the "bigger" real estate companies offer selling bonuses to their agents for keeping the sale "in-house" (at least when I worked as an agent in the 90's the RE company I worked for here did)


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RE: Realtor Question

A couple of things I noted: 1) If you disallow Dual Agency,you are disallowing ANY agent in that firm from selling your house (not just your listing agent). If it is a large firm, you are definitely shooting yourself in the foot there. Some states offer Designated Agency which would mean that you could allow your agent to show the house to potential buyers but if such buyer wanted to make an offer, they would have to be designated a separate agent within that office to represent them. 2) Make sure you use a REALTOR and not just an agent. REALTORS are required to uphold the Code of Ethics. If a violation of ethics occurs, you have recourse with the state's real estate commission as well as the local board of realtors. 3) If you enter into an offer where the same agent is representing both sides, then that agent is required to move into more of a facillitator role. Meaning that the REALTOR cannot give specific advice as to pricing and such. The REALTOR essentially acts like Sweden. 4) A REALTOR is required to disclose any material facts about the property, but is FORBIDDEN to disclose any information that could compromise their client's negotiating position without consent.

You may want to contact your state's real estate commission and see if they have any pamphlets that better explain the processes of the real estate transaction. I know our commission has many helpful pamphlets on their website...yours may too.


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Thank you for that information.

J


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.......- and some of the "bigger" real estate companies offer selling bonuses to their agents for keeping the sale "in-house" (at least when I worked as an agent in the 90's the RE company I worked for here did).......

I too remember those days when I worked in the business. How nice it was to sell in house! I understand from my current agent that the practice is no longer allowed, at least in CT. It is considered graft and illegal.
It is interesting though, that the agency we have listed with (very large in CT) ended up selling our home "in house"!

BTW I will post more info on our "sale" soon! - 90 days and a major price drop was what it took! Fingers crossed!


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RE: Realtor Question

I decided I don't care if my realtor shows my house. I do like her very much and she knows how to show my house. 16 days so far and a showing almost every day. No offers. I'm exhausted cleaning and running out the door.

elle, I'm glad you have an offer, but sorry you had to drop your price so much. I loved your house and can't understand what the problem was. Please keep us posted.

Jane


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RE: Realtor Question

Thanks so much jane! I cross my fingers for your house. That is great that you have had a showing a day. We only averaged 2 a week. I have been checking Listing Book on line, daily and still nothing has taken a deposit since we got ours as was nothing happening to the listings before then. It is just so unfortunate that in our area, you just have to sit for months and months , if you have the time, and wait for an offer, and who knows what it will be, or do what I did - just drop the price and make it more attractive than any other home that was your competition. Makes me crazy! On the other had, we really did well on the other end. The homes we were looking at, in a brand new 55+ community, were very expensive because everyone wants a major custom home. We bought the only spec and did fantastic! The people who are buying there would rather put their money in all the bells and whistles, so when they looked at the spec, which was loaded with just about everything most people would want, it still wasn't enough (go figure) and they still wanted more!!! Their loss is our gain!
It was very interesting though, that the other day, the bank appraiser for the buyers came in and kept on stopping and saying, "Your house is just beautiful! , What a wonderful house!" I shrugged my shoulders and said that it was unfortunate the market wasn't with us at this time and we had to drop the price in order to get better action and an offer. Interesting that the people who made the offer had loved it when it was higher in price, but didn't make an offer until we dropped again, so that says something!

Isn't it funny how an absolutely spotless house can take so long to "clean up and get ready" for a showing? I know what you are going through and wish you a short time on the market!!! I'm so glad I am not longer crazy woman!! ;)
Keep the faith!!! Good things will happen!!


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Thanks elle, hanging in there. Same situation here, nothing is selling in my area. I have alerts set up to inform me of anything selling or price reduction. People keep dropping their prices and still sit. The last houses (2) to sell in my area were in March. Really has me worried as each day more houses are listed.

You are lucky you are finished. Your new home sounds wonderful. We have no idea where we are going because my husband refuses to retire. So we will probably just rent an apartment for a year or two. I'd be afraid to buy anything before selling. The rate things are going it will probably take a long time.

My house has never been so neat and clean. Doesn't look like we live here and we can't find anything. I've thrown things under beds, in various closets, etc. Its driving us all crazy!

Keep us updated.
Jane


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RE: Realtor Question

Hi jane, Here's a thought that might help. We were exhausted getting things "put together" every morning before work, keeping the alarm off and coming home only to have no showings. We talked to our REA and she suggested that we have 24 hour notice for showings. Many last minute lookers are just surveying the area and have no intention of buying on first look. Most buyers who are serious contact their REA and set up appointments a day or so ahead of time. If there was a last minute appointment, our REA did have the alarm code and could show the home, and the home was still presentable, kitchen floor swept but not washed, everything clean but not daily dusted. These were the things that were knocking me out, but having that heads up really took the pressure off of us. We did end up with only one last minute looker and they were just "looky loos".
I know a lot of readers will say, in this market you want to make sure everyone has access to your home at any time when you are for sale, but I really feel if they are truely interested in buying a home, they will make an appointment and give you a least 12 to 24 hours notice (which is how it worked). If they are that arrogant in getting into your home to look immediatly, I'm thinking they will be arrogant with the whole buying process and I am not interested in dealing with a buyer like that.
( Just a note: We do not have an entry level priced home and true buyers wouldn't walk off the street to see a home in our price range so this idea might not be acceptable to all sellers.)


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Thanks elle. We do have 24 hr notice, but a few times the office would call as ask if they could bring someone over in the afternoon. We have a lock-box on the door. These calls would come as I was leaving for work or at work on my cell. Luckily, I work 15 minutes from home and drove back like a mad woman, dusting and hiding things. I have put shoes in the dishwasher, packages in the dryer, etc. Crazy.

My house is not entry level either. But my address is listed and people do drivebys. I had two women on my property last week which scared the heck out of me. They apologized profusely and said they were trying to see the pool. They ran up my driveway. That really unnerved me.
Had two showings over the weekend and we left and sat in the library for 2 hrs each time. I had planned a barbecue, but it didn't happen. Didn't expect people to come on 4th of July weekend.

I think there should be a separate forum on 'selling houses' to let folks know what goes on behind the scenes. My house has been listed for 17 days and it feels like years. I hope this doesn't go on forever...

Jane


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I have put shoes in the dishwasher, packages in the dryer, etc. Crazy.

I had to laugh at this post. I've often shown houses where the buyers and I have seen things like this. People DO open closets, dishwashers, ovens, etc. (Not dresser drawers). You might want to keep that in mind when doing your mad dash to stash! :)


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"my address is listed and people do drivebys. I had two women on my property last week which scared the heck out of me."

I hear you, jane!!
My husband went to pick up our mail and met one of our neighbors who asked him if he realized several people were in our backyard! He walked back and was encountered by a couple who said they saw our listing on line and wanted to check it out!!! What nerve! Even though my husband wanted to tell them off, he smiled and told them to contact our listing office and make an appointment. We have also had several people ring our doorbell and ask to see the home, and one couple after they had seen our home came back when we were out just to walk the property!!
What if we had a "killer dog" ;;) in the back? How stupid are these people?

And it also irks us when agents make appointments for an evening showing and end up not making it or the others who never leave a card and you haven't a clue if they have shown up when you get back home! Funny about the last one - we have real fluffy throw rugs in one of our bathrooms and we would "fluff and puff" them in the dryer just before a showing. We realized that if we were unsure if people had come, we would check the bathroom, see footprints on the rugs and know!!!
We also were locked out of our home one night. We went out on our deck to sit under the gazebo and low and behold, the door was locked!! We only use our deadlocks and not the doorknob ones (with the new ones you can open the door from the inside without turing the little button lock - I think it's for safety reasons)so when we walk out the door is always unlocked. I guess a well intentioned REA locked when they left. So here we are, locked out and we figured, ok, it's not too late (9:30m), well just call our REA and she will get the other key out of the lockbox. Well, SURPRISE!!!!!! we have and electronic lockbox that turns off at 9PM!!!!!!!! We were lucky that our daughter lives about 1/2 hour away and thank goodness she was home,albiet not very happy to come out and rescue her parents at what at this time was past 10:30pm and she gets up at 4am!!!! We now ALWAYS have a house key on us when we go on the deck (and it did happen again and we were prepared!!!).

You are right, though! We need to start another thread about crazy things that have happened or we have done when our homes were listed, and also one of our rants and raves!!!

17 days seems like and eternity until you look back after you have sold. We were 90 days which seemed and sounded long and then I though, well it's only 3 months, or even better, "just a meer 12 weeks!!!!". Ahhhhhh, that's sound so much better!


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