Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Posted by peegee (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 12:18

I have recently contacted a realtor about finding homes in a small town I'm interested in- have not met her yet - she sent me three listings I had already eliminated through my own research, but I called her yesterday about a different home she hadn't sent. She cannot show me the home today as she is unavailable, but due to my work schedule, I cannot see it until evening until next Friday. I am concerned about losing this opportunity. Is it ok for me to call the listing agent to try to see it today?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

sure, just be sure to let him/her know that you're working with an agent.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

What is the technical definition of working with someone - ? I haven't signed anything or even met her yet. It has been very casual, just a couple calls and a couple emails....I want to do the right thing, though. Obviously I respect the time she spent with me. But I don't want to lose an opportunity....Hmmmm Thank you for the response..
Editing to add: Actually, I think I am not going to want to work with this agent. I hope I'm not being unrealistic, but she has been slow to respond before. Last evening I asked about seeing this house today. She emailed back this morning after 10:30. I replied to her about my schedule this week, and she has not answered yet - I can't understand not taking a moment to dash off a fast response in nearly 5 hours. All the houses that have piqued my interest have gone under contract by the time I decided to act, and so have not yet communicated with an agent until now. But this pace could lose me a house....

This post was edited by peegee on Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 16:06


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I think that you are under no obligation at all to the first agent. Now, had she shown you a house that you later buy thru another agent, ye. But she's done no more than answer the phone.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

You emailed her on a Saturday night and she replied early for a Sunday morning and you think she's not quick enough with the communication? I think your expectations are out of line with reality. And I think you're trying to justify not using her rather than having any realistic issue here.

She doesn't have to hold your hand through a first viewing if her schedule doesn't mesh with yours. That's a completely unnecessary expectation on your part that she should accompany you to all showings. As long as the listing realtor knows you are working with someone. She can go with you to the second viewing if the home appeals to you. And she can still be in your corner come negotiation time.

But, it's your transaction, and if you prefer to not have anyone on your side in it and trust that the seller's realtor will represent you too (NOT) then go ahead and break up with her. And that means officially. As in asking her to not send you any more information, and telling her that you are no longer interested in any of her services, including her contacts for home inspectors, or her skill at price negotiation.

But, you can't have your cake and eat it too and try going back and getting her help if you think you need a realtor later in the process.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Livewire, I am baffled by your response, but expect I was not clear....There is no "showing" if by that you mean an open house; I wanted to see a vacant house. I need a realtor to get into the house. I was hoping to see the house today, Sunday, as by Friday it may be too late. I am not asking for anyone to "hold my hand" but to open the door. I do understand that I can't expect everyone to jump through hoops just because it was convenient for me!
I am rethinking this realtor only in that I would hope - and I admit I might be unrealistic - that a good realtor would communicate faster. It is not that she took until this morning to answer me, it's that I emailed her back this morning, and now its after 7:30 PM and she still has not communicated back. And she was working today as she said she has a showing and an open house. I guess I would hope for a quicker response even if very brief as If I run into a great opportunity in the future, I imagine it will be important to rely on fast communication. I can picture needing to act fast and waiting and waiting....As I indicated, there was another communication delay after our initial conversation. She emailed those few house possiblities, then took a full day to call me back after I left her a message about a different house. During that day I discovered the house went under contract, so it didn't matter. Maybe what I am really trying to figure out is how to pick a really good realtor, and trying to judge by the only means I have right now. I suspect there are better ways.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I'm with peegee: realtors work 24/7; it comes with the territory. Given that it's critical in this market to jump fast, it's not unreasonable to judge agents by their responsiveness--yes, even on a weekend--to assess how well they'll help you move fast on things.

When I was looking for a buyer's agent in a new town, I emailed half a dozen through realtor.com, asking specific questions about their listings. I was appalled at how many answered several days later or not at all. Only 2 answered within a few hours, which is what I'd expect if it was my house they listed. I test drove those 2 a bit more with a couple actual showings, and picked the one that I meshed better with (open with info, etc.). When I email him with a list of houses I want to see, he has them set up for me later that day, even if it's for a future date/time. That's "reasonable" to me.

If the agent you're talking with doesn't do the same, she's either too busy to provide you good service, too disorganized, or too distracted. None bodes well for good representation.

So I'd be fine telling the listing agent you're "working with an agent" if you want to reserve the right to have someone represent you. But it certainly doesn't have to be the one who hasn't been responsive.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Weedy - Thank you. You said it well: "to assess how well they'll help you move fast on things." That is my big concern. I'm not necessarily expecting a realtor to find me properties, as I am willing to comb the listings, but want to be able to move quickly when something does come up.
Does Angie's list provide realtor ratings? I had been trying to do homework to find a good agent earlier in the year. One who I thought might be good I rejected when I read her articles and discovered an important piece of misadvice. Another agent - the only other one I actually ever called - returned my message with a VM that the home I was asking about was under contract, but she never followed through to say can I be of other service, let me know, etc., I felt that lack of interest/communication was telling, and for a while gave up. I know what I would like but am not sure how to find it. Unfortunately, no one I know has bought a home in long time either. I'm not feeling confident. : (


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I think you just dont understand the schedule of a realtor. You said she was showing AND had an open house today. Chances are, she had her open house until 4 or 4:30 and started showing houses right after that. Its totally feasible that she wasnt even home by 7:30 yet.

You said, " All the houses that have piqued my interest have gone under contract by the time I decided to act"

So am I to understand, now that you have decided to act, you think everyone should jump thru hoops for you?

You will find a realtor is quicker to respond to you once you have met and established a relationship . Asking a realtor on a saturday night to show you a house on a sunday is a crap shoot. First of all, IF she wasnt already scheduled for appointments or an open house on sunday, half the offices arent open on sundays to even schedule an appointment.

I realize not everyone understands how real estate works, but really, when an agent is "working", it doesnt mean they are sitting in the office waiting for the phone to ring. They are on the road already with clients, doing open houses, on listing appointments, etc.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

The fact that you haven't met with her to establish a personal relationship puts you in a "non serious buyer" category. If you had met with her, and gone over your requirements, you could expect a more personal and timely response to your emails. Have you been pre-qualified for a loan yet? Do you have to sell your existing home first to have funding to purchase a home? Are you ready to make an all cash offer? Those are all questions that any realtor will need answered in order to work successfully with a client.

In other words, you have to expend effort on your part if you want effort expended on your part. Otherwise, you're not a "buyer". You're a "lookie lou" who will have to fit their needs around the needs of the already existing clients that the realtor has an established relationship with and whom she was performing her job for yesterday. The clients whose open house she did, and whom she showed homes yesterday all have made these efforts. If you want that type of attention and loyalty to where your needs are considered ahead of email only "clients", or other prospects, then go see her in person.

You CAN change that status to "serious buyer" and be successful in your quest, but you'll need to have your financials in order and make an in person appointment with her to discuss and rank the criteria that you are looking for in a home. If you have it together, then you may end up getting word of a listing before it goes on the market. If you're in a hot market with specific needs, sometimes that's the only way to get a break to get what you want.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

'realtors work 24/7; it comes with the territory.'

Yes, we do, but we don't necessarily jump in the car late Saturday night to show a vacant house to someone we never have met, & we can't stay awake 24/7 to respond to emails.

I don't know what time OP called 'last evening', but an agent who emails at 10:30 Sunday morning is definitely working.

OP. if you've lost the chance to make offers on more than one property, it sounds like you need to find a Realtor (visit with him/her/them), establish how you're going to work together, get a buyer rep agreement executed, get a lender to work up your pre-qualifications, & find a house.

I wish you the best.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I will jump in here to defend you peegee because I think you are getting unfairly ganged up on here. You are the customer, you are "shopping" for a Real estate agent. I think it is absurd to say you have to get in deep with an agent before you can expect them to respond in a timely manner to e-mails. As far as e-mailing on a Saturday and not hearing back by Sunday night that would not be acceptable to me. I check my e-mails every hour I am awake because that is part of my job. They ping to my phone when I am away from my computer. I respond in a timely manner to all of my e-mails because that is part of my job. It is part of their job too and don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

I do not believe your expectations are unrealistic. In my opinion a Realtor stands to make thousands of dollars on any given transaction and should be putting their best foot forward. If they have too much work and are too busy to respond to you then that is good for them! Find some one who does. You cannot tell me that during an open house a Realtor doesn't have ANY down time to check their smart phone and send off some quick e-mails here and there. Or at least say "I will send you a response at 10 when I get back." Everyone easily can text or e-mail if they want to when they have a free moment. If they don't want to do these things find someone who does, because there are plenty of agents out there hungry enough to put customer service in the forefront.

I would feel obligated to use an agent if I went in and met with them and went over my criteria, qualified for a loan etc. I would not do that with someone I didn't feel comfortable with first.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Yeah, I think the agents (and holly) have it backwards here. The client needs to basically commit to the agent before the agent should be expected to respond promptly? Really? That would be like saying a clerk in a retail store shouldn't wait on a customer until they hand them their credit card and communicate how much they intend to spend.

No, the agent should respond to everyone that calls or emails, with the hope that they'll turn into a client. The buyer is "test-driving" them to see if they'll provide them good service. There are so many lousy agents out there, it takes some work and interaction to find someone that will do a good job for you and work well with you.

In my business, I treat every inquiry with the same attentiveness and responsiveness, in hopes of turning the encounter into a purchase. If I were an agent, I would do the same. And I look for agents--and other people from whom I am considering buying a product or service from--that do the same.

Hold out there, peegee, and find an agent that will provide you want you want.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

The most successful agent I know requires not only an executed buyer rep contract but a retainer of $250 before anyone on her team gives information or advice, much less burns gasoline & time.

edited to add:

I understand that some people do not want to pay a Realtor;
the extremely easy way to avoid that is to not use, in any sense of the word, a Realtor.

This post was edited by sylviatexas on Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 14:58


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I don't think the question is whether the agent worked or not. The question is whether the agent is able to accommodate the buyer's schedule. If she can't (maybe because she's working a lot), then obviously she's not the right agent for the OP.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Why is it not OK to contact the selling agent to see the house, even put in an offer?

You are the one who buys the house. You have given the realtor a chance to earn a commission, but she did not take it. Why do you still want to give yourself a roadblock based on realtors invented rules?


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

The listing realtor works for the seller. If you are OK entering into that lions den to be devoured with no help on your side at all, then by all means contact the listing agent to see the home. If you want someone one your side, then you need to actually develop a true relationship with a buyer's agent who can make a phone call to the listing agent to get you in with them knowing you are represented. But, a relationship will involve a lot more than having an email search sent to you and a couple of phone calls. No one enters into a real business relationship with someone that they aren't sure can fulfill their part of that relationship. Thus, that's why people are saying to talk in person with a realtor and to get that pre-approval over with. That's what it takes to buy a house. Even if you have cash in the bank to make an offer, the seller has to know that, and the only way that they can really know that is through a bit of a process. I'm not going to sell you the car I put on Craigslist without cash, or without some form of certified funds that I can take time to be sure isn't a scam. Same with buying a house.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

The listing realtor works for the seller. If you are OK entering into that lions den to be devoured with no help on your side at all, then by all means contact the listing agent to see the home.

This is not true in my state, a dual agent represents both sides, one doesn't work for the seller, nor devour buyers in the lions den with no help. The agreement spells out the terms.
This buyer wants to view a listing, I would never recommend signing a buyer rep agreement with an unknown agent to view one listing. Paying $250 seems petty, I've never been asked for a deposit to see a listing.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Agents that are diligent (not often) will ask/find out certain character questions about you:
schedule/availability
how quickly you want to bid/submit
and rate how serious you are?

If they do their jobs - they will give you alternate agents to assist in their absence or confirm around your schedule.

In the scenario you described anticipating a late night response before next day may not be realistic (as they do have lives/obligations outside of showing homes) but if you discussed your level of urgency the agent should respect they need to check their phone 1-2x to get your business. If the agent has not asked you these questions - dump them and go to someone more diligent.

I make this comment as I'm a young looking male, who knows immediately whether I like or dislike something and have encountered response/sincerity issues from agents who think I'm brand new and not urgent because I'm unmarried. However, I'm much older than I appear and have multiple homes (and don't wish to waste anyone time) so drop them and go to the next person. and when they ask you can give them the reasons for your non-commitment.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Im not sure why everyone is saying this agent is slow to respond. The OP stated he emailed her on a saturday night and she replied at 10:30am Sunday morning. There is NOTHING wrong with that.

He then said, he emailed her again, and he hasnt heard back yet. He already said he isnt available until next friday, in her mind there is no urgency to email him right away today, She said she was showing houses and had an open house.

And KAM, I have had open houses where I dont get a minute to breathe, and others where I could stay on the internet for the entire 3 or 4 hours of the Open house! It all depends.

I think the OP is a bit unrealistic in expecting the agent to have "chat" emails all day long. She said she had a full schedule on sunday. Honestly, I've had days like that and the last thing I want to do is "do more work" at 7:30pm. The day has to end some time, even for realtors!

Once you have established a relationship with the realtor and she has an idea of what you are looking for. She will no doubt, find the time to meet with you to show you "that one house" that has "piqued your interest".


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I saw the real question as, the agent I contacted is not meeting my needs, can I now call another agent to see the property. It appears this one agent is not a match. I would contact the LA directly to see the property. I would also contact the previous agent to let them know I'm getting another agent as they were not a match. The OP can then look at the named listing to see if it is a match and maybe the LA is a match for future work.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

The agents that I know usually want their buyers to be pre-qualified before they start spending much of their time showing homes to people who may or may not be serious.

ML


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

'Why is it not OK to contact the selling agent to see the house, even put in an offer?'

You can, of course.

' I would never recommend signing a buyer rep agreement with an unknown agent to view one listing. Paying $250 seems petty, I've never been asked for a deposit to see a listing.'

I never have asked for a deposit, either; I just mentioned that there is a very successful agent in this area who does require it.

but I would ask the potential buyer, on the telephone so that there are no surprses for either of us, to sign a one-time buyer's rep agreement for the properties I show her.

and what linda said.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Well, just as I expected, the house went under contract before I could see it Friday which is why I was trying so hard to see it that Sunday. FYI, I would like to clear up that I was NOT complaining about the agent's response the next morning, but that subsequently it took her 12 hours to return my reply to her. I then tried to arrange to have my BIL see the house for me, but he could only see it on Tuesday afternoon, and she was unavailable. Friday it was gone.
Thank you Roosevelt and all others for your help, and especially Weedy and Kam for your supportive comments- please know how important that was to me during a bit of a stressful time, especially when I was only asking for help and some responses felt so hurtful and attacking under the guise of educating me ....I've learned something by this thread, mainly that there are people in this field with less than stellar people skills. It took me a long time to respond because it is very uncomfortable for me to deal with feeling attacked - even though I do recognize and appreciate that people were trying to help. And some info was genuinely useful - I did not know prequalifying was needed for a cash sale, for example.
My quest was to find an agent described by Roosevelt; "If they do their jobs - they will give you alternate agents to assist in their absence or confirm around your schedule." - precisely what I need, and what I believe I found today in meeting a terrific gentle, kind full-time agent who showed me a house without even knowing my name. She works with four others who all help one another as a team. Although the house did not work out the time spent talking with her afterwards made me feel very comfortable; I really like her and am convinced we will work well together. And apparently not all agents require contracts - for that I liked her even more!.

This post was edited by peegee on Mon, Oct 14, 13 at 21:52


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

peegee - glad you found somebody that you feel comfortable working with. You might want to research what is required in your state by a realtor if they don't have a contract as a buying agent.

In my state if you don't have a contract as a buyers agent the agent may take you to show houses and even write the contract to purchase etc., but their duty is to the seller even if it isn't their listing. Just realize that this may be the drawback in your area too as anything you tell the agent can then be given to the seller by the agent you work with even though it isn't their listing.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I am glad you found someone you feel comfortable with peegee and I am sorry you lost your chance at that house. I hope there will be one that is even better (for less money!) in the very near future.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

That's odd, I posted a thank you to Lyfia for that information on the same day....anyway I will definitely check that out. Kam, thank you, too - that's what I'm telling myself!!!


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

In my state if you don't have a contract as a buyers agent the agent may take you to show houses and even write the contract to purchase etc., but their duty is to the seller even if it isn't their listing.

Be very careful with this. In my area, a listing agent will not split the commission with an agent who claims to be representing the seller. It leaves the seller vicariously liable for what that agent may say. They either work as a buyers agent to be paid a commission or the buyer pays that agents commission if you want that particular house.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

In my area, a listing agent will not split the commission with an agent who claims to be representing the seller.
I don't understand this, isn't the LA representing the seller.
What situation are you explaining? Are you saying an agent will approach the seller's listing agent saying it is representing the seller?


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Are you saying a buyer must sign a buyer's agreement to be represented by an agent in your state? What state are you in, it helps to know what state you are discussing as I know this is not true in CA, we allow dual agency using one agent.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I think Linda is saying that an agent who claims to be a 'sub-agent' constitutes a liability risk that neither a listing agent nor an informed seller wants to take.

I haven't seen an MLS listing that offers to pay a sub-agent in a number of years.

Listing agents typically will pay a buyer's agent, not a sub-agent.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Linda and Sylvia are exactly correct. If the agent that is showing a buyer a home, has no Agency Agreement with that buyer, then they are a sub agent of the seller by default. And most listing agents do not offer compensation to sub agents, as described above.
I once had one LA demand that I show him my Buyers Agency Agreement midway through the transaction, in hopes that I did not have one, so that he would not have to pay me a commission.
Kudos to Sylvia and Linda for being current on Agency Relationship laws, as I believe a lot of agents are not aware of this.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

Linda and Sylvia are exactly correct. If the agent that is showing a buyer a home, has no Agency Agreement with that buyer, then they are a sub agent of the seller by default.

That may be true in North Carolina and other states, but it's not true in mine. Every buyer and seller should check their state's laws.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

How many times in the last year has anyone had an agent claim to be a sub agent of the buyer after submitting a purchase agreement offer for the buyer?
As I said in my state dual agency is clearly spelled out in the agreement, the seller agrees to it in writing, it is not a lions den.
I would if asked (never have been) sign a one time agreement for an agent to show me a listing, but I would not sign a long term buyer agent agreement unless I KNEW I wanted to work with that one agent until I bought.


 o
RE: OK to Contact Listing or Another Agent?

I know this is not true in CA, we allow dual agency using one agent.

Cmarlin, I am in NY and we allow dual agency too! This has nothing to do with dual agency. If your state practices Agency law, then this is how it works in your state too.

Agents showing a buyer homes, must be representing that buyer to receive compensation from the listing agent. A buyer agency disclosure is not the same as a buyer agent contract.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here